Survival of the Fittest

Survival of the Fittest ! Quarantine Edition

By Areeba Ahmad

Did you ever in your entire life before COVID-19, for even a split second, think “God I wish I had some free time”?

Yeah. Been there, done that! In fact most of the times.

There is, however, this one question along with a few others that arise in this situation, if this particular period of our lives is what we longed for since the moment life has hit on us, why is everyone whining over the whole lock down situation then? After a lot of complaining, crying, worrying, and almost completely losing it, I was finally able to understand my discontent over lock down and the same situation ultimately enabling me to learn the art of living it to the fullest.

Why all the whining?

Although, it is very true that we had all been wishing for free time ever since life set its routine for us, the constant grousing about the quarantine is not in the opposition of excess free time, but rather due to the absence of freedom in this whole scenario.

Anybody who thinks like me would definitely agree to the fact that this period has given us enough time to do something, but no time to think about how to utilize it. As overthinking, stress, and anxiety takes over the mind, we’re left with very little time to think about productivity. 

Whats with all the anxiety?

Imagine, or maybe not as we’re all living in these times for real, hearing for the first time about an epidemic that starts spreading in a province in China, and that  rapidly creeps out to other parts of the world becoming a pandemic, and finally reaches your comfort zone. Not just that, hearing stories from people you personally know and from social media about how true and horrible this whole situation is, anxiety is bound to sneak in. No question about that!

How not to give up?

Coming straight from personal experience, this lock down has been a roller coaster ride of emotions. Experiencing spikes of productivity in between long periods of worthlessness has been quite a treat. I put it that way because I owe a lot to this period. There had been numerous articles and posts about how to make it through this time with productivity and being the kind of a person I am, the only way I knew for sure how I’m going to remain productive is by trying new things, believing in myself and not caring about anything or anyone but myself.

Experimenting things never thought I would:

The drive and excitement of discovering everything that I am capable of is definitely enough to keep me going. From stepping into the kitchen to attempting a hand at embroidery, there is absolutely nothing within my reach that I did not try to do. Yes, I have failed, a thousand times but hey, that’s okay. I’ve got a lot of time to redo now and the will to improve myself also keeps me distracted from all the sadness surrounding the world.

Believing in myself:

Based on my failed experiments, the only thing one needs to do is realize that they can absolutely nail at whatever they’re doing, and knowing that even if they fail in the second or even the third attempt, it is not the end of the world. One of the other things that is helping me keep going is to let go of any thought of feeling under competition constantly. It is perfectly fine to not do anything on some fine days when you want to just chill.

Caring for myself, ONLY: 

I’m not implying that this quarantine has made me a horrible and selfish person, but what I meant is that it has made me realize there is a lot of unnecessary pressure we oblige ourselves in to that doesn’t even matter at the end of the day. There is a fine line between being lovable and being obsessed with people-pleasing, and this quarantine and whole social distancing situation helped me understand that the only person who is with me all the time is me. So I am what should matter the most, regardless of where this world is headed to.

Is this the End?

Looking at the overall situation, the amount of gloom and hopelessness is insane. Although yes, the world is going through the crisis of the century, I feel like it is necessary to look back and know for a fact that the human race is capable of surviving extreme disasters. We also however need to look back and adopt the social ethics of survival, the most basic ones being compassion and empathy. All in all, I would like to state that in my very personal opinion, “It is NOT the end of the world.”


Ms. Areeba Ahmad is a student of Architecture at NED University, Karachi. She had been an Editor for her college magazine and also directed various plays and skits in school and college. She believes “Art is a form of leisure and often exhibits it on her writings”.


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