When The Dadi Downloads Tik Tok, The Virus Ban Is Working
I have been spending my days either obsessing over coronavirus, checking up the latest statistics, or compulsively washing my hands (and moisturising them. Please do that ladies, it helps to keep the will to run to the tap every hour alive). Or fretting over how the household is going to survive with all of us under one roof with nothing much to do. The outside world is cancelled. Husband is working from home, and kiddo doesn’t have school. Which means that we have two elderlies, two adults working from home, although from opposite corners of the household, and a six-year-old with a low threshold for boredom. The adults are busy working and chilling with Netflix in their spare time, the kid has everyone’s attention and electronic gadgets at her disposal. But what about the elderly? What are they to do when their usually quiet and secluded indoor world is infested by people who aren’t used to staying home on a daily basis?
A colleague of mine recently revealed that her son has introduced his dadi to TikTok, and that’s when you know that the COVID-19 ban is working. My mother-in-law is digging up old movies from YouTube to consume in her free time, the father-in-law is busy chatting on WhatsApp with his friends, sharing forwarded messages, memes and videos. Something tells me that they aren’t the only elderlies who are preoccupied, thanks to tech, in these testing times.
Social distancing, as a family is tough. Because like kids, us adults need something to keep us occupied, since we have time at hand that we aren’t used to of having, plus we have nowhere to go and no one to meet.
Most elderly people have their friend circle, with who they go for morning walks, or kitties and kirtans, or with whom they just love to hang out in the evening in their society’s garden. Their social circle is an integral part of their routine, and with that being cut off, they have little to do. There’s another thing. People become very particular about their lifestyle after a certain age. If six in the morning is their time to get up and go for their morning walk, then they’ll be up by that time, even when they know that they are supposed to stay indoors. Their time to have meals, read the newspaper, watch television and have tea is decided and stuck to. But their intruding house members spoil their routine, hogging television, scattering the newspaper, being noisy when its time for their afternoon siesta.
And this is why it isn’t a bad idea to introduce your saas-sasurs, mom-dads, and grandparents to the wonders of the digital world, to keep them occupied. As another colleague of mine has revealed, her father-in-law is hooked to WhatsApp and she can’t even tell him to not be on the phone, else they will have to drink their eighth cup of tea in the first half of the day alone. Social networking platform are blackholes which eat up your time like anything. But they are also a way for people to connect. To engage and have a little fun.
My mother-in-law is digging up old movies from YouTube to consume in her free time, the father-in-law is busy chatting on WhatsApp with his friends, sharing forwarded messages, memes and videos.
This COVID-19 outbreak has been ruthless towards the elderly community, putting their well-being life at grave risk. With extensive news and media coverage, this news has reached out to elderlies, and they know that they are a high-risk group. There is an imminent need to cheer them up and help them live a little within the boundaries of their homes. So what if it is TikTok, or if they are face timing with their long lost cousins and relatives on iPad, or trying out the new filters on Instagram. Whatever can distract them and keep them occupied.
The views expressed are the author’s own.