Are we having diving withdrawals yet? Some of us surely are.
It has already been way too long since we got wet and who knows how much longer it will be before we can go diving again, other than alone at a local dive site that may be open, if we are lucky.
The coronavirus outbreak is an eyeopener in so many ways. It is giving us lessons on what is important. When the pandemic hit in earnest, many of us suddenly found ourselves focused on more basic needs than usual. If not food and shelter, then at the least, safety and health, and the wellbeing of our loved ones, some of whom we were not permitted to visit.
What role does diving play in our lives and in our wellbeing? How important is it really?
Enter Abraham Maslow, an American psychologist mainly known for creating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which can be seen represented by the pyramid (below) in which the most basic needs are at the bottom and the need for self-actualization is at the top.
The original hierarchy states that a lower level must be completely satisfied and fulfilled before moving onto a higher pursuit. This means that the lower levels may take precedence over the other levels at any point in time. Plenty more information about it can be found on the web.
The pandemic sent many of us tumbling down the rungs of that pyramid, at least temporarily. And hopefully, the experience—however unpleasant and disconcerting—has also served to provide us with some new insights, priorities and a different appreciation of the good things we have in life.
While diving is not a basic necessity but rather an activity at the top of the pyramid, being cut off has taught me a thing or two about how much I value the experiences diving provides me and the role it plays in feeling alive. As the old saying goes, you do not know how much something means until you lose it.
On a different note, this outbreak has also given us a better appreciation of and new perspective on protecting our natural environment. Pollution has gone down, air quality has improved, the skies are blue, without contrails, and during the travel restrictions, we may even have rekindled our relationship with local nature—some of which has flourished in the absence of human disturbance.
We have been shown, even if it is for just a brief moment and in glimpses, that if we give nature enough space and nurturing, it can rebound, and that humanity, if we adapt our technology and mitigate the damage and stresses we currently inflict, can coexist alongside healthy and diverse ecosystems.
We have been given a warning and a chance.
We had better grab it.