Iulia Andrei Gupta and her husband, Surya, were “trapped” by the quarantine declared because of coronavirus pandemic in a small village in Peru, where they were on vacation. But time spent there means also more time with themselves, and maybe – and I think this happens to all of us, during this period – a deeper understanding of what real values are and what truly matters in life.
Iulia and her husband left on vacation from UK thinking they will spend 3 weeks in Peru and then continue their vacation in Bolivia – but things have changed completely.
They were planning to see famous Machu Picchu when quarantine has been declared in Peru – authorities said borders will be closed in less than 24 hours after the official announcement. Chances to succeed in leaving were almost 0 – and they had been waiting to see Machu Picchu for 5 years – so they decided to stay.
It’s a small, mountain village in Peru, with wonderful people and a different rhythm of life – a special experience, although it hasn’t been planned. “In this area there are many farms, people are good householders”, Iulia says.
They rented an apartment, and carefully follow the restriction rules in the area. All restaurants ale closed, but local supermarkets and the bakery are opened. The vegetable market is opened as well – but only until 12 o’clock every day. From 8 o’clock in the evening till 5 o’clock in the morning leaving your residence is forbidden.
During the day, you shouldn’t get out too much, either – only if necessary, to go to the supermarket or pharmacy, for instance. “You are not allowed to stay in the streets, and our hosts recommended us to avoid the central market, with vegetables and meat”, Iulia says. If you are out, people must keep a distance of 2 meters between them.
You can also go out in nature, around the village, to take a walk. “We are lucky to be in a mountain area, we can go out of the house, also”, Iulia says.
When we talked for this article, no cases of coronavirus had been confirmed in their small village. The risk is, of course, way smaller than in a crowded urban area. Yet, they are trying to protect themselves as much as they can. “We wash our hands very often, keep the safety distance. But mental health is more important – the risk for me and the others here is more on the mental level than on the virus level”, Iulia says.
This whole period should be a time for us all to think about what really matters in life – and, maybe, for some of us, to reevaluate our value systems and understand what really matters in life. “We have to form a perspective of things that are truly important to us – our family, friends, our belongings. You used to spend a lot of money on things that are not useful for you in any way”, Iulia says.
They are also more careful with food. “I’m thinking – do I really need one more bread or not. There’s no way of throwing food away – but before we had a problem with this. I don’t want to buy things just for the sake of buying – I became way more careful”, Iulia says.
And maybe we learn to think more about the others, also – and that’s a very very good thing. “You realize how many and resources can be used better – for nothing you have your fridge full of food which is not good anymore if the one who needs food, just like you, can’t find anything. I think we should all realize which are the things that really matter – they are not many at all”, Iulia adds.
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