Coming Together With Pandemic

Gomathi Sridevi

Copyright 2022 by Gomathi Sridevi

Photo by the author.
Photo by the author.
The year 2020 was filled with an unexpected guest named Covid19. Many people's dreams, plans, and wishes crashed down with the arrival of the Corona Virus. It's strange that how a tiny thing could do severe damage to lives.
As they say, a small ant can kill an elephant.
 We shouldn't be careless about this virus since it costed so many deaths. Though the Covid19 had its disadvantages, it did have perks. And I was one among them, who had gotten benefit out of this. My family and I weren't affected, and as an outsider, I learned many lessons through this lockdown.
After my graduation in 2018, I took a break from everything. I didn't own a phone for the last two years since I didn't want any distractions. I was not a social animal, and my friend circles were also not much. I was a quiet person who loved to be in her little bubble. I decided to take some personal time off from my studies and work. I spent my time in the home with my parents. I was happy to be with my parents because my brothers were busy in different places. Being quarantined was not unusual for me since I had been practicing it for the past two years.
The sudden lockdown came as a shock to many of my family members. The first month of lockdown was something emotional to many of us. We received calls and made calls to our close ones to make sure they were safe. And the receiving of calls gradually decreased when the lockdown time increased.
Few things changed in my everyday activities because of this quarantine. I always wondered about people who wear masks every day to works and offices. Where in most countries, people wear masks to prevent air pollution. But never in my life did I expect that I would wear one. And to my surprise, I started to wear masks to protect myself from the pollution and the virus. I found it difficult to get used to it since it was hard for me to breathe at first. But by wearing it often, it became a habit to leave the house with a mask on my face. I must admit that wearing a mask was good for our health too. Virus or not, it kept us away from pollution, and I developed a habit of wearing it.
During the starting of the quarantine, a new habit of mine became following the news. I never cared about current affairs, and I rarely followed news channels. But I found myself reading and watching television to know more about the current status of the world. I started to read articles about the spread of the virus and its causes. I developed a habit of watching the news along with my parents. It became a habit of mine to check the number of people and countries affected before bed.
During the lockdown, I noticed some changes in my mother's health condition. She never gave me housework since I was preparing for job interviews. But I regret the moment I observed her body. She was getting weak because of loads of work in the house. To make her workload minimum, I took up the kitchen area. I watched youtube videos and learned to cook. Since cooking and I didn't have good chemistry, I mostly ended up with burnt food items. Though many dishes ended up in failure, I was happy that I helped my mother and gave her some time off from the kitchen. With time, I learned to cook with the help of the internet and my mother's guidance. I tried many recipes and ate together with my family while sharing sweet conversations.
I was a messy person who loved to keep things anywhere. I rarely paid much attention to my surroundings since I got busy with exams. But I spared some time to clean my room and also my house every day. I was never the type of person who wakes up late. But this quarantine made me lazy, and I ended up waking up half-past eight in the morning. This new habit led me to get several scoldings from my parents, who had a hard time kicking me out of my bed. 
To get out of this habit, I started working out since it kept me fit and active. But after getting tired of intense workouts, I decided not to lose any more weight. I felt like it became my obsession, which almost made me have eating disorders.
I decided to improve my flexibility instead of shedding weight. In this quarantine, I started to learn Pilates from home. I felt good about my body since I was not forcing and torturing it. I was happy with myself and the little changes in my habits. I took time to appreciate myself and learn new things during this phase. 
In this lockdown, I became more cautious about food. I always had a habit of having leftovers after my lunch or dinner. But with quarantine, the area where we lived had minimum supplies of food items. We couldn't buy everything in one go. I learned not to waste any food after eating. I realized the difference between my needs and wants. Since there was a financial crisis running in my house, I bought the necessary things instead of the things I wanted. 
Was I the only one being happy with this lockdown?
Whenever I looked at my neighbors, they were in a panic about the sudden spread of the virus. But I was there smiling while seeing my brothers living with us. It might sound crazy, but as my brothers and I grew up, we rarely had time to spend with each other. It's been quite a few years since their visit to our house because of their work and busy schedules. Seeing them, speaking with them, and eating with them brings back nostalgia.
The year 2020 was the year where I was about to lose hope in my life. Being unemployed for almost two years, I felt like a complete and utter failure. I was oblivious about the future and wondered whether I had one. I felt my life was going nowhere and was afraid to let down my parents. I was the girl who was unsure about her doings and questioned my existence. 
During this quarantine period, I met with several failures and disappointments. I had been going under lots of pressure and stress. The exams, the interview for the new jobs, and the applications for higher studies got rejected. I didn't know how to or what to feel. I fail in something which I don't like. I felt like I had lost myself somewhere and have been going behind something I don't like. I decided to take time for myself and realize what I need in my life.
I started to focus on enjoying the present than worrying about the future. Writing and working out had always been my escape from everything. I created an account and started to write blogs and short stories online by publishing them. And I was thankful that I followed my passion through ups and downs. 
After going through this pandemic situation, I learned the most valuable thing in my life.
Living a happy life is what matters at the end of the day.  
Now that I think about it, I was thankful and happy that I was alive and healthy. Being unemployed or employed doesn't matter when it comes to the current situation around the world. Rich or poor, everyone was affected since the virus wasn't aware of such things. The money did no good by saving people from the virus spread. The money, the status, and the properties had no value when compared to human lives. 
I was thankful for one thing that I had during this miserable phase.
My family.
Though I never shared my failures with them, I was happy to be with them. The small talks with them motivated me and encouraged me to fight furthermore.
I know this pandemic will not last long, and I don't want to miss this perfect opportunity to be with my family. Either the work or the cellphones distanced us though we were near. I don't know what the future holds on for us, but now I don't want to think about it. Nothing can stop us now from being with our family.
Many people were frustrated about the lockdown. But I always love to go through the motto
"Seeing the best through the worst."
One shouldn't get discouraged and disappointed with the current situation around the world. We were focusing on the worst scenarios by letting our hearts give up the ray of hope. But one should try to see what we have gained from this quarantine.
This pandemic has done one good thing, bringing the family members together. Let's not worry or feel depressed about this lockdown but find happiness in being with family. It's about how we look at the current situation.
Diseases and disasters will occur in the future as long as human lives. It's in our hands how we overcome the situation. It's our choice to let our hearts sink into depression or enjoy the present and appreciate the time.
After all, we never know when we will be together again.

Gomathi Sridevi, a budding writer from India. I am a Sociology graduate who is about to pursue Masters in journalism. I would describe myself best as a student who is quite interested in applying my learnings on Sociology for the benefit of the society.  My passion for writing can be attributed to my childhood habit of reading newspaper everyday. I took up interest on society and loved to pen down my thoughts through articles and essays.  I made efforts by contributing my ideas on societal matters through articles on several magazines to provide deep insights on the harsh reality of the society.

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