Yes, the lockdown sucks. I’m bored out of my mind already.

Yes, staying at home, with everyone around you, especially after the first couple of days, is probably not the best way you imagined spending the first half of the year.

However, amid all the covid-19 statistics, saddening/shocking/horrifying news, even more horrifying WhatsApp forwards, conspiracy theories and whatnots, I’ve
decided I want to spread a little positivity. Let’s review a few of the good, heart-warming, amazing things coming out of the lockdown.

There have been several reports of gradual positive impacts on the environment. Wildlife being free, foliage being revived, nature’s elements like several rivers and the ocean flowing without care once more. Yes, it’s because human production has considerably lessened, and thus the terrible pressure of humanly powers has vanished from Mother Nature’s various burdens. It probably won’t last much longer, but now that people have seen the powerful change that can be orchestrated with a stunning number of people in collaboration, it might affect a change in future positions that govern production, discharge and many other such ‘burdens’ on the planet.

People appreciating the medical fraternity more. Yes, there certainly still exist cases of people abusing and railing against doctors in India, but there is definitely a surge of people taking time out to express gratitude to the community as a whole. Even if it’s in the form of sharing an Instagram story, forwarding a WhatsApp text, banging utensils at the window at 5pm, it’s a small yet long overdue gesture of thanks. Even if you don’t believe in the medical fraternity’s capabilities, or don’t like to be attached to a so-called political agenda, you have to admit the number of people coming together is pretty impressive, no matter their reason for participation.

Then there’s so many instances of people who voluntarily have donated their time,
resources and other services that might benefit others in need. Be it in the form of a multi-million-dollar donation, or be it in a good Samaritan providing home- cooked food for those in their neighbourhood unable to afford it, the lesson to cake away is that humanity comes in all sizes and variations. It comes when an individual stands up for themselves as well as for one or more persons, without assuming they can be someone else’s problem, thank you very much. If we seek help from others in times of need, why should the inverse not be true?

The lockdown, and the consequent shutdown of several services might lead to people towards living a more minimalistic life. A life where you know what you need for absolute survival, and what you really don’t. Maybe barring a few withdrawal symptoms here and there, overall, most of us will come to the realisation that hey, the thing you thought you couldn’t live without? Turns out, you can! I believe this period will help with a better understanding of the divide between our needs and our wants, and at least for this period to stick to our needs and other’s. We are also eating out less, an activity which most of us now incorporate, more or less, as a hobby. We are eating fewer unhealthy calories, consuming home cooked food more, and being more mindful of our consumption overall. Several of us are attempting to use this period as an exercise in self-improvement, and that’s lovely. At the same time, it’s also helping us understand who the important people in our lives are.

We are getting closer to our families. Sometimes being forced to do something can lead to the thing eventually becoming a habit, or maybe even having you realise that you like doing it. Staying at home, surrounded by the people we live with – family or not – we might have started holding entire conversations with them. Even if the entire conversation is about the pandemic, worry not, it still counts. If it’s not, it’s a great escape from talking about it and getting to know each other better.

We are getting closer to friends, maybe even making new ones in the process. What if we did not have social media at this time of crisis? Oh, the horror. It’s probably the only thing keeping many of us still sane. Through creative ways on social media – using posts, video calls, online games – we’re all getting closer. Personally, not a big fan of the social media trends (school/college bingo, anyone?) but I think it’s beautiful how humans will keep coming up with more ways to share, associate and identify with one another, and keep the DMs flowing. We’re all socially distancing, but emotionally connecting.

Shravani Sawant