It has been about 10 days in lockdown mode here in India. Life has changed for everyone all across the country as it has, undoubtedly, in all countries. We are discouraged from even stepping out for a breath of fresh air. While the number of Coronavirus cases in India has not yet gone out of hand, everyone expects the number to peak in the next few weeks. A 21 day lockdown may extend further unless the cases recede to a rate of single digit per day. It has been 10 days and here are a few of my observations:
- The fruits and vegetables supply has been good. The couple of times that I have had the opportunity to step out, I saw that there were a good number of veggie shops open.
- The situation with groceries seems to be improving. Where it was difficult to find home-delivery options in the first few days of the lockdown, I now see a slow return of shops delivering groceries to the door (or gate step), which is good.
- Online shopping services are on-hold. Amazon did not deliver a package that I had ordered after the lockdown began although the expected delivery date was only two days later.
- Medicines and masks are in short supply. The medical shops, albeit open, are low on stocks as well. In both the shops that I visited in my locality, I saw people turned away for a lack of availability of masks. Of course, social distancing norms meant that there were circles marked on the ground indicating where one needs to wait for their turn.
Over the past few weeks, if there is one lesson to be learnt, it is that the times are extremely fluid. Sports persons always talking of remaining in the moment. This is a test of that phrase and thinking for all of humanity. How much can we focus on the present and not think of the next vacation, the next month or the beginning of school for the kids. Simply face every day as it comes. So difficult to do, but the only way to handle the scenario that we are presented with.
Office work appears to be another story altogether. Work has proven to keep everyone busier than usual, with the expectations that one is available full time, since we are at home. I have heard this common remark from many people – meetings seem to take up all the time during the day. At the office, if someone finds that one is not available at their cubicle, they return later, or drop an email. Nowadays, it becomes a phone call or a planned meeting. The lines between home and the office blur when everyone is at home and one has to do office work.
I find myself facing two different worlds. One is a virtual world, where the office demands and the need to get things done exist. The other is the real world where the family is at home, the news and talk of COVID-19 engulfs any media channel – social, news or discussions. I try my hardest to ensure that the two are kept separate. I can imagine that it isn’t easy to find a balance for many of us. How are you coping with this new reality brought home by the Coronavirus?