Posted in Covid, Perspectives, Writing

Covid Perspectives

Curveballs

She heaves a sigh. A sigh of frustration, not relief. The deep breath gives momentary relief from the burdens of her heart. She has achieved the American dream. She came here as an immigrant and made it on her own. She is proud of the long way she has come. She has had her little pockets of happiness. The pink stuffed toys lined up in her car, the occasional indulgence at the salon, why, she even managed a trip to Disney. She was not the one to shy away from hard work. 10 hours a week, six days a week for the past 15 years. She did what it took to live a life of dignity. But life has been relentless in throwing curveballs. A dysfunctional family to support back home. Car break down, dental work, and the never ending pile of bills. Just one thing after the other. And now, this insurmountable curveball called COVID 19 has knocked her down. The retail store that she worked in let her go. None of her clients want her cleaning services. How is she going to muster the strength to get up? Who is going to pay for her groceries this week? What about rent? Car insurance? The monthly transfer she does to family back home? She has something more immediate to worry about than Covid. Her next meal. She is one of the 16 million people who have filed for unemployment in the past three weeks. 

Posted in Covid, Perspectives, Writing

Covid Perspetives

Covid is all we have been talking and reading about for the past few weeks. My brain is now a mish mash of voices from all that talking and reading.  I feel the itch to give life to these voices, to examine the pandemic from different points of views. I am taking a stab at it in the form of short anecdotes I am writing in second person. There is some reality (not necessarily my own) and a lot of imagination in exploring these perspectives. 

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Survival Instincts

She has poor survival instincts. She is the kind that would rush to help her neighbors when her own house is on fire. She has the compulsive need to give back, to be part of something bigger, to make a difference in the world.  The pandemic has brought humanity to its knees. She is acutely aware that living a healthy life is a privilege. Being able to maintain social distance is a privilege. The hardest part about the lockdown has not been the lack of social life or the scrambling around for groceries. It has been about  not being able to do anything with this privilege. Not being able to get out, lighten the load, and give back to the community. She feels incomplete, useless, and trapped. As she wallows in self-pity, her eyes rest on her family. They are beaming. They have flourished in the glorious family time in the past several weeks. They are safe. They are healthy. They are complete. And she knows it is partly because she prioritized them over her need to make a difference. And in doing so, she realizes she has made a difference of a different kind. Maybe this was life’s way of building her survival instincts?

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Covid Chronicles – Routines

Over the past three weeks, we have slipped into a routine of sorts. For the first time today since the stay at home saga began, the boys said they miss school. Over the weekend, there were some rumblings – “did you see how snappy he was?”, “ We are not sick of each other yet but we are heading in that direction.” So we had to shake things a little bit this week so we could create some space in togetherness. We also resolved to hit the pause button on Netflix binging from Monday to Friday in an effort to cut our screen time and make room for some more meaningful activities. 

6:00 to 7:30 am – wake up, bath, prayer, meditation, appa-amma call, dishwasher unload, prepare lunch and dinner, news catch up on podcast

7:30 to 8:30 am – catching up with work emails, daily check in call with the team

8:30 to 9:00 am – check in with kids, breakfast time. 

9:00 to 12:00 pm – work

12:00 to 12:15 pm – catch up with kids while having lunch

12:15 to 12:45 pm – go out for a jog

12:45 pm – resume work

3:00 pm – tea and snack break

5:45 pm – wind up work

6:00 pm – dinner preparation, touch point with friends here and there, news catch up on podcast

7:00 pm – kids activities via zoom/family time – carom/TV

8:00 pm – catch up – work emails, personal emails, social media

10ish pm – hit the sack

Wash. Rinse. Repeat. If monotony and lack of social life are our biggest complaints, we should consider ourselves blessed.

Stay safe, stay healthy, stay home.