Pandemic, You Beauty

Talking about the unnoticed things of the hush-hush year

Photo by Zach Vessels on Unsplash

Pandemics are rare. They probably occur once-in-a-century and I certainly didn’t think I’d be here to face one.

It wasn’t until countries started imposing lockdowns that I realized this was serious. Stores, entertainment centers, schools — everything was shut and you only got to go out for emergencies.

Nobody had seen something like that ever.

It was a painful sight but I couldn’t tune down my excitement for something new happening. Amidst the chaos, I loved experiencing a few Lil’ things that made this year, one of the best of my life.

The distance brought us close

I remember my friends going mad for having to stay at home all day. All our lives, we’ve cribbed about wanting that but when we finally got it, we lost our minds in a week! Of course, we’d taken our social lives for granted all this while.

Initially, everyone was figuring out ways to pass the hour, trying to have fun virtually. We tried everything from playing group matches of Ludo, virtually partying at Houseparty, cooking god knows how many recipes in the world, watching all kinds of trendy and non-trendy shows on Netflix, and our most beloved, endless scrolling on Social Media.

Everything got boring.

But the distance brought us close. People wanted to stay connected. We literally tried to spend time together in ways that were as close to being in person as possible. It was fascinating — especially because, we got clarity on who we did and didn’t want to spend our time with.

And guess what? Some people were never important in the first place.

From pandemic to passion

24 hours never seemed so long until we had to stay home all day. Worse yet — when Work From Home & Online Studying hadn’t kicked in.

We had to figure out a gazillion ways to keep ourselves entertained and there was only so much that we could’ve done. So we turned to our passions. Some of us grew a new passion and some went back to the ones that faded in time. For the first time, we were not bound by anything or answerable to anyone.

I met with my long-lost passion for writing in the pandemic. It’s been 9 months since and from the looks of it — it’s going great. Many of my friends had the same to say. A buddy got back to his passion for music and another — to dance. People took up painting, reading, creating, and everything in between, none of which would happen if it wasn’t for Covid. We’d still be working boring jobs and regretting not following our hearts.

Thanks to this mammoth break that left us no choice but to do what we love.

Birds were having the time of their lives

The huge glass window in my living room directly faces the main road, which usually is full of people and vehicles. I clearly remember my first morning after the lockdown was announced.

I looked through my window and saw a dozen crows lined-up right in the middle of the road! They kept hopping, rattling, and well, crow-ing around. Even the sparrows and parrots would keep chirping all day long. They had the entire world to themselves — quite a party.

From what I saw, the birds were having the most fun. Not that we didn’t see them in the city before. For some reason, they just weren’t as noticeable pre-lockdown.

I envied them for not having to stay trapped inside four walls.

Empty roads were the charm

To live in Mumbai — one of the most populated cities of India, seeing empty roads is a rare sight even during the nighttime. The city would run, hustle and bustle all around. Trains, cars, buses, bikes, and people — oh so many people! The roads would always be jampacked and the annoying noises would keep stinging in your ears. Only a miracle could pause a city like that, or so I thought.

The lockdown was miracle enough.

The roads were completely empty, not a soul around. It was calming and it was good to know that nobody was going anywhere. Everybody was sitting at home — not doing anything even if they wanted to.

I like to call it — The Global Sabbatical at Home.

All of us in the same boat

Countries have been fighting over territorial and historical matters for decades. I understand, we feel for our country and want the best for it. But the stage of advancement we’re at as a global community should be least concerned with these matters.

We are moving towards a peaceful world but the pandemic was the first time that I saw all the countries fighting something together. It was so full to see that when the problem was on all of us, internal matters got misty.

We worked together because of our selfish reasons, no doubt there. And maybe because we didn’t have any other option either. But the pandemic was reason enough to know that Global peace and harmony don’t concern materialistic matters. All we need is the confidence that we have each other’s back no matter what.

Ride together, die together.

Staying at home was never our first choice. It still isn’t — well, for most of us. But now that we have for almost a year, I’m not sure how ready are we to move back to the pre-pandemic way of living. I mean…

I miss working in an office but working from home saves me time and energy.

I miss grocery-shopping at the supermarket but doing it from home is so much more convenient.

I miss the classroom lectures, but at-home lectures are so comfortable.

The Covid-19 pandemic shattered us, made us one, and somehow — birthed a new world.

I’m going to miss the pandemic.

This story is in response to Anna Maltby’s writing prompt: Pandemic Reflections. If you have a story to tell as the pandemic nears the one-year mark, feel free to take part.

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