From March 16 to April 3, 2020 Belgium is under lockdown. And now extended till 19th April which will be reviewed at the end of the period bringing the lockdown period to 5 weeks in total. First reaction “Oh crap! Oh China what have you gifted to the world! My kids losing out on school and vacations. Kids at home + Husband working from home = more hours in kitchen with additional cups of tea. Headaches, panic attacks concerning how things would shape up, constant fear for the family here and overseas are definite bonuses of this quarantine period and pandemic Coronavirus. And it’s the same picture everywhere irrespective of the country we live in.
But gloom brings negativity, so thought of wearing those witty glasses on to just lighten up the mood and since everything thing under the sun has a flip side so does this quarantine period. Why not assess them once 😁:
- No “alarm”ing mornings for a while. Getting up at 8 AM is also a bliss.
- You can be you, no need to doll up. Pyjamas and flip flops would do and the comfort they provide is the ultimate.
- Since restaurants, malls and other non essential shops are closed surely you would save a lot. Don’t believe me? Check your bank statements from the time of lockdown 😁.
- You can surely dedicate few hours revisiting the forgotten shelves of wardrobe. Our old favourites do motivate us to work out to fit in them again.
- Sitting at home do make us hungry perhaps a little more often but then the free work out sessions in absense of the domestic help will surely make a difference. Trust me it works😁.
- Marriage albums and CDs bring the nostalgia moments back and never underestimate their entertainment value, mind you! Why the fourth cousin to your twice removed uncle was sulking throughout the marriage, why the cameraman was obsessed with people dining in the marriage, the over excited friends of the bride and groom, the repeated plastic smiles on the dias when the guests come and say Congratulations but they actually meant “Abhi toh party shuru hui hai” (The party has just begun, just wait and watch) – to recall those moments and stare at your partner and going back to your chores is superb fun.
Oh I am witty at it’s best 😁😎. And here comes the flying pan and BANG!!!! Bringing me down to the earth😁😁. Let’s talk some serious stuff. No I am not going to repeat what our news portals and WhatsApp universities are churning out day in and day out since the outbreak of this pandemic. I am not here to present the skewed graph of economic activity during this period or the economic impact of this inactivity. Neither I am talking about the soaring numbers of people affected directly by the virus nor I am discussing how the governments of different countries coping up with this situation etc. That anyways need deeper introspection which I am not capable of. This lockdown period has actually opended up different viewpoints to look and tackle a situation at the hand:
- At the end of this period (hopefully soon) many of us would be a better person who understands the concept of Dignity Of Labour. Our domestic helps, drivers, security guards – they are working to feed their families with the utmost respect. Poverty hasn’t made them take up wrong ways. This is what we should respect. They do work for wages but they do help us make our lives little more comfortable. Isn’t it? Treat them with respect, they aren’t our slaves. And no words of praise are sufficient to hail the great work our frontline workers – doctors, nurses, sanitation workers, police and army. A big salute to them.
- We would be a better managers. With services and supplies limited to essentials during this lockdown period the sense of responsible spending is something which I see getting imbedded and inculcated. Leftovers can be turned into a new recipe but not wasted. While people are facing cuts in salaries due to many reasons wise spending is definitely on cards. And as they any thing repeated for 21 days becomes a habit, some positives are in offering.
- For people who are during the normal days far away from the kitchen and just fire away orders will now come to know how much hard work it takes for ingredients to be turned into an sumptuous meals which they dismiss without blinking an eyelid.
- Bringing us back to the roots. As we moved to the cities and got acquainted to the fast moving lifestyle we are accustomed to the words like “automatic”, “instant”, “readymade” and gradually alienated ourselves from our roots that required patience and preparation. This lockdown period has surely stopped us to give us sometime to ponder over many questions pertaining to our lifestyles. We are gobbling up and stopped eating; gulping down but stopped drinking; showing off and stopped celebrating. Have you ever thought why our previous generations (especially our grandparents and even earlier) were happy despite of meagre comforts at their disposal? Why we are raising up our kids with supplements to boost immunity which we never heard of as kids? Our education (read mere literacy) in the wake of being logical and questioning everything has actually made us mock everything we didn’t get a hold of. We mocked our culture, age old traditions (not all traditions are primitive and illogical), simple lifestyle of limiting the needs because scooping out more is our mantra. And this race has actually put us in the line of fire of mother nature who surely has her ways of setting the spoilt brats straight. Her warning to us this time : “Slow Down A Bit, Go Back To Your Roots”. This lockdown period is bringing out positives as now we have family meals together, cooking and eating healthy instead of buying in a jiffy, bonding between generations is building up, the importance of our traditional practices (one petty example : every house in southern India have turmeric laden doorsteps, started decades ago to check various infections from entering the house) is being realised. Surely it’s time to realise the difference between price and value!
- When we would step out of this confinement period clear skies and waters would greet us. Ozone layer is self healing. Our race to earn has hurt the heels of mother nature really bad. She is cooling her heels now, please wait inside.
- And yes this would actually open up new avenues of opportunities to those who can think differently. New business ideas are surely going to mark their arrival. Mark my words.
I can come up with numerous ways how this critical moment is working the right ways for us. The prism through which we look at an issue at hand matters. Human race has witnessed many more crucial and defining moments in the past as well – world wars, famines, catastrophes, viral outbreaks like the current one. This isn’t new and isolated. And everytime human bounces back strongly , this shall pass too. For that we need to be selfishly responsible for ourselves and our family, in that way we are serving multiple number of people and the country. And when this time passes we need to strive to bring out the better version of ourselves – compassionate, empathetic, considerate, rejuvenated!
Amidst all this chaotic tense atmosphere the irony of human nature that has come forth is : when people were supposed to go to their works they strongly wished to stay back home and relax. Now when they are supposed and obligated to stay at home for a greater cause they want to loiter outside. Not to abide, not content define us pretty much. On contrary we must be thankful that we have a roof over our head, we are safe in our haven and with people who care for us.
A Request: Wait for sometime to quench your thirst for adventure. This is not the time for all you would buy is pain and suffering in wholesale. And for the rest this quarantine period is no less than a challenge.
Are You Ready To Take Up This Challenge Thrown At You?