It’s official. We are finally making it to the history textbooks!
We millennials will be knocking the socks (or gloves…masks maybe??) off our future generations.
Thanks to the novel coronavirus aka the infamous illness aka COVID-19 aka SARS-Cov-2, 2020 is on the wall of fame!
By now, most of us are quarantined, heavily stocked up on food, working from home and evolving into chefs! Talk about adulting for real!
We are all, in our own ways, figuring out how to make this new life our lifestyle, determinedly coping with this change in the most creative ways possible.
If you are on social media by choice or by peer pressure, you would not have missed the carousel of stories filled with trendy posts. Let’s list a few of them.
Some more Tik-Tok…
It’s truly very motivating to see that many are going that extra mile to ease the tension around us and pulling through this tough phase in such simple ways all while using the platform that is most disposable at the moment.
Virtually socializing – one of many banes of social media.
That said, it is also important to acknowledge that this category of people are the PRIVILEGED ones. Think about it.
If you are working from home, you are privileged to have a job that gives you that luxury.
If you are in lockdown, you are privileged enough to have a roof over your head.
If you stocked up on food, you are privileged enough to be able to afford food.
If you are sane while social distancing, you are privileged enough to have a supportive family to keep you in that level of sanity.
Not everyone can work from home. Small business owners of restaurants and moving companies, daily wage workers, migrant workers, low disposable income holders for the most part – are struggling to make ends meet.
Never mind working from home, paying rent is a gargantuan feat for them. People are queuing up at stores at the wee hours of dawn, dressed up in trending attire with their noses and mouths blanketed by face masks and hands insulated by gloves, just to get hold of the fast flowing bread and tissue rolls.
And not to forget the older people who are scared for their lives to enter the stores for they fear catching the virus.
And the place you think you are the most safest in, the place you call HOME, is unfortunately, not the safest place for many people.
A lockdown only shuts them off from the problems lurking outside. But, little do you know that their bigger issues begin at home… through domestic violence. This is the grim reality.
India, for instance, enforced a nation-wide lockdown on the 24th of March. In just 11 days, government helplines have been buzzing away. It is reported that there were over 92,000 phone calls reporting domestic abuse and requesting protection from the same. Women and children are literally locked down in their homes with abusers.
There are so many people trying to live one day at a time. As fun and cool as social media posts look and sound, there is no need to enforce this as the new norm. Nobody needs to come out of this quarantine with a shiny skillset or with a well-toned body. So long we emerge mentally and physically healthy, we have already outdone ourselves.
Granted that the current generation only knows how to roll with changes and so being asked to slow down and breathe and self-reflect might seem like a yogic adventure to a lot of us. But, that’s all this period of shelter-in-place calls for.
“Now that you are working from home, you have a lot of additional time” is sadly becoming a very common conjecture but it is an ABSOLUTELY INCORRECT assumption. With a virus ruling the roost, it is hard enough for us to keep up with the news and deal with the accompanied mental anxiety. Additional time, if any, goes away in dealing with our stress levels. So, expecting anyone to bring their A-game to work and quarantined life is ridiculous and insensitive.
It is our responsibility to stop enforcing productivity . This is a global pandemic which will cause ripples of mental tension whether you like it or not. Productivity is a coping mechanism for some of us. But, it is just not the primary goal of this torturous phase.
While you physically distance yourselves from the outside world, do engage in social solidarity and check up on your near and dear ones.
Mental health is THE most important thing right now.
Scary times indeed but we need to get to grips with it in the most humane ways possible. The world will heal and evolve into something new, something stronger while reminding us of its fragility.
Stay safe. Stay strong. Breathe.