Dear Photography, the ‘world’ is at a standstill

Inspiration in chaos

Dear photography, it’s been almost a month since New York State’s lockdown was declared amid an ever-increasing number of new cases every day. What started as a rumor far away in Asia, has now become a reality that has brought one of the busiest cities in the world to a standstill, as figures of new cases which started in the tens are currently at 127,352 confirmed cases, 18,018 recoveries, and 8,893 deaths as at the time of writing this piece.

I know this has nothing to do with how we met or the memoir-like conversations we have had in the past about how I eventually found you, yet, I believe that since we are together now, it is worth sharing with you how I have been inspired in the midst of all this ‘craziness’.

In my few years of living in “the city that doesn’t sleep”, I have never seen the big apple as silent and as deserted as it is currently. I guess you can say that the city that doesn’t sleep, finally decided to take a nap. The streets, which had always been noisy, are as silent as a graveyard with virtually little to no cars plying these routes anymore. The most noise you will hear is the occasional blaring of sirens and the noise from the 4 train which seems to have an hourly travel schedule now.

Stores are virtually closed, making it extremely difficult to get access to necessities. Stressful long waits in queues at grocery stores and supermarkets make trips to get groceries a daunting task that most avoid. It’s amazing how we now have to queue to get the very necessities we so casually took for granted because we could access them without breaking a sweat.

Hopes of social and economic life returning to normalcy seemed to have been dashed with the extension of the lock-down now pegged on May 15, 2020. To top it off, there seems to be a political battle between the Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, and the Governor of New York State, Andrew Mark Cuomo, concerning the closing of schools for the academic year. Though the Mayor has closed down the city’s schools for the academic year, the Governor believes it’s his call to make and not the Mayor’s. Nonetheless, since this is not a political piece or a conversation focused on the crazy impact that this pandemic has had on the globe, let me focus on how this global chaos has been inspiring.

Truly, this current pandemic and the subsequent lock-down has been a breather and an eye-opener to things we have always taken for granted. For instance, until now, we never cherished the freedom and ability to move freely without any restrictions or fear of the unknown. Social gatherings, direct contact, interpersonal communication, and relationship with others had never seemed important or a big deal till we no longer have that luxury. Indeed the proverbial adage “you never know what you have till it’s gone” really plays true here.

For me, as uncomfortable as this period is, I believe it is the perfect time to pursue something that one has always wanted to do but never seemed to have the time to. I have seen some mind-blowing ideas and talents, exhibited on people’s statuses on social media platforms, that I doubt would have ever emerged if this pandemic-induced lock-down had not happened. Personally, these last few weeks have allowed me the chance to learn to play a new instrument, something I have wanted to do for over a year now.

Dear photography, this lock-down, and directive to practice social distancing has also given Team 3p some ideas and inspiration to execute some projects once this lock-down ban is lifted. Also, we have had the opportunity to revisit the structures of the organization and are modifying them for optimal performance to serve our clients better. I am stoked to share some of these modifications with you and the world as soon as possible.

In life, change is inevitable. Yet how we choose to respond to the change determines the impact it would have on our lives. Some will see a pandemic that has rendered life somewhat unbearable and brought almost the entire globe to a grinding halt while others will see an opportunity to make something positive out of the situation.

For me, I decided not to focus on the fear and panic that this situation brought, but rather use the available time as a breather and as an opportunity to make necessary changes that would help me get closer to the ultimate goal. I must say, I am proud of the modifications that have been made, as it brings me and the team a step closer to making the dream a reality.

I do not in any way downplay the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the global economy. It is sad and heartbreaking to see the negative impact it has had on the entire globe and the deadly imprints it has left in its path. I am simply saying that the temporal pause it created has also had some positive underpinnings that I am grateful for.

That said, I have not forgotten the discussion on how we eventually met, and in subsequent write-ups, I will pick up from where we left off the last time. Until then and as always, thank you for the audience and keep inspiring me.