To the day when the pandemic is over...

To the day when the pandemic is over...

On March 25, 2020, India was put under lockdown. Highways shut, cities locked and everyone advised to stay indoors. Six weeks since the declaration, we are still cooped up indoors, waiting, more desperately than ever for the ordeal to end. 

If your lockdown days were majorly about fun with family or friends, you have been fortunate. While several others have tasted the bitterness of loss during these trying times. Parents, children, friends, families — all snatched away by a deadly virus. Jobs lost to an uncertain future. Sources of income…cut off.

Courage and strength fall short, as these people try to survive in these grim, bleak times.

My loss during the lockdown was my father. Thankfully not to COVID-19, but a cardiac arrest. Because of living in different states, we came to know the day after. My mind, every single minute since then is occupied with thoughts — did I tell him I was proud of him; did I express my love for him or did I make sure that he felt cared for? Unfortunately, I don’t have answers to these questions, and I never will, I know. 

Sometimes at night, when anxiety hits, my palpating heart leaves me numb. A weird pricking chill moves through my body, leaving me feeling paralysed. The fear doesn’t fade so easily. It sleeps and wakes up with me, works with me throughout the day and then when I am at my most vulnerable moment, it preys on me.

I am just one of the many going through one of the hardest times of their lives. I can relate to the sea of people going through the same.

***

Reports every day bring fresh numbers of people dying. Close to 2.9 lakhs that means almost two lakh ninety thousand families have lost their loved ones.

But it’s not just about the people lost to the battles. It’s also about the casualties. Migrant workers stranded in long lines without food or water, hang on to the hope that they will be home.

Health workers, police and supporting staff – taking the battle head-on.

Do you think they aren’t worried about getting infected? Spare a moment for their family and loved ones. Think about the anxieties they are drenched in.

Our world, as we know, it does not exist anymore. It is a new world, a new normal – unprecedented. We cannot predict what will come next. 

However, we can hold on to what we already have, as tightly as possible. Hold your loved ones a little closer and tell them how much they mean to you. Let your parents know you love them. Let your friends know how important they are and how dull would your life be without them.

This is our time to introspect. Understand what really matters and is worth the effort. In a race to achieve all that we can, maybe somewhere we have forgotten how to live and what we are living for. As children, we are taught to value love, morales and principles. We are trained to be nice to everyone around us and respect everyone. We are told to care for mother nature. But.. as we grow up, most of these things fade away, and we become self-made. We teach ourselves what to believe in and forget what was taught. 

But now is our time to move beyond self-love, and ensure we care for others the same way. At least a virus has taught us to unite like never before and care for each other, even if its foundation is more of self-safety than concern. At least, there’s a start. 

Take this time to realise what you have, and be thankful. Everyone isn’t that fortunate. Hopefully, life will soon be back to normal, but for a lot of people, it will never be the same. Remember to be kind. They have seen grave days and suffered irreplaceable losses. We cannot do anything about that, but we can sure make life easier for such people. Be patient with your co-workers and support your helpers. Right now, they need you, more than ever. 

We often say ‘I wish I could do it all over again’ and here it is. Our chance to restart and reprioritise. Our opportunity to make a new beginning, to choose better and to be better.  

Good luck to us in our efforts in creating our better versions.

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