What goes around comes around. We all have to deal with the eventualities of our extreme actions. And if you ask for my personal opinion the COVID-19 situation is that eventuality. COVID work from home has got us all thinking, and rethinking.
A lot of environmentalists and climate change activists have been advocating from day 1 of the COVID-19 outbreak that this pandemic is the price we humans are paying for violation of all laws of nature. So now nature has literally put us into a lockdown.
I started stocking up on sanitizers even before the actual panic buying scenario started in India. And because India had still not had its first case at that time, my family and friends accredited this behaviour to my obsessive compulsive disorder. But with the rapid progression of the virus in India and the country being on the precipice of a mass outbreak, what is the current status of mental health of our country and how are we coping with this indefinite change in our lives.
I live in the capital of the country, in the same neighbourhood where the first COVID-19 positive case of India was reported from. And I work in an organization where because of the nature of the operations we do, work from home is never the first option. In fact, it is the last, almost desperate option for us. So while the world had already started operating from home I continued driving to work every morning while completely avoiding any kind of purchasing from my neighbourhood shops. Grocery and poultry shopping apps became my source of food and living. This was stage 1 for me.
COVID-19 has given us time. Time to slow down. Time to breathe in and take life in. Time to shut down.
As the number of cases started growing in the country so did my anxiety about going to work and probably exposing myself to the virus. This was the time when my office officially cancelled/postponed any form of international or domestic travel for work. Which meant a big change in my daily schedule at office as my role involves travelling to different parts of the country every week. I suddenly found myself chained to my desk in office all day, a big shift for me mentally more than anything. This is stage 2. I started rewiring my life around this time. The first of this happening at work.
And today I am at stage 3. I have been working from home, a desperate measure for my office, for 4 days now. Confined to my one room studio owing to a state-wide lockdown. And how is it impacting my sanity and my spirit to live?
I would be wrong if I were to say that it is not depressing at times when all you read and hear around you is death and sickness.
It certainly affects your morale when you read about the rising death graph in Italy or WHO’s scary predictions for India. I have struggled hard to look for the silver lining at a time when everything around is so dark. And I have found it. I have listened to TedTalks and interviews where global experts have positively mentioned that we will come out of this, and come out of this stronger. I have read reports which show how the effect of the virus on the majority of the world will be so mild that we might not even notice that we contracted it.
So is it all dark and depressing when you are under self-isolation? Not necessarily. With no help in the house and no office to rush to every morning I am exploring my most favourite de-stressing activity-cooking. I have a list of books that have been waiting to be read for the longest time, I plan to tick as many of them as possible by the time we are done with this lockdown. I plan to finish a list of Netflix recommendations acquired from friends and family for the past few months.
COVID-19 has given us time. Time to slow down. Time to breathe in and take life in. Time to shut down. Time to restart. And most importantly, time to be able to introspect, and self-reflect,on our actions as human beings and start respecting nature. And pray, even if we are slightly worse for wear, that we all come out of it with more hope and resilience.
Views are the author’s own