Life after lockdown — a common man
Who would’ve thought, right? Lockdown? Never even bothered with the term before. Then suddenly, ‘Boom’, the country is in lockdown. NATIONWIDE LOCKDOWN………
I’m sitting at home, lazing around, and suddenly get a call from my grandmother telling me to immediately go out and buy important groceries and keep stock for at least 2 months as the country was going in lockdown. We all know what happened then, right! I mean, chaos in the shops. People fighting over stuff in the supermarkets and whatnot.
We all have our own version of how we survived the lockdown. Every struggle is different but all aimed at survival.
The fear >>>
But first, I find it very interesting to discuss how we reacted to the spread of the virus with time. Did the fear increase proportionally or instead faded out with an increasing number of cases over time?
Day 1. Got the groceries. Put them in a separate room. Came up with a 2-day rule to rule out any risk of getting infected from the surface of groceries. Leave the grocery untouched for 2 days minimum, after that clean everything with sanitizer. Now I think back, almost wanna makes me laugh.
Like really everyone was scared to death. And what was the number of cases in the whole country back then? Some hundred or so. Still, the fear gripped everyone like the Modi wave in the 2014 elections, lol.
Empty roads. Nothing but news on TV. People trying to contact their family members living in other cities and desperately praying for them to reach home safely. I won’t lie. I was scared too. Everything was closed but the essential services like medicine, police station, hospitals, etc. I remember once going out to buy medicine. I wore proper surgical gloves, covered my whole face then put a mask on top of all that. Shirt with full sleeves. Taking no chances. When I came back, the same two-day rule for the medicines and all my clothes were taken off at the gate before entering the house. And I ran straight to the bathroom to take a bath with Dettol mixed water.
Such was the fear, that even in a nation like ours where hygiene is taken for granted, people were literally paying attention to even minute details of touching the gate with bare hands. This taught me one thing. There is no better teacher than fear itself. I wouldn’t recommend it though, no fun at all.
Couple of months passed by….
Suddenly clicked. Wait! We are humans, the only dominant species on the planet. We even defy God and his doing. So how can we be caged inside our own homes? Our ego was hit hard. This led to the inevitable.
Slowly people started making up excuses to go out. Let’s take a couple of examples from our own country.
The doctors who were fighting on the front lines to save our lives, salute to them. To recognize their work and dedication our honorable PM asked everyone to come out in their balconies and make a clapping sound using kitchen utensils or their hands. This was supposed to be a show of support and strength in face of adversity. Instead what happened? People took to the streets, taking no care of social distancing at all, and were lighting up crackers. I was like, “Really? Are we this stupid?”
The irony is that the number of cases only kept on increasing but our fear and caution towards the virus didn’t. The more we were forced into our homes, the more our minds repelled. People were going into depression being inside for so long. Some committed suicide. Some developed different symptoms.
Not only this but the availability of important commodities and groceries was also the main reason why the populous was getting unnerved. Not everyone was getting their basic needs fulfilled. They were tough times.
Obviously, there came a point where the economy couldn’t take it and the lockdown needed to be lifted. So the govt decided on starting the process of unlocking.
30th June — Unlock
Not completely but instead in phases. The government decided to start giving relaxations in different areas based on the concentration of Covid in that area. Finally, the lockdown was being lifted. Partially though.
We called it more like, unlock phase-1, phase-2,….. and so on.
Areas were divided into 3 zones. Green, orange and red, based on the number of cases respectively.
Green zones were given the most relaxation in terms of going out and opening shops, etc. Then orange and red, in that order. I wouldn’t question the move as it was much needed. But the way people reacted to it was a little disappointing.
We are a country of a billion+, simply saying it’s difficult to control everyone would be a huge understatement. But that’s what the institutions are there for. To tell people and if needed force them to follow the guidelines.
As time passed by, everyone was becoming more and more irritated by what was happening all around them. Forced to stay inside was the biggest problem of them all I guess.
The graph — Covid
Like any other pandemic, this one was no different. The number of cases in a particular country wrt time would increase exponentially at first. Then they’ll reach a peak point and after that, the graph will start to go down. Most countries unlocked completely when their graph started going down. Not ours though. Being such a big economy, and continuously facing losses in GDP the govt had no choice but to lift the lockdown, even though the graph was still going up and hadn’t reached its peak.
Talking of graphs, let’s talk about another one. The graph where fear and caution are measured wrt to the number of cases in our country. That graph starts high up top and with time just keeps coming down. We as a society are so intolerant of subjugation that even a small rule like staying inside was met with dissent.
Started with sanitizing everything and taking a bath every time you came back from outside, to not giving a literal f**k and just roaming around as nothing has happened. We have indeed come a long way. Well, I’m not trying to disrespect anyone. I also go out. It was inevitable though, couldn’t be helped. It’s in our nature.
Post lockdown conditions
So finally, we are here! The lockdown is over. The pandemic? Not so much. The number of cases per day has been decreasing although I would say it’s far from over. However, let’s be a little optimistic. Looking at the positive. These are all good signs.
Here’s how this lockdown changed me.
I never paid too much attention to washing my hands properly before. But now I count 20 sheep while rubbing soap on my hands. haha. Twenty-second rule? Quite a trend now. It made me a lot sensitive about my hygiene and way of living. I wouldn’t say I’ve become a keeper. lol. But it’s a start.
One realization that hit me hard, still bothers me, was that we had months literally, a whole year at our homes. We could have learned so many things, done so much productive work and whatnot. Instead, I spent most of my time eating and binge-watching. I’m sure most of you did too.
We are not out of time. It’s just that we are full of excuses.
Scenes outside now
As of now the lockdown is completely lifted. Everything is back to what it was. Wait. I’m just kidding. Nothing is the same. So, what’s changed?
Instead of faces now we see masks. They come in different designs too now. Quite a fashion trend. As Indians who never cared for washing their hands properly, we now value sanitizer as much as gold and carry it everywhere. Beware though, that stuff is highly flammable. I’m not saying we have become perfect hygienists. No. But we’ve improved quite a lot. As I said before, fear is the greatest teacher.
Compared to when roads were empty out of fear, the cases have increased a thousand fold now. But the only difference is that the roads are not empty anymore.
I won’t think twice about going out and eating either. But I’ll rather pay using my mobile(online) than cash, trying to avoid as much human contact as possible. Almost ironic though, cus I’m eating the food made by their hands only. Still, I guess it helps the cause of Digital India in a way. Not that it should or anything, but I’m just trying to look at the positives.
Being this generation, it’s our responsibility to make sure things like this(Covid) don’t happen in the future. We have to make sure that hygiene is not a temporary cause in our India but a daily routine. We need to support our PM in his efforts to make our India cleaner with the Swachh Bharat movement. If we play our own parts perfectly everything is possible.
What has this lockdown taught me?
This pandemic has taught us many great things.
- Most important is to never take life for granted.
- One of my favorites, freedom is never free.
- Made us cautious towards daily hygiene.
- Made us realize the importance of the little things.
- Brought families together.
- Made us more resilient.
There’s so much more to this lockdown. So many stories to tell. I tried to convey my version here. Relatable though, right?