I live in São Paulo, one of the largest cities in the world, and home to Brazil’s largest international airport. Considering the flow of people passing through our city, it is no wonder that São Paulo was the location of our country’s first COVID-19 infection. It is now the epicentre of the crisis in Brazil.
A delayed response
I confess that we Brazilians hesitated to believe that the coronavirus would reach us. We were just starting the year 2020, since, in Brazil, the year only begins after Carnival. As we celebrated in February, the world was already feeling the damage of the disease.
By 15 March, our country had registered 200 confirmed cases. As of today, there have been 5,717 confirmed cases and 201 deaths.
Days of panic
The first few days were filled with panic for me, I must confess. There were only a few cases of COVID-19 two weeks ago. I had no reason to believe that it would affect my work as an online publisher and style influencer, or my contracts. In any case, I began practising as much isolation as possible, even before the health authorities ordered us to do so.
Suddenly, I saw a sharp decline in new contracts, and my expected earnings for the month dropped to zero. I thought I would have to go back to my mother’s house, and leave my life in São Paulo. I went through two days of deep fear, sadness and confusion.
The first thing I did was go to the bank, then to the supermarket. I bought what I needed, requested a tune-up for my car, and then locked myself up, alone in my apartment.
I was haunted by troubling thoughts. I couldn’t decide what to do. I didn’t want to give up everything. I realized that I would have to find my balance before making any decisions.
A morning routine
It was then that I sought a routine well known from the book, The Miracle Morning.
The routine goes like this: Every morning when you wake up:
- Drink a glass of water
- Meditate: Inner silence (I use guided meditation apps)
- Pray: This moment requires faith and spiritual connection
- Visualise: Dream, believe and mentalise
- Exercise: I started doing yoga classes on YouTube
But before I start, I always make the bed. Forget about spending your day dishevelled and in pyjamas! Whenever I wake up, I dress, put on light makeup and prepare for a productive day.
After my routine, I tidy up the house, do some reading and think of ideas for creating new opportunities and facing the current situation.
Having a routine has helped me to regain my balance and feel useful again. There is always something to do, whether for yourself or for others.
This is what I call productive isolation.
Positivity brought a new vibe to my life, and my thoughts became clearer. Soon, new jobs began to emerge. I worked with my clients to rethink formats and costs and create win-win scenarios. E-commerce kept the market flowing. The digital market began to grow again.
I set up a home studio, and many brands started sending looks to photograph in the mirror, increasing their online sales. I also started exploring more video content, makeup tips, exercise tips and even new tools like TikTok.
I know that we are only at the beginning of the pandemic. Unfortunately, the statistics point to an increase in cases similar in magnitude to the crisis in Italy. Some days may be more difficult than others. Maybe I feel like going out or I need to go back to my mom’s house.
But I believe in a greater purpose. I believe in a great transformation, where we come out stronger and more evolved after all this. The most important thing right now is to think about the collective. Perhaps this is the true meaning of this moment.
I hope that Brazil will soon return to being a country of beautiful beaches and exuberant nature. And that we can welcome you here again soon.
Good luck to everyone.