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Covid as refuge

I borrowed the idea of 'covid as refuge' from Susan Sontag (Illness as metaphor). I woke up with the phrase in my mind, covid as refuge both literal and metaphoric.

I've spent most of the last 18 days in bed, sweaty and feverish, tired, cement in my chest with a persistent sore throat. There's nothing special about that. It's covid and will pass.

But that middle bit - exhaustion for this many days - made me realize something. That I've been tired for a long time. Covid made me stop and take stock of how tired I really was.

What does that have to do with the concept of refuge?

Let's approach from its opposite, prospect. Prospect is about seeing what's possible, what we can achieve. Looking out into a broad horizon for opportunities to achieve, learn, and develop beyond where we are.

Challenge is stimulating and provokes growth otherwise unreachable. But we also need time to recharge, burrow out of sight, quietly and calmly reflect on where we are from a still point.

I know it's not just me who is - and feels responsible to be - driven, always looking for the next opportunity to achieve something new. What I'm only learning now, though, is how important it is to take refuge when you need it. I'm not good at that, but covid has communicated it to me in no uncertain terms.

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