Every time I pick up my phone, or engage in a conversation with friends, neighbors, or family members, they are always found talking about only one thing—Coronavirus. The threat, here in India, has become real now since it has been reported that fresh new cases of people infected with COVID-19 are on the rise every day and the numbers have increased up to 107 and is still counting. People, who earlier felt that they were immune to such a disease, are now seen more careful than before. Under such a looming threat, my heart goes with all of those who are suffering from the disease and also to those who still are working and trying to make the ends meet. I keep wondering how you are all doing.
At present, my family is all at home. Parents are at home, as they usually are, with minimum socializing. No one is going to public places, except for groceries and milk. My husband’s company has asked everyone to work from home till further notice. My daughter’s school is already off till the end of March. My university too has ordered all the theory and practical classes to be discontinued for next two weeks. Everyone is self quarantined at home, and life has become a little monotonous and slow. All sorts of meetings, social gatherings, like seminars, events, exhibitions etc. have been called off. The life is at a standstill and people are travelling back to their families via air planes, trains or buses. Universities students have been asked to vacant the hostels and students are taking time off with their families living elsewhere. Malls and theatres have been shut down till further notice, and those still operating are adopting precautionary measures to control the spread of disease. Lesser and lesser people are frequenting the local markets now. Though the hustle-bustle seems to be normal and it feels like things are going on fine, but an undertone of the approaching threat is felt everywhere. People are now more conscious of washing their hands and sanitizing everything they can. I too was travelling a couple of days back on one of the highways and the tolls scared me for the first time. I felt that the toll roads are the most vulnerable ones in this scenario, and only safe if you have a fastag sticker on your vehicle. Frequent exchange of currency notes puts us at greater risks.
I feel that the situation is going to tighten in the days to come. Though India is coping up nicely in the wake of COVID-19 threat but looking at the size of the nation in respect to its population, one can never be sure. Recently the state of Maharashtra has started stamping the people who are supposed to be under the attack of Coronavirus and these people are self quarantining themselves which is a good move. Where some feel that it is morally wrong to ‘stamp’ people as they are labeled as social outcaste that way but others are of the opinion that the whole idea of preventing the disease from spreading is to quarantine the ones infected. The idea of what is moral and what is immoral must not be of concern now and people must, at least for once, do as the doctors say. We need to come out of this troublesome time like a dream because if it does not happen as planned, than the consequences would be far reaching. All the precautionary measures must be taken into cognizance and we must help each other in the wake of this hour and fight against the pandemic.
The spreading of the disease is taking pace, though not as speedily as it happened in China, Italy, and other nations, but we must not take it lightly. The other day I ordered something online and it was delivered in time. When I went to receive it, I saw the courier boy and it struck me immediately—is he taking precautions to be safe in the threat of spreading COVID-19? I curiously asked him and he replied, “I can’t quit working come what may!’ I wasn’t surprised to hear that because it is what many still believe here and are taking the pandemic lightly. But what I can do on my part is to stop ordering any stuff online.
I understand that sitting and waiting for something unknown to come is very tiring and full of uncertainties. Many questions cross out minds—how long is it going to continue? When will we get back to our routine life? Will the schools re-open as scheduled? What if it will still be unsafe for my child to go to her school? Will I be safe after 31st march, going to my university, taking lectures, working with students on their assignments, attending meetings, socializing?
Nothing is certain and we don’t have answers to all these questions now, but we can only hope and wait. All we can do till then is keep ourselves safe and take all the necessary precautions. Till then, I send my heartfelt wishes for the speedy recovery of those infected. I wish you all to be safe and help your loved ones too to be safe wherever they are.
Let me know how are you doing? Connect with each other through social media, keep in touch, talk to each other, tell each other how you spent your day, make use of video calling to see each other, dress up and sit for your work even if you are working from home, eat your meals together which you used to miss before, play indoor games with your kids, and don’t keep a track of too much news on COVID-19.
More on COVID-19 below, if your are still going out for work: