So we started off with jokes on the pandemic which we thought was not real , moving on to armchair epidemiologist, talking of flattening the curve, doubling rate , red zones . At some point we all wondered : I must be just asymptotic.
We started out innocently, enjoying photos of empty streets all over the world . Earth is healing , we said . But quickly it dawned on us that hitting pause came at a cost . The economy spiralled , there were salary cuts , furloughs , layoffs . It meant just catering to your needs and not to your wants .
Companies realised employees are all at home so they are saving so much commute time so let’s make the work hours the whole day . You suddenly had web meetings all days and piled up work never getting over .
Grocery shopping became a major war like situation. Washing hands , sanitising each and every item bought seemed never ending . Home chores became a drudgery . You assigned each family member a task , but there were still fights over ‘ Why the kitchen sink has so many dishes ?’ The daughter refuses to budge over from that corner of the sofa and her iPad is her solace while the man in the house has ‘ Netflix ‘ , watching the same movies over and over again . You found solace in cooking , till you got tired of it . But you still made those dishes which was never attempted ever. Be it be that cake or that sourdough bread . Still , when this is over , you are seriously considering a solo holiday .
You knew the entire neighbourhood was awake well into late nights daily as you see light’s in most rooms . While friends try to remain in touch over calls and web meetings , you struggle to have a real conversation other than Covid . Television seemed a horror story , you knew any news channel can get you closer to thinking that ‘ Hollywood’ movie which you thought was whimsical and so unrealistic in now so real . Other crisis loomed : the migrants . You see them walking daily and feel helpless.
Wats app messages got grim ‘ Hope you and yours are safe during this unprecedented time. ‘ At first , you scoffed . this seemed lame and cheesy . Then you wrote one yourself . You decided to punch the next person who used the term ‘ unprecedented’ . You forgot what day of the week it was most of the time . Bank holidays seem a passe .
Crowds , commute , local trains .. everything that you hated about city life,you missed now . Sleepless nights turned worst , forever thinking ‘ How will we survive ‘ ? ‘ Will I have a job ‘? ‘ Will I ever get to travel again ?’ You reach out to that cough syrup or that melatonin to help you doze off . Your sleep timing changed , somewhere at 3 am you finally manage to fall asleep and wake up only for lunch . You still wake up groggy with the same thoughts in your head .
And then you hear a friend hospitalised over Covid and you think he will just do fine . But couple of days past , there is an early morning wake up call saying ‘ He is dead ‘. It hits you like a avalanche. Perhaps we cannot anymore take this lightly . We will never see our loved ones if we do . That mask was a life saving weapon now which you laughed off early .
Watching that sunset over the beach was the best thing to happen in life suddenly. You felt liberated that few moments . You try to exercise and keep those kilos away . But each time you take that weighing scale over to check you are petrified . And If only you could give yourself a good haircut too . Who knew that a trim , a root touch- up , brow threading and a manicure pedicure were so hard to live without ? You can’t wait for that salon appointment next .
You braved the queue the day liquor shops opened up . And some got lucky with a few . And others who lost out tried ways to get one . The year we never discussed the great Indian summer thinking let the heat catch up and perhaps the virus will be dead . No vacations , no parties , no outdoor fun .
Generations will remember these days . One longwait . However , You envied that one friend who seemed to have the lockdown situation under control and living it well . So here is to 100 days , alive , reading , scanning your old travel pictures , browsing through social media , waiting for a better future .