Life After Quarantine

by Soumya Maniyar

It has been a long time since we are locked down in our houses. Initially, we thought it would be 21 days and now this lockdown has been extended.

Well for starters it’s good we all are locked inside our house because I don’t see this epidemic ending in the near future. It’s wise to avoid as much social contact as possible. After all, we want to be safe and we want to keep our loved ones safe.

Another way to look at this is we are all locked in the safety of our houses, with our families at our side and every day enjoying some or the other delicacy of our kitchen. When was the last time we had spent so much time with our family? I don’t quite remember the time I was so closely connected to all my family members. Not only that we are enveloped in the comforts of the 21st century, connecting us with our friends and family virtually as well. Life has been made so easy for us in this lockdown. All we have to do is stay inside and stay safe.

We will get through this. We have managed to get this far; we didn’t die from cabin fever. We learned to cook new dishes and discovered novel indoor activities, like cleaning up. Sure, being ordered by the government rankles most of us. But it’s a sacrifice we can get used to, if only for a while. It’s critical to stay home, not just for your health but to minimize the risk to others. As it turns out, this bit of self-quarantine might be the easiest part of the whole COVID-19 grind.

While I was talking to some of my friends the other day, out of the blue we started discussing what our lives would be after this is over. Once we return to normal, will everything remain normal? We don’t have any clue of what will happen because COVID-19 is staying for long for now and will not leave us until we have a vaccine.

People around the world have no idea what our lives would be after we emerge out as winners in this battle against the virus. Me and my friends were thinking about how our lives would be. Speculating that we all agreed on one thing, it will not remain normal for sure.

Well to start with, our environment would become purer and healthier. Recovered from all the injuries it had been suffering over the years and would have suffered if the normal human life would have continued. Here is an amazing thought, when this pandemic is over, we will be living in a much nicer environment, ensuring that life on earth continues for a much longer time.

The world economy is suffering a lot, a well-known fact, people are worried about their jobs and how they will earn and how will the countries cope up from all this. This is something all the intellectuals and bureaucrats are thinking about at the moment. But for me, what I have been thinking is when this all would be over will there be a time again when every other day, I would talk to any of my family members living far from me. Will there be a time again when I can sit and play all sorts of my childhood games with my parents again. Will there be a time again that the whole family would cook and eat together? Honestly, I don’t think so.

There’s no such thing as a “foreign virus.” It’s foolish to have thought that borders have any meaning for viruses. Those who respond poorly to an epidemic might merit criticism, but if you’re going to criticize, you better not bungle your own response. While it’s true that some quarters in our political spectrum prefer to rail against foreigners, we’re coping with a virus that’s indifferent to ethnicity and nationality. Closing the gates and vilifying outsiders is pointless in the face of a disease that already has taken hold in our midst and recognizes no race, colour or creed.

This sure is a difficult time, a time all of us hope never returns. But I think this time has in a way been the most relaxing time for everyone. We all did all those things we normally don’t have time for. We had more time to look after ourselves, to pay more attention to our daily activities, to take care of our body. We have revived our childhood memories with our parents. The reminiscences have served us a time that we all are going to remember for our lifetime, nicely and disturbingly because it was a dish plated well but not cooked too delicious.

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