Life in this pandemic is one which nobody ever imagined, ever dreamed of, or even wished in their lifetime. It is a strange world and even stranger times. The lockdown due to Covid-19 has slowed down the fast running life; even though it is getting back on track but some things have changed for longer than expected. Some things, no matter what, may not go back to their original form.
Where we have reached in the last 3 months is worth thinking and analyzing. Do we want to continue with this new normal? What is it that you are missing the most? I am missing my independence the most – the free travel, the carefree strolls, the parties and dates, the ‘me’ time, and the warm hugs from friends and family.
Life is restricted to a gathering of ten people, six feet apart; studies are online with virtual summer camps trending, online art/music classes, and video calls that cover most of the day. The same people we hugged whenever we met now look at us with suspicion; my living room awaits guests that do not wish to visit me, my kids have been longing for a play date that has been postponed indefinitely. I look at my neighbours with whom I share my driveway – they never fail to maintain the six feet distance both between the cars and with us. The festivals and birthdays are plain, simple and there are no complaints from friends for not being invited. This is not the life anyone ever wanted but this is what we have now.
Kids, who would get scolded for using laptops, phones, and tabs excessively are now taught online by their schools, and having access to a laptop or tab is the new ‘mandatory’ for most of the virtual classes. The same screen time that was discouraged by everyone has now been embraced by educational institutions and other online activity organizers. With the early end of the school year, it is the new form of studies,
the new normal and surely a new way of making money too.
Who had thought that masks would be the new dress code to enter stores and other public places? Who had thought that the tiny, little bottles of sanitizer, easily available everywhere for a few cents, would become prized possessions! Who had thought that the disinfectant wipes would be wiped off the store shelves the moment they are stocked.
Nobody ever thought about such unprecedented times that can cause the world to slow down and the businesses to shut down. Salaried people and daily wage earners never loved their job as much as they do now. With millions unemployed due to Covid-19, the world economy has surely been hit. Who had thought about it when most countries were progressing.
Lockdown, business losses, lay-offs, fear of losing jobs, not only has caused depression in people but has also brought to light mental health issues, including severe anxiety due to the unpredictable circumstances we are in. Life in quarantine and lockdown is not easy for everyone.
Who had thought that the airline industry would shut down temporarily all over the world, that trains would standstill with no movement across cities in most countries. Well, this happened and many people remained stuck far from their cities due to the travel ban.
We have reached a stage where we feel like an ‘untouchable’, we are looked upon with suspicion, we have trust issues even with our closest family members and we are no longer welcome anywhere.
While we always think about moving ahead and progressing in all aspects of life, coronavirus and the lockdown has taken us back to the time when life was slow and opportunities and resources were limited. What has changed is the advent of technology, surging through all spheres of life, keeping us in touch with family and friends, and for many of us – keeping our jobs alive too.
This new normal has taught people a very big life lesson – always be prepared for the worst and save for the rainy days, not to forget – keep checking on your near and dear ones.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
— Manali Arora