~mrls/www

18d01ae2c30b4ab6e11f62735d71f53a9f7bce16 — Mauro Morales a month ago 57096e7
Add post: March 2020
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---
layout: post
title: March 2020
place: Ghent
category: status-updates
date: 2020-03-31
---

March 2020 will probably be remembered by the COVID-19 pandemic. I won't talk
about this event but instead share about the positive side of self isolation,
some unrelated good news that I received and offer some thought provoking
literature.

## Enjoying the Self-isolation

Today is our 19th day staying at home. From friends and family I know this can
be difficult for others, but as someone who's worked remotely one third of his
career, self isolating hasn't been too harsh on me. Since I don't even have
local friends yet, the only thing I'm missing is going out for coffee, dinner
and to the cinema. I won't say it hasn't been hard at all. Sometimes our
apartment starts feeling too small and when this happens, we go out for a walk
to a nearby park (this is encouraged by the government, we just need to follow
the indications). We've been doing this once or twice a week.

This reminds me of the time when I lived in a small village in the Swiss alps.
I was born and raised in a big city, so I know how shocking it can be to go
from chaos to stillness but it was also during that time that I learned to
spend time with myself. I encourage you to use this time to listen to your
thoughts and body. Learn about who you really are and what you want in life.

It so happens that I'm unemployed so during this time I did almost no work
except for minor updates to this website but I wasn't really "productive".
Instead I slept a lot, did some yoga, meditated, read a few books (see
recommendations below), have been calling my family at home on a daily basis,
cooked, and watched TV. If you can give yourself the luxury of not working, I'd
recommend to learn to detach your personal value from your ability to produce
and appreciate yourself for the other things that make you who you are.

If you ask me, this is what the world would feel like if social rules were
defined by introverts. I still prefer life in a big chaotic city, but knowing
that things will be back to normal in the next few weeks/months, I'm going to
enjoy it while it lasts.

## Good News During Bad Times

Last week I got a letter from the government saying that they accepted my
request for a work permit. Because of the current lockdown going on, I cannot
start working just yet, but I'm looking forward to my first working experience
in this beautiful country. 

## Out of the Reading Stack

- [Outgrowing God: A Beginner’s Guide] - Living through a pandemic has
  demonstrated the disaster that our leaders can cause when they follow their
  believes instead of science. As a society we need to talk more about this
  problem and have good resources to give people who are starting to question
  their believes. Dawkins' book is a great start because it talks about
  polytheism and monotheism, the veracity of historical events, ethics and
  morals without a religious framework, evolution and questions which science
  hasn't been able to answer.
- [Letters from a Stoic] - When living in times like these, it's easy to
  overreact. Some are loosing their heads thinking that the world is going to
  end and buy all the toilet paper they are able to get their hands on, others
  are being selfish and irresponsible and not respecting the social distancing
  measures in place and risking others' lives. One more thing this pandemic has
  taught us, is that we need more people with good character and less schmucks.
  This book is a collection of letters written by Seneca to one of his friends,
  where he shares his stoic ideals for life.
- [The Slavery of Our Times] - During the past weeks we've been able to see
  many countries putting their economy before their people. It has also made
  visible how much disparity there is between the rich and the poor. Proving
  how flawed, fragile and unfair our economical system is. Tolstoy exposes many
  of these issues in his works. It's hard to believe he wrote them more than
  a hundred years ago and it's sad to see that not much has changed since.

[Outgrowing God: A Beginner’s Guide]: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43532557-outgrowing-god
[Letters from a Stoic]: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/97411.Letters_from_a_Stoic
[The Slavery of Our Times]: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1688434.The_Slavery_of_Our_Times