People are working from home. Schools and kindergartens are closed. Food shops are open, banks are closed. The ATMs are open. An airline company has cancelled 3000 flights. In Israel, the new ministers are being sworn in in threes as there is an order banning big numbers of people assembling at a given time. At the wailing wall, worshippers are asked not to kiss the stones. Some bridal couples are marrying in supermarkets because they are not closed off for public gatherings. Many churches have postponed their social activities for the time being. People are reminded to wash their hands after being out shopping, or simply after being out of the house and having come in contact with all kinds of germs and bacteria. It’s not science fiction. It is not kemide as Angamis love to term it, not panic mode. It is a good move on the part of the government when they initiate lockdown for short periods of time. It is inconvenient, that it certainly is. Any disruption to our daily routine is inconvenient. Kya karega – we are such creatures of habit – if something is out of sync for a whole day, it irks us no end. Things coming to a standstill for a fortnight is very trying for the human soul. We have conditioned ourselves to resist the new. No wonder new inventions have to be introduced in a very appealing manner so as not to rock the boat of human entrenchments.
There are pluses to lockdowns. People are indoors and preventing the rapid spread of infection. Those with symptoms and those returning from affected countries are under quarantine. This is an action that clearly puts the common good on priority level. When theatres, cinemas, and concerts are closed down, the assemblage of big numbers of people who have to sit at close quarters with everyone else, is temporarily suspended. Lockdowns helps the health system to avoid being overburdened by a high number of cases being admitted at the same time. Lockdowns buy time, in a manner of speaking. Because the forced isolation of people from their workplaces and work colleagues, and their usual social activities hopes to slow down the rate of infection.
Lockdowns can be best experienced when we choose to view it as opportunity, not punishment. If your family has been blessed enough to be free of infection, it is an unexpected time for the family to bond. Play board games together. Why ever not? Try to recollect childhood games that you found thrilling like hide-and-seek or soldier games and have the time of your life playing with your kids. This is the right season to make up to them for all those times when you were always too busy to give them time. Invest time in reading. Have reading hours between meals and after house cleaning. This is the perfect time to introduce your children to the magic world of books. Wean them away from video games. Don’t feel guilty about limiting their screen time. Give them books, books and more books.
Take out some hours to be active outside the house in your own neighbourhood. Gardening? Very possible if you have a small plot of land or some thermocol boxes or just wide mouthed flower pots. This is a good time to grow your own food and teach your kids the pleasure of growing food. When this crisis has blown over, we will still need to eat food, and you will be happy then that you started to grow food now.
Leave some time to meditate. You know, just time alone times, with the creator. Just to remember how good life actually is, in spite of all the scares from east and west. It still is such a beautiful world we live in, and really nothing detrimental comes from nature. That is the biggest plus of being in lockdown: the opportunity to slow down, to relax and evaluate the lives we are living, to distil the gold from the dross. And to be grateful for all the little things that come our way, but are easily overlooked as we rush to work, to school, to whatever. May we feel peace for this too shall pass.