By Anjali V Raj
We have heard enough woesome news of COVID-19 pandemic and I am not here to add any more to it. The pandemic has taken a lot of lives and brought huge economic loss but there are a few beneficial aspects that resulted from the pandemic. It has provided us with time in our busy automated life to pursue some of our deepest passions which where given lower priorities before. Slowly, tilting away from the race course one has set, we are discovering ourselves. Some started writing, some gardening while some others decided to cook, sing, paint, dance and more. Sudden push towards passion in cooking, especially baking, resulted in an increasing number of entrepreneurs. Moreover, there is a surge in the number of bloggers and vloggers.
People living away from family decided to come back home, to their safe haven, to refresh their memories and tastes. In the sea of troubles caused by the pandemic, these life boats keep us afloat to sustain our optimism. A nation-wide lockdown with fewer vehicles on the road made morning strolls along the sidewalks more pleasant with cleaner air. Singing birds replaced the music through earphones; light breeze could be enjoyed with no fear of getting a dust bath. Everything seemed calmer despite the chaos around us.
With the pandemic our world has shifted from physical to digital mode with increasing online activities and the ‘e’ version of everything. Theatres and concerts have come home and the live audience is enjoying them within their cozy space. With a good internet connection work from home works fairly well for many. Work from home is a boon to some who enjoy getting a little of both home and work at the same time. To wake up late with no worries about the endless traffic or getting late to office, having not to fuss on our appearance or dress and thereby reducing our weekly laundry load are some add-on’s to this situation. With the pandemic and nationwide lockdown, vehicular pollution has declined considerably resulting in the reduction of carbon footprint of each individuals.
With the pandemic seminars and workshops have become online making it available to a larger audience anywhere in the world. This arrangement is economic and easier to organize. Previously there were limitations; it was not feasible for many to attend a seminar or workshop due to location, travel, etc. Webinars have made information available to the interested audience hassle free.
Acquiring a job has always been a troublesome matter not to mention at the present situation. Physical presence for interviews after being shortlisted is another trouble when the interview location is quite distant. Increasing COVID cases, lockdowns and social distancing have forced many organizations to conduct job interviews online which was considered impossible by them previously. This situation is beneficial to many candidates who previously had to travel long distance, arrange accommodations just to attend an interview and regret about these expenses if not selected after the interview. With online interviews these expenses are eliminated with no remorse for money being wasted. Some find it less intimidating and feel more confident/relaxed during online interviews due to familiar atmosphere around them despite the new faces.
Children have been enjoying a fun time having their very long vacation from school with no early rising and sauntering to schools. Students are delighted with their online classes/lectures where they can yawn and sleep as much they wish without getting caught. Duration of school hours being cut short and sometimes shorter classes with the technical glitches bring euphoria among the attendants. Not to mention the fun and burden of online tests, quizzes and assignments at the end of each class. They are in a state of frenzy and excitement when the final exams are pushed towards God knows when.
While some enjoy these situations, there are others who are not having a good time with the present arrangements. Confining ourselves within a boundary for a long duration is a disturbing and difficult exercise. Many have befriended books, music and yoga during this period of isolation and they have found solace in this new friend. Sometimes it is better to let the troubles slip through our mind rather than lamenting them; this enables us to move forward with optimism. The pandemic has strengthened us to overcome our limitations by trapping us within a fence. Challenges help us discover many untouched possibilities and nourishes our innate potential. With time we start to adjust and accept even unpleasant situations. We make truce with it and then slowly the memories from past fade with the present replacing them. The pandemic life has become the new ordinary. I wonder if we would miss our life of social distancing and masks whence this is over. Fear for life reminds us that we are alive which we tend to forget at times.
Anjali V Raj is a research assistant at ATREE, Bangalore.
Cafe Dissensus Everyday is the blog of Cafe Dissensus magazine, born in New York City and currently based in India. All materials on the site are protected under Creative Commons License.
Read the latest issue of Cafe Dissensus Magazine, “Shaheen Bagh and the Anti-CAA Protests: The Struggle to Create New Concepts”, edited by Huzaifa Omair Siddiqi, JNU, New Delhi, India.