When Prime Minister Narendra Maudie announced the 21-day blockade, most of our company slaves were happy. We didn’t care about dying from the apocalyptic coronavirus, we were just happy that our tired bodies and minds could finally feel the warmth of work at home. I’m tired of sneaking around our offices a few hours a day with back problems that would scare off an 80-year-old nanny for her money. But after a few days, and the excitement faded with the deaths of more than 34,000 people worldwide, I think it suddenly hit us: This is not a luxury we can afford, we are at the epicentre of the biggest pandemic the world has seen lately and it is time to get back on our feet and become much more serious. He could kill anyone. The only way to escape is to stay at home and stay away from everyone, beloved or unloved. And then comes the fear, followed by fear and panic.
Originally from Bombay, I moved to Delhi to work there, and although it’s been over a year, I still can’t believe… the place. I don’t care about the old saying that Bombay is so safe and all, no, it’s my home and that’s why I prefer it. And yes, the fact that in some places (Bombay is not as safe as you think) I can walk without being stung reassures me.
One of the many things that bothered me the most was that I couldn’t find decent people to keep up. So when I moved out of my old apartment with my great neighbor Nea-ta, we unfortunately took different roads, because we had a different view of how close the balconies of the neighbors were to ours – without touching me. She is in Delhi, and I am in Noida, with its huge societies surrounded by barren fields and visited by stray dogs and cows. And if the place where I live is as lush as it gets, my roommate might as well kill me with her irresponsibility. Because in her dictionary, if she’s ever seen it, there’s no social exclusion, no self-quarantine, no, she says: Why are you taking this seriously? Nothing’s going to happen. They’re paranoid and they’re harassing everyone around you.
Ah, ignorance is bliss, no wonder all stupid people are so happy. It almost reminded me of that TikToker who licked the public toilet seat and got a Covid-19 (he didn’t really do it, he just did it to get attention. Sigh).
WTF!!! That’s for sure! Lick the toilet now! pick.twitter.com/C2iaRHxHa
– Gabe Slabau (@GabrielSlaybau1) 23. March 2020.
While most of us (I) are going crazy and don’t even want to stock up on supplies and food, my great roommate, whose house is two hours away, called his two friends and decided to throw a party. They go out two or three times a day, to my great disappointment, and when I correct that she is not allowed to invite people and wear a mask when she goes downstairs, she finds the most absurd solution: don’t let them go. They’re still here.
And here I am, more than a week later, hiding in my room, cooking and using the kitchen at dawn, hoping that this crazy tyrant doesn’t breathe next to me. She refuses to do the dishes herself, let alone the house. So every time I want to cook, I go into the kitchen with my cleaning products, bleach and everything else, do a complete cleaning, boil, rinse, take a shower (in case she sneezes and the particles stick to me) and then eat.
And that’s because the girl can’t stop herself from going out. It’s amazing that someone can be so educated (he or she is a software developer) and so full of crap when it comes to his or her own health and safety and that of others, all in one person. Thus, after countless requests from me and my beautiful life partner, she does absolutely nothing to remain cautious and unintentionally threatens my health like everyone else. I had to bring out my inner Ursula/Professor Umbridge/Jude. One false phone call to the police and the girl never comes out. At least for me. I can still hear the main entrance opening and closing around 2 a.m. when she goes out with her rogue brigades. Sigh. Honestly, puja, what kind of behavior is this?
But I realized she was right about her character, and I was wrong. I’m still lucky to have a place where I can stay away from such poisonous, literally poisonous people. This is in contrast to the unfortunate and financially weak migrant workers, who are irrigated by sanitary facilities before being crammed into the buses that take them to their villages. I’m grateful for that. But there are lessons this pandemic has taught me about my lifestyle, truths it has brought to my attention and, most importantly, it has made me aware of what is really important in life. It’s not that we don’t know that family and love come first, but now that we are all confronted with our mortality, it hits us even harder. That’s what I’ve learned so far.
Always have a friendly roommate for, it is important to live with someone who is not stupid and who shares the same values with you, whether it’s kindness or hygiene, you can not clean for everyone. They should stay with a clean/sanitary person like you, with the same level of cooperation as you, and smart enough to recognize a problem, especially a pandemic of this magnitude. Moreover, one should never make the mistake of sharing a room if one is over 20 years old, if one does not live with one’s parents, that’s something else.
Invest in yourself. I regret that I decided to buy this very expensive Zara dress and not a kettle, induction cooker and rice cooker. I made it cost about the same as the dress. And all he does is sit in my closet. While the dress seemed like an investment in me at the time, I now understand that the nourishment of body and soul is much more important. When we live alone, we tend to neglect ourselves, eat unhealthy foods, skip meals, pay too much attention to work, burn ourselves to the bone. But it can’t hurt to invest a little money in your own comfort.
Enjoy your own business. I see that many of my colleagues feel very uncomfortable at home because they all like to have fun and live on weekends. I was lucky here, I was never cool, so I never went out, I never had a teenage party, I just sat at home and read while my mom was screaming: Why do you always exaggerate? YOUR BENEFACTIONS. So for me it’s mainly my life, of course it’s forced now, but if you stay in a place like Noida that’s not safe for women, you end up in hospital.
Take care of your family. At a time like this, when I am forced to say goodbye to my family, my dear Ammy and Abba, I realized that no matter how much people love you and how much they are willing to support you, blood is thicker than water, and the lack of specific support from me has really sunk me.
Be friendly. Even though my roommate is class A and doesn’t deserve any kindness from me, I do my best, every now and then I leave her a good dose of ginger turmeric at the kitchen table, I offer her my clean food and I don’t bother her for cleaning, but I do it myself, because it’s Navratri and she’s hungry. I feel good because she still regrets that I am too paranoid to wash my hands every time I touch a surface. Better safe than sorry!
Consider yourself blessed It is easy to feel a lot of negativity and pressure at a time when the world around you is clearly collapsing. But you can consider yourself lucky, we stay at home, do our job, sort bank balances (so to speak), refrigerators for at least a few weeks, and have the comfort of having access to more resources when needed. And then you see videos on social networks where migrant workers walk back to their villages for days, they are irrigated by health workers before getting on their suburban bus, they scream that they don’t have money to buy food for their families if they work hand in hand, and they go unnoticed. So be grateful that you have the luxury of complaining about the outcome when a migrant worker is beaten up by the police because he dares to provide food for his family.
Your body is a temple. This pandemic has proven that good immunity is the key. Just because you’re isolated, you don’t have to stop training. Try your homework, yoga, meditation, it will not only distract you, but it will also help you stay calm and make sure your bones don’t rot from all the Netflix and chills.
Be better prepared. That’s all there is. Learn a lesson from this pandemic and hope you survive, so that if the world breaks down again, we can solve the problems before it’s too late.
(All opinions belong to the author and are not intended to offend anyone, not even a neighbor of the author. Names have been changed to protect the author).
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