Coronavirus Made Me Realize I Just Want to Be a Farmer


Coronavirus has turned my long-term plan of being a farmer into a really, really short-term one. If our world goes on to find a new kind of normal after this pandemic, life on the countryside is all I can imagine.

Life will no longer involve me writing opinion pieces on everything that’s wrong with the world. As idealistic as it might be, I now want to spend my days with family and friends, caring for each other and caring for the planet. It’s entirely plausible. I’m unironically preparing myself for a life that looks like this:

I wake up every morning and go through my morning routine. It’s quite simple. I wash my face, brush my teeth and dab some moisturizer on my face because my skin is always very dry in the morning. Then, I’ll squeeze a glass of orange juice if it’s winter. During the summer I’d probably swap the orange juice for lemonade. Then I’ll alternate between sips of my fresh drink and my coffee as I enjoy toasted bread smothered with butter and homemade jam.

I will be living on a farm somewhere—preferably in Siliana, Tunisia where I grew up. I would still have access to the internet because it’s officially been deemed a human right (or at the very least a utility, the same as water and electricity). I would get online and check on my family and friends, but not before I make sure that my dog Fifi and my 19 chickens have been fed. 

Then I would write a little. If the world is still a place where I have to fend for myself and make money, I’ll call this part of my day “work”. Ideally though, writing would simply be my contribution to society. 

By the time I’m living this life, billionaires will no longer exist because it would have become immensely clear that capitalism doesn’t ensure survival. Identity politics will become a thing of the past. Everyone’s identity crisis will have been resolved because humans realized that racism is a construct used to sustain oppressive systems that prioritise an economy over human lives. 

Rather than writing about racism and classism, I’d be writing fiction—a genre I’ve never truly had an interest in, but am growing to appreciate. This 20-day-long quarantine probably has a little to do with its sudden appeal. 

I’d then tend to my farm. It would be a small one where I would grow potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and a few other things that I like to cook with. 

I know, this is all blue-sky thinking and massively naïve. I literally have no preliminary skills as a farmer. I also know it’s a privilege to even have these dreams at this time. Chances are, I won’t struggle nearly as much as many others will in order to survive this pandemic. I’ve always recognized my privilege—that hasn’t changed in  my current train of thought. .

I just can’t imagine a life that’s not sustainable in the wake of this pandemic; for the planet humanity, and for my own mental health. 

I refuse to subscribe to the idea that the world is currently on pause, and that’s been the key to every imaginative thought I’ve had as I’ve been sitting still. Everything we do now will shape the future that’s to come, and all I can do is sit at home and prepare for the life I want to live.

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