COVID Diaries

COVID Diaries

Last week March 11 marked the anniversary of Covid-19. It was the same day, one year ago, when WHO had declared it a Global Pandemic. It was the same day one year ago when everything came to a standstill, as if someone had pressed a pause button to our lives. While the life proceeded but there were some parts of life that came to a halt.

Why do I write about it? I thought of penning down the experience because 25 years from now when I would be telling Pandemic Tales to my grandchildren this blog would come handy.

Once upon a time there was the year of ‘The Great Pause’. All humans were confined to their houses, not sure of how long isolation! It was a year of social distancing – no eat-outs, no vacations, no beaches, no summer camps, cancelled birthday parties/ graduation parties. It was a year of downsizing … downsizing of marriages, of festivals, of workforce, of businesses. It was a year of losses … loss of lives, dear ones, jobs, income. It was a year of ‘new normal’ … the hand washing, the sanitizing, the masks, the grocery stock-ups, the lock-downs, virtual schools & offices, the stay home regime. It was a year of Chaos and Uncertainty. Never was there ever an experience so common, so universal, and so bewilderingly isolating. Everyone was doing it yet everyone was doing it alone.

And in the midst of all that gloom and doom, there were people like me! People like me who take pride in being couch potatoes, splaying in their favourite pair of pajamas, at home, sipping coffee and enjoying Netflix. People like me whose introvert self didn’t mind all the Not Talking and Not Socializing. People like me who had no stories to tell of their last night out or the last big thing they did before lockdown. People like me whose favourite thing to do is Nothing. I know, I know, it’s hard to brag about Nothing therefore this blog. So, people like me were counting the blessings: an end to morning alarms, hustle bustle of life, the “go go go” attitudes and an end to everyday stressors. It was quite a remarkable time to take a deep breath, appreciate health and family, catch up with cousins & friends (virtually), try some new recipes & work on your dream project.

I see a lot of folks these days craving Normalcy, but it’s not very hard for me. I’m not mourning as much. Yes, I do long to hug my mom & dad & sister but other than that, I’m oddly content.

I just had to make some lifestyle changes to cope with this overdose of togetherness with my family, like 

  1. Stop nagging hubby and keeping a track of how long he had worn that shirt
  2. Don’t sneak into kids’ bed to wake them up as their morning breath may cause you morning sickness
  3. Forgo the concept of healthy diet and allow everyone in the house get intimately closer to – the refrigerator,
  4. Don’t bother to lay the table for dinner. I mean who eats on the table anyways …. we have couches! The poor, multipurpose couches that were used for eating on, jumping on, sleeping on and everything but sitting.
  5. Give up on trying to keep the house clean, I mean filth has its own beauty and your kids seem to admire that.
  6. Postpone all those parlor/salon/spa visits …. Nobody’s gonna look at your ugly face with that mask on, so better save on some precious time & effort.
  7. Netflix won’t be able to keep you busy all the time so subscribe for Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, Hotstar etc.
  8. Those weekly grocery trips are critical, because they are your only chance to probe if you still fit into those jeans of yours.

I feel like my weird, wild family fired up living in absurd times. This year gave us the gift of embracing humour & chilling out. The crazy, the crying, the cuddles, the screams, the mess, the magic. It was all part of it. And it was all worth it. It made our house a noisy place but most importantly it made it a happy place.

Chaos and Uncertainty were a boon that ripped apart our carefully constructed boxes and showed us a whole world beyond them. When all this is over, my hope is, that people will slowly enter back into life knowing what truly matters. And we see a more flexible world where people are more compassionate to others and to self.

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