Guess who’s back!

It’s just March and so much has already happened…

So, I emailed a earlier this month to say I was putting Being Human on hold for a few weeks while I was doing a writing course (Write of Passage, by David Perell).

Well, the course is over, and I’m back—and, I hope, better!

Here’s what I’ll be talking about in today’s newsletter:

🔨 I’ve been up to some rebuilding
📄 I wrote an essay on poets and warriors!
🦠 Thoughts on living in a pandemic

🔨 I’ve been up to some rebuilding

So like I said, I’ve been in a writing course, and I’ve made some changes to my website: there’s a new home page and a new official name (Being Human with Doc Ayomide), and I’ll be making a few more smaller changes in the coming weeks. Here’s a preview of the new home page as it would look on a laptop screen (the screenshot is from my iPad though):

It’s not perfect, but I’m quite happy with the direction things are going in. One of the things I intend to do is move all my writing to the website over time, so it contains all my work, not just mental health stuff. I might change the theme, too, but haven’t decided on that.

📄 I wrote an essay on poets and warriors!

Yes, indeed. I’m quite pleased with it, too.

It’s titled Words actually speak louder than actions, and I wrote it because I’ve been a person of words all my life, and I’m tired of action focused people acting like words are “just words” and actions are all that matter. I think they’re wrong, and I wrote the essay to explain why.

Also I wanted an excuse to talk about The Witcher, a series released on Netflix late 2019 that I really enjoyed. (Look out soon for an excuse to talk about a Netflix movie I just saw, The Platform.)

Here’s an excerpt from the essay:

Stories are how we remember, not just as individuals, but also—maybe especially—as communities. Find people agreed on any purpose and you have found people who share a common story. It’s the scribes, the writers, the storytellers who create the ideas that spread across space and time—not only uniting large numbers of people, but also connecting them to the generations that came before. Movements and revolutions, whether in towns, countries, businesses or the entire planet, don’t take off without a compelling story driving them that people can buy into.

I made a graphic for it, too, in line with my goal of creating graphics for my writing. (It’ll make sense when you read the whole thing.)

You can read the entire thing here: Words actually speak louder than actions.

🦠 Thoughts on living in a pandemic

It’s been a crazy few weeks, hasn’t it? It’s only just coming to the end of the first quarter of 2020, and so much has already happened. All the predictions and plans for the year are basically out the window, and we’re all just making life up as we go.

Will Mannon, who I got to know from the Write of Passage course, has written a wonderful essay reflecting on it all. Here’s a really beautiful bit:

In three short weeks, history has happened.

Before this month, history was for other people. “Who won the debate?” “What did Trump do?” “Did you hear about Iran?” Faraway morsels of medium consequence, perfect to read about, Tweet about, even argue about with friends. While the news churned on, life itself stayed central.

But suddenly, without warning, news and life have become one. In hospitals and supermarkets, history unfolds each day. We’ve lost our typical buffers of time and space.

When separated by time, history is comfortable. A hobby. A trivia answer. When was Pearl Harbor, or which beaches did we storm at Normandy. When you inhale it with every breath, history feels different. It’s both boring and inescapable. We don’t get to close the book or finish the movie. All we can do is go eat lunch, wait another day, and wonder what comes next.

You can read it all here: Life in the Time of Corona.

For us doctors, it’s been an anxiety-filled time—we’re sort of the firefighters who warn everyone to back off from a fire while ourselves running towards it. I’ve even had to self-isolate for a few days after developing a mild cough, even though I’ve been otherwise fine.

What a crazy year.

But what a chance, too, to reinvent things, yeah? It’s tough, and it’s hard, but this is a chance for us to rethink ourselves, our lives, our relationships, to remind ourselves of what matters, to redefine and rediscover.

And who knows, maybe we will come out of this better for it, after all.

At least those of us who’re lucky enough to: because not everyone will, unfortunately. Many have died, and it looks like many more are likely to. Would you give a thought to how you can help? It might be someone around you, or giving to someone or an organisation trying to make a difference. Whatever you can do to help, please do, especially for those for whom self-isolating will make hard lives even harder still.

Because this is also a chance to extend kindness to those among us who need it the most.

Hopefully yours,
Doc Ayomide