Not Your Regular COVID-19 Awareness Article
– Masoom Grover
This is year 2020 and up until now, our lives have been fast and robotic in a sense that we’ve been practicing the same routine over and over again. Our schedules have been so monotonous and repetitive that we can literally recite the entire chronology of the chores we carry out everyday. It’s said that humans take 21 days to turn an action into a habit and here we are, way past that 21st day. For some of us we’ve been living like this for a decade now and that’s scary. We are at a stage where it’s not a habit anymore, it’s an addiction. An addiction to the fast-paced life which we otherwise know is gravely hampering our physical and mental health; but we still can’t seem to snap out of it.
We are always eager to finally meet our friends at the Friday house parties after a tiring week of handling nosy boss and clients. We are always looking forward to visit our homes and savour that bowl of Rajma Chawalbecause the cafeteria in the college is no match for mom’s special kitchen. We are always saving up for that annual vacation, away from the hullaballoo of the cities to spend time with nature and experience the slow pace of the countryside.
Well, this is year 2020 and we have a world crisis to deal with. Now that our fast-paced lives have been suddenly put to a halt by this pandemic, we have time at our disposal. It is not easy to live in a world where you have to wake up everyday in a constant fear of survival. I am not here to tell you how to survive the battle against the virus because you already know that and there are a million articles on staying safe, staying indoors and social distancing. I am here to talk about the survival of the battle in your head.
Humans are social animals; our primitive characteristic is to socialise. However, presently, to survive this pandemic we have to go against our basic behaviour and practice isolation. Per contra, isolation is not supposed to be sad, monotonous or blue. In fact, it is an opportunity to detox. It is that door we’ve always wanted to surpass while we were at the other side of it. There have been times in our lives when we have wanted to press pause and just sit. Sit idly and make sense of everything; the moon, the stars, the planets, the world, Our world, our days, our existence. We’ve wanted to sit under a tree and just feel the breeze caressing our faces. However, now that we have the breeze knocking at the windowpane, we are pulling down the blinds and making the room dark and cold.
This time, off of the worldly affairs, college assignments, office meetings, metro crowds, busy roads, noisy neighbourhood; is the time to introspect. This is the time where you talk to yourself about yourself for yourself.
Self-quarantine need not only be about prevention from the virus, it can also be about prevention from the negativity of your daily life. For once, talk to yourself and ask how’re you doing. Make a conversation with your psyche and learn more about yourself. Because once all of this is over, you’ll get out as a new you, aware and able to make sense of the self.
Oxford describes Quarantine as “a period of time when an animal or a person that has or may have a disease is kept away from others in order to prevent the disease from spreading”. It is time we change that definition and rewrite it in our own terms. It’s time we stop scaring away from this word and start embracing the possibilities it provides.
This is year 2020 and frankly it hasn’t been all rainbows and unicorns but why wait for fate to dictate your happiness? Why let a virus decide whether your mind deserves peace or not? Why conclude that the glass is half empty or half full? Pour yourself a new one. Pick up that book you left midway because you had a meeting with your boss. Try your hands on that new software which you otherwise couldn’t have amidst all those college assignments. Make that call to your childhood friend and ask her how she is? Sit with your grandparents and tell them stories just like how they used to tell you when you were little. Play that never-planned round of UNO with your siblings. Sit with your parents, and talk. Talk because you finally can talk to them without getting irritated at them for bugging you while you make that presentation; because right now, all that you need to make it work is YOU.