Honestly, how many people would had heard of the term ‘lockdown’ till six months ago? Even if you had, it might have sounded as simple as lock and down. Nothing for us, ordinary people to be concerned with. Now, after more than three months of the lockdown due to the pandemic, the simple word ‘lockdown’ has surely lost its simplicity, eh?
The coronavirus, or COVID-19, has surely brought quite a few terms amidst us. Lockdown, social distancing, sanitisation, curfew, migrant workers, quarantine, containment zone, etc. All these words were alien to us a few months ago. It’s really funny to think how this tiny virus has made us realise our worth and made us bend on our knees.
Not only India, but even global superpowers are in the grip of this invisible thing. Never ever did we think that mighty “humans” would be caged in their homes and animals outside would wander without any interference. This pandemic has made us realise that we co-exist with other organisms on this plane — something we had almost forgotten.
I sometimes used to wonder whether airports or railway stations would ever take a break. But never in my wildest dreams did I think I would see my thoughts turn into reality. Whoever is undergoing this period is lucky enough to enjoy such a unique time, which will not arrive in ages, hopefully.
During this ongoing lockdown, I have understood a very peculiar trait of human beings. People are born to eat and are always hungry. While there are people battling with poverty, who are out of resources and only depending on the ration being provided by governments, many are fighting for a bag of 5 kg of rice despite having plenty in their homes.
I am talking about those who are pretending to be poor and keep on availing the government schemes actually meant for people battling with poverty. The government has gone mad shouting at people to maintain social distancing, but some people are so thick-headed that they are not ready to understand that the lockdown is not a ‘local holiday.’
When I tried explaining this to my neighbours, they came back at me, shouting, “If you want to die of corona or hunger, you are most welcome, but we shall die eating!” What if you don’t survive to eat your 5 kg free rice? It’s not about the free rice, it’s about humanity. When everyone is trying to help the poor, I am amazed to find a section of people who are still fighting for government aid despite being financially stable.
Right now, we all want some wise thoughts, the rest is secondary. People are going crazy because with so much time on their hands, they don’t realise where to start, ultimately making the person irritated and throw tantrums!
Initially, I felt like I was a participant of BiggBoss, and kept on performing tasks given to us by Modi Ji (The Big Boss)! The first and second phase of the lockdown were supposed to be the stricter ones. Yet, so many knowledgeable people flouted the government rules and regulations. The plight of the migrant workers surely made us all stand up and take notice.
Before the lockdown, nobody would have cared about these people. It was heartening to see them outpour sympathy and provide help to those in need after their national media coverage.
Even now, Bollywood actor Sonu Sood is doing the great task of making arrangements for people to go back to their homes, which is immensely commendable. Someone aptly tweeted: “Sonu Sood is my current favourite state government.”
Talking about state governments, the efficiency of some states in tackling the virus has been better than others. The Kerala government’s response as well as the Rajasthan Bhilwara model have been great examples of prompt corona-control response. Hats off to the measures taken by our governments to curb this pandemic.
Coming to my native State of Assam, the initial fast response and rapid setup of multiple quarantine facilities has helped a lot in keeping corona cases in check. It was quite inspiring to see our health minister, Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, actively working and personally following up on major developments.
He considers himself lucky to have received this opportunity to serve the nation in this difficult time. Then why can we not consider ourselves lucky and stay at home? Compared to his work, our job is very negligible and simple. We only have to stay at home. Ultimately, the efficiency of the administration in controlling such a contagious disease depends largely on peoples’ action.
One bright spot in these depressing times has been the opportunity to watch our great shows The Ramayana and The Mahabharata on TV, after ages. The saying ‘Old is Gold’ holds absolutely true for these shows, as they have smashed all viewership records and made their actors superstars on social media.
Also, going by the social media trends, this lockdown has made everyone a home chef and a home workout trainer. People are bombarding their social media platforms with pictures from their kitchens or workout space.
However, in the midst of all this, I seriously want to thank all homemakers, mothers and housewives who have been kind of quarantining like this since ages. This lockdown has made us realise a bit about their lives. I don’t think this lockdown has made much difference to their lives. Every day must be the same for them.
We have less number of news channels and websites that can give us real-time toll on corona cases and deaths, instead of frightening us, thanks to TRPs. Until then, stay safe, stay home.