By Mario Jesus Ordoñez-Calderón
Mario Ordonez is an avid traveler and advocate for people of color in the surf community of San Diego. Mario was directly affected by the coronavirus when his grandfather Gilberto Calderon died on Wednesday May 5th due to Coronavirus complications. Gilberto was 82 years old and the day before dying of COVID-19, he was repairing bicycles as the one and only bike mechanic in his town of Muna, Yucatan, Mexico. Gilberto was born, raised and died in Muna Mexico, a man of great dignity and hard work who gave his life, his all.
Although tragically impacted by the times we are facing today, Mario sheds light on how Coronarius has shifted his perspective on what it actually means to be human:
The coronavirus is an enemy unlike others, it exposed just how interconnected we, as humans, truly are. It brought to light that the health of someone in a far away land matters to me because it can, as it eventually did, reach me. With the spread of the virus we also saw the spread of a new active wave of consciousness. We were asked to take into consideration those arounds us. To wear masks and stay at home not only to protect ourselves but in order to protect others. We heard the call and we answered in the most noble way possible. We abided by the orders looking for ways to make the most from our time at home. Some of us finished that book we always wanted to, others learned to cook new meals. We had more phone calls with friends and facetimes with family. You could hear the same conversations of positivity echoing over the lines, “I'm taking the quarantine seriously for them” “For my folks who are of a susceptible demographic” “For the stranger we wouldn't want to possibly get sick”. Whatever the reason was, it seemed to be for something bigger than ourselves. We were forced to think about how our health and actions directly affect another human and in that sense, we saw the ripples in the pond and just how small, but beautiful, our pond truly is.
To be human is to be connected to other humans. COVID-19 has unveiled the delusion of how social media thought made us think we were connected but true human connection is found in much more than in “likes”. The virus made us return back to our grass roots of human connections by taking away the things that we looked over for granted. We miss hugs, touch, and gatherings. We are more prone now to take the time to wave at our neighbors to get to know them from six feet apart. We're all dreaming of a future where we learn from this and move forward to a new normal, never again to forget just how much human connection means to us. In respect to the severity of the tragedy the coronavirus has brought, there is a silver lining if you look hard enough. We as humans were on the tracks of disconnection from reality and ourselves and the coronavirus has shown us what it means to be human again.
I was meticulously working on my bike, similar to the ways a creative dives into focus when making music, when I took a step back only to realize I had just been in a euphoric form of flow that had been catalyzed by the ancient wellness formula, Feel Free. Taking a wellness shot from Botanic Tonics was similar to dropping into a wave, where for a minute your entire focus is on one thing and you and the ocean blend together, then just like that it's gone and it leaves you wanting another one in the best way possible.
Feeling free to me means feeling natural and light, free from anything that weighs me down, only taking in what lifts me up. Whether that be in forms of food, tonics, vibes, or smiles - Feel Free propels me to soar.
- Mario Jesus Ordoñez-Calderón