What is The Lockdown Doing to Us?
August 2019, I was in Bangalore; in a typical corporate job, wishing to log out early to avoid heavy traffic and hoping to catch up with friends on Fridays for some essential weekly gossip. Cut to now — I am at my hometown; writing this blog amid a global lockdown in force due to an unfortunate pandemic called the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease). Boy, our times are volatile!
In less than a year, people’s lives have gone from planning family vacations to planning backups for their career. There are many more grim facts that I can add here but the media is already providing enough trivia on that. Right now, helping others see the brighter side of these times is of greater importance. Of course, this virus has no bright side but being in this trouble together has made us take note of things that we had been overlooking all this time.
A Change of Perspective
The worldwide lockdown has limited us to our homes. A lot of us are struggling with highly distracted and diffused remote working hours. Many have been laid off. Those with small and medium businesses are dealing with massive losses. Despite all of this, we’re all still striving with our best efforts.
Had someone told us about a day like this back in 2019, it would have been hard to tell if we could go through it. But look at us now. We rarely know about our own resilience in the easier times. Living in a bubble of comfort makes us lose our own idea of our strength. Comfort can also diminish our appreciation for everyday privileges. Whether it’s a decent and regular salary or access to cheap public transport, we would rarely appreciate such basic social benefits on regular days. But now, of course, we do.
There are so many little things that would have irked us before but now we’re cruising through with them. We’re cooking and cleaning on our own. We’re spending only as much needed while also trying to help others in need. Most essentially, we’re all trying to curb the spread by making vital changes and adjustments in our lives. We’re managing what seemed unmanageable and appreciating what seemed ordinary. Tough times do change the way we look at life, ourselves and others.
The New Us: Greater Vision, Better Action
Every deep cut leaves its mark. This time will too but not without teaching us a great deal. The post-coronavirus world will have to be a lot more appreciative of the planet’s resources and of life itself. We’ll have to see human life in a whole new light. We’ll have to redefine priorities and cautiously distinguish needs from wants. Civic and corporate responsibility will have to be taken much more seriously than before.
Recovery is often the most challenging part of a crisis. The coming time is going to be challenging too. But we need to understand that this recovery will be a journey in itself. What this lockdown is doing to us is just a ‘priming’ for the post-crisis recuperation of the society.
When all this is over, we would need to equip ourselves with a far more resilient and hopeful approach to life than usual. There would be new challenges to deal with and (perhaps) new opportunities as well. We would need to resume our lives with greater resilience, love and unity, modesty, gratitude and a lot more empathy for each others’ struggles.
Bob Marley’s words describe this time the best, “You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.”
Stay Positive! Stay Strong!