I am getting up early these days by 5;00 am or so, somehow I feel a great calm and serenity takes over me when I wake up In these unprecedented times of coronavirus. Well, it’s a human lockdown and everyone is indoors. Went out for a brief walk to buy some essentials the fruit vendors, chemists and local stores where open. I could see some bikes parading the market streets but it was just people walking up to buy food, milk and rations, all looking like ghosts with their masks. The silent shops, streets and parked auto gave the morning an eerie feel. “ Who knows you could get the virus from a 100 rupee note also .” My grandmother had said to me over my conversations with her in the morning. I washed my hands three times since the morning going out and returning back to my room.
It seems the PM has asked everyone to light a Diya or a torch on the 5th of April, I kind of show of solidarity for our nations fight against the virus. I got a glimpse of BMC and the local health authorities in action when a spraying exercise took place in the colony near my hotel, a lot of the virus busting mixture came into my room, giving it a medicinal odor.
Social media is full of stories of Muslims spitting on the street and health workers being beaten up, to me that is very wrong at times like these we have to show support and stand with all the medics fighting the virus in our communities. Now the politicians have jumped in and highlighted the issue.
It has been very quiet this part of Mumbai in Chakala where my new room and hotel are. The only noise I get to hear is chirping of birds and the Azaan a call for prayer from the nearby mosque. In the afternoon and evening, it all goes quiet as people stay indoors and introspect. I have had complaints from many that they are getting bored with the lockdown. The Internet is full of videos of people using their time in an innovative manner in the confines of their houses. Many parts of the city have been quarantine and hot spots have been identified where the infected patients are coming from.
Just saw a video of Bill Gates advising the world on the pan epidemic he thinks it will be beyond May till we see the levels of infection plates and then fall off. Even my bank has relaxed its interest norms with regards to their credit card repayment. People can default and they will not have to pay extra interest, along with relief packages announced by the government and RBI. There is a feeling of unity and that everyone is in it together, that positive message will relive people of immediate social and economic suffering caused by the outbreak.
The empty streets outside my hotel room is a grim reminder of how bad the situation is and how scared people are because of the virus. The shops only remain open late mornings and then shut down, door to door services are operating but are disturbed in some hot spot areas. Contamination free milk with virus-proof packaging is being sold delivered to houses. Even newspaper brands have got promotional video’s out showing that all the newspapers are sprayed during production and touching or reading them will not transmit the virus to their readers has been going around. There is free in the consumer as to what he is eating, torching or consuming. Trade and sales in all major industries are down over 40% and the bear market is set to continue for a few quarters.
So what do we do in the meanwhile to remain uninfected and healthy? Take social distancing seriously and remain locked in the house for the entire period of national lack down. We should eat healthily and increase immunity towards the virus, stay vigilant and stay sanitized. Use this time to contemplate, chat with friends and do things we had always postponed for tomorrow, indoor activities preferred. A virus has sent the world in a different zone all together as our days and minds are consumed by it, we see news on it 24*7. During the day detach yourself from the drama and mediate, go inwards. I am happy that I have turned Vegan during this time as not much non-veg is available nor advisable in time like these. Till we can reduce infections and come out with an antidote that can be administered to everyone cheaply, all we can do is wait and watch.
How the cops, local officials, nurses, and doctors coping at times like these as I sit in the comfort of my room and mediate I would never know. But a prayer from my spirit goes out for them too during my morning meditations. This battle will be first won by the human spirit and it’s that realm of reality we need to open up within ourselves. Educate yourself on the virus, its symptoms, how it attacks the respiratory systems, what are its source and how it can be fought, get more knowledge about it from authentic sources. You can educate others by making fun videos on Tik Tok, there is a Digital challenge going on where people are dancing on music and showing people in steps how to wash their hands from Dettol. Keep your activity positive, humorous and informative that way you can help others and above all, you stay safe and healthy.
These are tricky times and no one has a road map in. Panic we are looking for experts, leading light and opinion makers to show us the way out and get things going , it is their duty to take us safely out of this quagmire.
Till then as people we [ray for Normalcy to return so that we can tide through these uncertain times and go back to our lives as it uses to be. But is that just our illusion will life be just the same after the coronavirus, I assure the world would have changed at least in outlook and thinking. We will be more proactive about the environment and consider nature, we really need to think about what kind of a world we want our children to inhabit. Till then all we can do is patiently wait till the time turns.