India has been in a lockdown since around 6 weeks now and I have been coming across various reports analysing the change in behaviour and lifestyle of the people all over the globe( We will specifically talk about India here though). There are debates on if or no the life will go back to the way it was or ‘Normal’ as we call it once we get over this pandemic. It is then that I asked myself a question (I do that a lot these days😬) Do I really want life to go back to the way it was or ‘Normal’?
Personally, the answer would be NO, I don’t want to go back to ‘Normal’. Before you guys lash out at me for being crazy and wicked, let me reason this out.
Of course I don’t want people to suffer and die due to this pandemic and I am definitely not going to discuss the economy here as I am no expert (Yes I am no ‘Pappu’ to poke my nose in anything and everything). But as it is said, there are always pros and cons to any situation and I am loving the pros of this one and I hope the cons go away very soon.
To start with, we all have realised that most of us can work from home, effectively and efficiently. Yes there are delays at times and cheers to the realisation that nobody dies if a piece of information or a document is delayed by a day or so. All the situations are manageable and people can be accommodative if they want to.
The next best thing is that we finally have started acknowledging mental health as a genuine and real problem. I have come across many communications on social media creating awareness and generating support for the people dealing with mental health issues in these difficult times. I believe acknowledging a problem is the first step towards solving it.
According to an article published by the New York Times on 6th April 2020, the cases of cardiac arrests or heart attacks have gone down by around 40-60% around the globe post Covid and similar observations have been noted in India. Though the exact reasons are unknown, is it because of the reduced stress? Most of us are doing the same job, rather many of us are working more and managing the household work as well and still showing a positive health index. This takes me back to a very important question- In my ‘normal’ life, do I stress or fuss over unnecessary things and makes me wonder if there is something really wrong with our definition of a ‘normal’ lifestyle.
Next we talk about the effects on the environment. Yes we are breathing a cleaner air and drinking cleaner water. It’s not me but the AQI (Air Quality Index) report across cities in India that says so. According to a report published by Bloomberg, prior to the lockdown, 14 out of 20 most polluted cities in the world belonged to India; however, post the lockdown, only 1 Indian city (Mumbai) was a part of that list. There are reports saying the waters of Ganga and Yamuna, prominent Indian rivers, are cleaner than before. Did we expect this to happen, ever? I agree the effects could be short-lived but then again it is proven that it is possible to manage the pollution.
The most miraculous thing about the Covid-19 situation is that the Governments (Centre and state) along with the opposition are working together in the national interest (barring a few nut-heads). This has never happened in the history of Indian politics and shows that it is doable. Also, Indian citizens and media has realised that there are plenty of other topics to discuss other than politics.
For once we are applauding and appreciating the people who really matter. Though they have been great always, we at least acknowledged their efforts now. Better late than never! We have understood the importance of the jobs that we considered insignificant normally like the cleaning marshals, ward boys, nurses, police and everyone who help us lead a clean and healthy life daily. I hope that this feeling of gratitude stays post lockdown as well.
Now we come to the most important and primary aspect- Humanity. I can see so much care and love around. People are helping each other, helping the people in need, taking care of the homeless and poor. There are so many people working incessantly to make life easier for those who are affected most due to the lockdown. If we don’t go back to ‘normal’, I feel this world won’t be that bad a place to live in.
Lastly, I am astound with the positivity people are spreading in these times of distress. It is ironical though that in the ‘Normal’ times all we could talk about was the end of the world and when we thought the end was near (well almost!), how very hopeful we have become and I am absolutely spellbound by this aspect of humanity.
There are only 2 things that I don’t expect to change, in India atleast, ever- One is the media and other is the communal hatred. God help Indians until they get rid of these pests.
Lastly, I hope this pandemic ends very soon and life starts moving but does not go back to the old normal. I wish for a ‘new normal’ post the lockdown where we continue all that we are doing in this lockdown (apart from excessive sleeping) and make this world a better place. I believe, if we get over this, we can get over anything.
Stay Home, stay safe. Take care of your loved ones (and all that the TV commercials say)