The Pandemic Diaries Series is an initiative by Pregnancy to Parenthood to embolden our Mamacitas to share their experiences during the lockdown. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only brought health and financial turmoils in our lives but also it has resulted in a significant increase in anxiety. Hopefully this initiative will help moms de-stress and share their part of pandemic story. “Lockdown and Me” is shared by Mamacita, Poonam Dongare who strongly believes that all is not lost in this pandemic.
In the early month of March 2020, I and my friends were planning to celebrate Women’s Day together. Excited to make it special and a getaway from family, we had almost booked our table in a Thai restaurant. During that time, the outbreak of the novel virus named Corona was making rounds but little did we imagine that it is going to affect us so much and make an everlasting impact on our lives. Slowly the fear crept in and left us more confused than being scared as we were not sure about what exactly is safe and what is not.
Six months down today though we have some information about precautions and personal hygiene, the confusion still lingers and the answer to the above question has become largely one’s personal choice. We all are in this together and am sure every house has a story to tell right from managing household chores to children to work and of course our relationships.
The initial days of lockdown seemed honeymoon time with no early morning alarm beeping, no quick tiffin to be packed and no running behind the kids to get them ready but as days passed by reality sunk in. The excitement of spending family time together slowly turned into irritation leading to frustration. The timing of turning on your grinder to putting on your pressure cooker had to all be coordinated with the office conference calls and not to forget with your toddler’s sleep time too! Sometimes depending upon the number of whistles the cooker would make the conference members would also guess what’s cooking..rajma or just dal! The messages from my husband’s phone would no longer be asking the grocery list instead be the restaurant-style recipe videos that I never imagined I would end up cooking them at home.
Never did I bother about preserving curry leaves and green chillies in a freezer, but the pandemic taught me to do as well as there was no online shopping option for Indian groceries. This led to hoarding of dals and atta (whole wheat flour) and of course the Indian tea leaves without which our desi kitchen cannot function. Whatsapp messages from friends and relatives back from India asking our well being would scare us as they knew more about the USA case numbers than us! Indian news channels as always would be more interested in what’s happening here than in their own country!
Being away from your home country in such times is always difficult. Constant worry about parents and relatives keeps us up at night. Switching between two news channels, keeping a track of cases here and there just adds on to the worries. Phone calls with families would end more often by saying take care and stay safe than saying see you soon. Silent prayers hoping to see each other soon would always be in mind. No matter how developed and progressive the foreign country is, at times of distress you always miss your home country just like how we remember our mothers!
As there was no reason to get ready and no more selfies, my new interest was now in the presentation of my new dishes as uploading them on social media, made me feel proud and I looked forward to my friend’s comments. One such day a thought struck me and left me pondering over it since then. Due to this pandemic, many people are left jobless and are struggling to put two meals on the table for their families, how would they be handling this situation. I have been complaining about managing two kids and getting irritated for constantly having them around but there are families who have been torn apart between countries not sure when they are going to see each other again. My husband has the option to work from home but not all husbands have and they have to go out to earn their livelihood.
We have all been complaining about this challenging time and can’t wait to get back to our happier normal times but I feel everything in life happens for a cause. No doubt there’s nothing good about the virus attacking mankind but this time has been a learning experience for all. The time to introspect ourselves as a person, as a human being, and as a soul. We are just a tiny substance on this planet. There will be a sunrise and a sunset, it will rain and it will shine, birds will chirp and animals will wander. Nature doesn’t need us. We should stop considering ourselves so important on this planet. We are just another animal who instead is doing more bad to the so-called mother nature than good.
But we still have something that’s not lost in this pandemic and that is HOPE, a hope that this is just a phase and like the time this will pass too. If there is something that is invisible but still so deadly, faith in God is invisible too yet powerful. Smile, So what if your smile is covered by a mask, your eyes smile too!
It is time to be kind to your surroundings and be grateful to the nature that you have been accommodated here. It is the time to breathe in patience and breathe out the tension, to mask your pasts and sanitize your thoughts, to maintain distance from hatred, and boost your immunity from negativity.