‘Calmdown’ After Lockdown

Tatiana Androsov
5 min readJun 29, 2023

Or how we Can Learn from that Time to Help Ourselves and, Incidentally, our Planet

Hemingway Moment During Lockdown

When we think or write about lockdown, we tend to bring up its negative impact on our psyche and our way of life. Whatever our views of Covid, we tend to want to go back to the ‘good old days’ before we were told to stay in our places, go out as little as possible and keep a distance between ourselves and other humans.

What we tend to forget are the incredible glimpses that the period offered to the earth’s ability to heal itself when we slow down. Do you remember the reports of how clear the water in Venice’s canals became? Even dolphins reappeared in what had essentially become a type of trashcan for our fast-track lives. The skies cleared over many cities, New Delhi and New York being two of the examples.

Now we have gone back to polluting our waters and our air, because we have resumed with most of our pre-lockdown everyday habits. We do not want to remember the good aspects of the behavior that was forced upon us. We want to forget the calm in the center or cities or near what were for the time being open instead of congested roads, the cooking that we turned to because we could not go out to eat.

Yes, there have been a few modifications. Quite a few of us discovered the fulfillment of working from home, of being able to concentrate on what we actually care doing in a more comfortable setting, of staying dressed in leggings or an old pair of jeans instead of having to dress up, or of simply being near the kitchen and making our own cup of favorite coffee. In the beginning many companies accommodated at least part of this new way of working but bosses are pushing back, trying to get us to be present in spaces they control. However, they are not always successful as those of us who have felt the benefits of working through electronic media wherever we feel like doing it are pushing in the other direction.

Earlier in the spring I went out to lunch with three friends. The place they picked for us to stop at was one of the better chain restaurants, one which they said served particularly good food. Looking at the menu I picked a hamburger that had avocado and greens. That was my first hamburger in over a year, the last one being so bad that I almost did not finish it and left a good part of the bun untouched. I was savoring this delicate, tasty version, with my eyes noting the containers of Italian olive oil that were stacked on a shelf on the side of the room, when I suddenly realized that my friends, who had praised and chosen this place, had already finished everything on their plates. Barely ten minutes had passed since our food had been brought to the table. I was not even half done with my sumptuous treat.

Why the hurry?

Coming back home, I realized that too much of what we were doing was done in haste. We go on vacations to Europe for a week, not even allowing ourselves the time to fully recover from jet lag. Why not go for two weeks even daring three weeks, though less frequently, enjoying walking twice in a delightful ‘piazza’ full of Renaissance statues and flowers, listening to locals as they chat in an outdoor marketplace, getting up and simply having a cup of different aromatic coffee after a profound sleep? Not only would it provide our eyes, our ears, all of our senses with glorious new inputs but let us rest and recover from daily routines. Besides, one less flight would help improve the quality of the air we breathe.

A little later in the spring I did not feel very good. Normally, I would have forced myself to get dressed and go to the wonderful opera that awaited me. After all, I would be wasting the money I had spent on the season’s ticket, though I must confess, my seats are of the cheapest kind. But practicing what I started with this little piece, I lay back under a down cover with a hot cup of herbal tea and went online to watch one of the YouTube versions of the same work.

Though the sound was far from that I would have heard in the performance hall and my being was not totally immersed through the staging, my cold body warmed, and my mind raised some relevant questions about the story. Though not carried away as I normally am by the composer, I woke up the next morning from a profound sleep, ready to write this piece and go for a jog. Thinking about that, I must admit that one of the reasons that I am still running at seventy-five, having started at nineteen, is that I have never pushed myself. Friends, fellow runners who did, dropped out years ago.

Thinking of myself, I can say that it is the ‘lockdown’ which got me to edit and put out three books that I had written in my from my twenties through my mid-thirties. I have since put out three more books, all written in my forties with one updated to a post-lockdown world. I have even done drafts of two entirely new novels. Had lockdown not happened, I would have been too ‘busy’ to do any of that. I have learned to really choose what I do. You can say that is because I am officially ‘retired’. Well, no, from lockdown I have simply had the time to learn what is important. I am sure that many of you have, too! Don’t let that be crushed by a frenetic lifestyle.

Have a good, calm day!!



Tatiana Androsov

A novelist on the sea of life coming, cresting and breaking having traveled near & far from a post WWII immigrant childhood to a UN world of poverty and riches.