Looking back, the summer of 2019 was like any other I can think of. Hot sweltering weather cooled with tubs of ice-cream, waiting for the rains to bring in relief. This summer, I’m missing out on the ice-cream and again waiting for relief, but of another kind. Over the past few weeks, my vocabulary was upgraded with a few words, that I hope to never use again in my lifetime. Never do I want to hear #quarantinelife #lockdown #COVID19crisis ever again!
I’ve been in the lockdown for – okay, I stopped counting the days and weeks since I got to know that this will continue for almost the rest of the year. The quarantine life has taught me a couple of new things and exposed me to a new dimension altogether. I’ve jotted down a few things that I’ve come to realise during these past weeks.
Understanding Every Hour Of The Clock
The initial days of lockdown were slightly exciting like all new things are. I could wake up leisurely, log into work without washing my face, bake anytime I wished to, and spend endless time with Genie, my Indie pup. But as the days progressed, the excitement died down, slowly replaced with boredom, agitation, and restlessness. I began to notice the ticking clock and feel the drag of every hour. Although work occupies most of the day, I was left with so much more time, and how much of Netflix and chill can you do on a daily basis?
Grateful For The Internet
What a blessing! Honestly, I wouldn’t even have a job nor would this piece of writing reach you if it weren’t for the Internet. Thanks to this, my brother can see his new-born baby girl and wife about 500kms away. Thanks to the net, we’re all able to video call and check on our loved one. And oh, can you imagine the lockdown without having access to the streaming sites to kill time or access that favourite recipe site to cook up something nice and steamy? Don’t even get me started with the memes trending on the internet, it’s surely a pastime, isn’t it?
At the same time, I’ve come to realise how one needs to be extremely careful about what we see, read and listen to on the internet. Fuelled by individual interests, a lot of content is spreading on the internet and its loading with misinformation.
Work From Home, Video Conferencing Is The New Normal
As I said, the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the entire workforce to work from home. Despite passing a few weeks into this new norm, I still miss the small things like the metro ride to office, small talks with my colleagues, the coffee breaks in-between, the lush greens overlooking the cafeteria… Ah, never mind. I’ve made peace with the new norm, maybe because I have no other choice. And maybe that’s what the entire workforce across the globe is doing as well.
Truly Understanding The Freedom Of Movement, Of Life Really
The freedom of movement is a funny thing. Take my dad for example; he’s been retired for almost six years now, enjoying his retirement with books, TV and the sorts. However, he could always step out and head to the institute he worked at or probably stop by at his favourite bakery and restaurants and so on. And now, he’s stuck at home, like the rest of us. And despite being at home most of the time, the lockdown has its effect on him too. Here, I’ve come to clearly understand the importance of freedom of movement. How these small things matter. How having the choice to head out or stay at home is important. How it can really affect, right at the individual level.
The Multiple Facades Of India
We’ve been taught that India is a diverse country with multiple cultures and languages. But the lockdown has revealed a lot more about the country that we previously failed to acknowledge. It was there, always there, but we easily overlooked it. But now, it was staring at us in the face: Economic Inequality; the key division of have and have-nots; and all the subdivisions in it.
Seeing hundreds and thousands of migrants walking and walking and walking, with one hope- to reach the warmth of home and probably, some freshly cooked meal. But alas, the number of deaths due to exhaustion and hunger on the roads and railway tracks are far more gut-wrenching than the virus itself. What’s worse is the new stoop of political interference adding to the multitude of chaos. And this, no matter how much we choose to block and look away, we simply can’t during the lockdown.
And Yet, I’m The Lucky, Creamy Elite In this mess
Yes, I’m indeed the luckiest of the lot. My problems include worrying about the next Maggie stock and what to bake next. But just look at the thousands of workers, doctors, police personnel, and other first-line warriors defending and protecting us from the deadly virus. Think about all those stranded, separated from family, worse, suffering and death due to the virus and lockdown. Doesn’t that make me the luckiest of them all?
The lockdown has made me realise plenty of things. I’ve learned to be grateful; grateful for a loving family and support system; grateful for my loving friends; and grateful for every meal I have without having to worry about the next one. The future is uncertain right now (like it always was), but now I know I just need to live the moment, one day at a time.