Lockdown...this too shall pass. Then what?

It's official...We’re home for the foreseeable future as the world gets together to battle coronavirus. The first time in most of our lives that staying home was a way to save lives. It feels a bit like hiding and that's uncomfortable for a lot of us. We want to do something, take some action to make it feel worthwhile. 


Last week we gave you a couple of ideas for passing time at home. But with lockdown being declared countrywide in India, we are entering a new, extended phase. In this more normalized isolation many people are going through stages -- from following COVID-19 updates every fifteen minutes and feeling deep anxiety, to beginning to evolve something resembling a routine. Going forward there may also be a sense of loss of time, of days passing one into another ---this according to people interviewed in Wuhan, China, the location of the first outbreak. As restrictions to movement tighten around the world, they are just beginning to ease up in Wuhan after two months of extreme lockdown.


With some idea of what we can expect many experts say the key to keeping it together is having a clear routine. Especially if you are home as a family, living with others, there needs to be a distribution of household tasks for everyone to manage. Everyone needs to wake up and get dressed for the day as they would normally do. People who have to work from home have to create their clear working time and space so it is possible to be at work. Makes sense right?


But stay with me here. There is another school of thought. 


Many health experts also advocate easing up a little. While there are many benefits to setting a time for working out, eating and resting, not least of all because sufficient sleep, exercise, and nutrition boost our immunity, there also much to be said for enjoying some of the freedom from our hectic daily routines. 


In arguably his most famous poem, W.H Davies said:


What is this life if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

 

Certainly not for the best reasons, and yet we have been afforded a chance to stand and stare into the distance, to escape the daily grind, just for a bit. Perhaps we should take it and make something of it, dig deep for some of those buried dreams and find the passions we forgot about in the relentless grind of our busy lives. Who knows what treasures might be uncovered when the quest is the discovery of self. Who knows what the world will look like post-COVID-19 and you want the best version of you out there grappling with it.


And if you’re thinking this is all very well and I still feel helpless and want to take action, look through all those forwards on your various Whatsapp groups and find your local NGO distributing food to daily wage workers and donate to it. If you can stay home and wash your hands frequently then you are far luckier than over 65 million people in our country. 


Stay safe people, and stay home!

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