Spending 75 days in complete silence and isolation before COVID-19 wrecked havoc in the world, a US man finally connected with the outside world, unaware of the raging global pandemic outside. A staff member at the Monastic Academy, Daniel Thorson reportedly spent the two and a half months sleeping, eating, meditating and walking at the Buddhist Monastic Academy in Vermont’s rural Northeast Kingdom. Also Read - 'Friends' of Safety: Mumbai Police Takes Help of Chandler Bing to Spread Awareness About Wearing Mask With Swag Amid COVID-19
Before entering the silent retreat, Thorson had tweeted on May 13, “Off into silent retreat (aka voluntary physical and memetic self-quarantine) for the next 75 days or so. And, if you’re curious about why I would do such a thing, I’ve just released a podcast with my teacher Soryu Forall. May you be happy and safe (sic).” On his return, the 33-year-old tweeted, “I’m back from 75 days in silence. Did I miss anything? (sic)” and was soon flooded with the news of the coronavirus outbreak and the yet to start then, nationwide protests against George Floyd’s murder under police custody. In an interview with The Times, Thorson shared, “I feel like an oddity, I feel like a curiosity. I don’t know what they expect me to say. This whole thing is a hell of a drug. It really, really, really has an impact on my nervous system.” Also Read - Lockdown News: After UP And Bihar, U'khand Govt Imposes Complete Shutdown in Kashipur District Till July 13, Non-essential Movement Strictly Restricted
While in isolation, Thorson would wonder on the stuff he would be missing out on. He told the news agency, “There was a collective traumatic emotional experience that I was not a part of. To what degree do I have to piece it back together? I was thinking, is it going to be Mad Max out there, like are we the last survivors? How is humanity doing?”
Not able to comprehend the new norms of social distancing at a grocery store where he stopped after coming out of isolation, Thorson tweeted, “People at the grocery store seem more anxious than I remember (sic).”
He said, “I would turn a corner in the grocery store, and someone would be there, and they would recoil. I haven’t installed the COVID operating system. At first, I was, like, ‘Whoa, what did I do?'”
Sharing his biggest takeaway from his time in isolation, Thorson said, “Everybody has extremely strongly held, very different opinions about everything: how dangerous it is, what the response should have been, how it’s going, whether or not we need to isolate, how to treat it if you get it. There is one consensus proposition that, it seems to me, everybody holds. It’s that whatever happened in the last three months is one of the most significant events in modern history.”
A thing as simple as restoring colour on his phone screen, which was kept on grayscale during his retreat, seemed “super-stimulating thing” for him since he claimed that it was nothing like the colours in real life. Finally, Thorson gathered the hand of current events from the Internet users which apparently left him overwhelmed.