Isolation during lock-down

What is happening to us? In one month our lives come to a standstill. Or has it really?

Barely has it been a month since India announced its lock-down in response to Corona outbreak. But its effect has not been fully felt by many who wander the streets without a care. Everyone is just thinking about themselves. No one understands how a small slip can end up with them being a carrier of the disease and the vulnerable will end up succumbing to the virus.

Yes, life cannot come to a halt. It is not natural for living beings to be confined within enclosed spaces. It’s only hope that men will come to realize this about animals too. What are the repercussions of this? At first, it is just denial, shock maybe and yet, we adjust. In the 2nd phase, there is a dullness and confusion about the future. In the 3rd phase, confined spaces start making you claustrophobic. You are a little sad and your health suffers without physical activities. No amount of electronic entertainment cheers you up for good.

It’s time we notice this double-edged sword. On one hand, the aged and the young ones are the most susceptible to catching the virus and in fact the pandemic almost proves fatal to many aged. They are also the hardest to convince. To stay confined. Though family members are all under the same roof now, the time sought by the elderly and children for the earning members is more than ever.

Since economic activity cannot die, employers are driving employees to work from home or in many cases where a delivery is required, on the road too. The last few days, I have spent time volunteering in my community with many others to check vehicle movement in our area. One of the things we do while screening these vehicles is seek their ID, check for a pass, type of profession, compliance in terms of wearing mask/gloves or maintaining social distance. Not surprisingly, people who defy the rules are careless, arrogant and sometimes downright stupid. They argue for the sake of it. They think a lock-down is a curfew without logic. Some are genuinely traveling to deliver food or medicines for their parents or grandparents. Some have kids to keep quiet at home and get desperate to take them out. Who are we to judge?

We break down mentally too. After working from home and for home, we go out to volunteer to keep our communities safe from harm. We keep our spirits high so people who look up to us don’t get affected. How do you say this to a 24 year old bike rider without a helmet or mask, wears shorts and a tee with no closed shoes or gloves to get some wind in the air at the cost of others?

Responsibility is not about safeguarding only your family and yourself. It is towards every human. The vulnerable. The susceptible. The diseased. Times are hard but for everyone. No one will have a problem if you are walking alone on a street wearing a mask and maintain social distancing but tell that to a crowd and you will find a thousand others merging to discuss about why it is wrong to be told on what to do. There will always be people who fall within the limits of compliance and there will be more rebelling it.

However, think about the curve. In this case, a downward curve is the happiest place to be. Many states with fewer cases are getting out of the infections. It may not be time to rejoice yet but one has to understand what is working and what is not. We are lucky that there is still food on our tables. You are not really desperate. The homeless and the unemployed are. Think about them and part some of your precious dollars for their betterment. This is the time to invest in kindness for, karma is waiting to applaud your efforts.

This is also a good downtime for you to introspect and prioritize. Think about the next big opportunity. Go beyond greed. Think of the larger picture. Be unfashionable and be essential. You will not become obsolete so fast then.