Has Quarantine Brought Us Closer?

In these unprecedented times, we turn to our family and loved ones for support. As the battle with the Coronavirus rages with the medical workers on the frontline, we, at home, are building an enduring edifice of memories that will last for our lifetimes. There was once a time when our mothers would say, “Stop being a couch potato and go outside and play.” However, looking at the present situation, the times have really changed and have caused us to go into a state of self-introspection. We are now getting to know the things which really matter in life. Indeed, this transition from the hustle-bustle of life into a state of isolation and lethargy has proved to be beneficial.

While we are separated from our friends and the extended family in the physical form, it feels as if we are closer to them than ever. Those all-nighters pulled by students to complete long overdue work and father’s late arrival from work have all been replaced by long talks with members of the family where each one of us pours our heart out to the other. The youngsters, when they grow up, will indeed be able to say, “Remember that time when we were not able to step out of our house for nearly two months.” This lockdown has given us the golden opportunity to form new bonds and friendship with people as well as solidify existing ones. Another practice that has been cultivated in this nationwide lockdown is that families are sitting together and reminiscing trips and tours that they had undertaken, which now seem ages ago. One day out of the blue, my father decided to play his marriage CDs and we took a trip down memory lane. Seeing those photographs, I saw so many people who were no longer with us. This reminded me of so many deaths taking place around the world and the null and void left in the world. This common feeling of nostalgia has been a binding force and shown us that moments of joy and times spent in the company of your family and beloved, when recollected in tranquility is an immense source of comfort, happiness and solace.

The busy lives of the people have now taken the back seat and people are now fostering feelings of care and worry for our fellow neighbours and community. Although this may also be in our self-interest and well-being, we constantly hope for the people who surround us and the community to be in the pink of health and spirits. Thus we all are sitting in a warm bubble of love and care, which proves as the strongest uniting force. Whenever we hear the news of a person being a victim of this deadly virus, it touches the chord of humanity and sympathy.

This quarantine period has brought out the sentiments of compassion and sympathy towards the underprivileged and the homeless in the people. In these times of ‘social distancing’ and nationwide lockdown, the underprivileged section of the society is facing a shortage of food. However this period of sequestration has not been able to break the kindness and love in the hearts of our citizens, who are coming up with more and more initiatives to help the poor while still adhering to the norms of lockdown set by the Government. Although on the face of it, it does not seem like something which brings us closer, however this sentiment of servitude will, in the long run, prove to be the ‘X-factor’ in bridging the disparity between the have and the have-nots and pave the path for the country’s unity. There are many programmes coming up aimed at feeding stray dogs. Indeed, love knows no boundaries.

The spirit of our people is still standing strong in the face of this crisis. People are not sulking over this sequestration but are looking forward to the bright times that lie ahead of it - when again the country will prosper, we will hear the birds chirp and inhale the fresh ‘outside’ air. This spirit is evident in the recently released popular song ‘Muskurayega India’ which tells us not to cry over spilt milk but rather remain hopeful that the country will be able to get back on its feet again and we will smile again.

Nature - it is the one thing that gives us being. Peacocks have been spotted dancing and displaying Mother Nature’s artwork in their colourful feathers. In England, due to the parks being empty, a herd of lambs were spotted enjoying themselves on the Merry-Go-Round. It is an irony that now birds are out in the open and seeing humans locked inside their houses through the windows. Even monkeys were seen splashing in a 5-star’s swimming pool. I guess the tables have turned. Ganga’s water has become drinkable and the Ozone layer is recovering - few of the many signs that our beloved Earth is healing. In this way, mankind savours Nature’s wonders and comes closer to it.

While everything is going downhill in these times, productivity has seen a surge. Although some people are still binge-watching television shows, most have decided to take up new skills. For instance, several people including me have started baking and no matter how bad they burn the cake or forget to add sugar to the batter for cookies, they still are determined to learn. The social media giants like Facebook and Instagram provide them with wings to share the snapshots of their dishes, portray their creativity and join an online community of similar people.

As for the students such as me, their lives before the lockdown were simple - waking up, going to school, coming back and studying, then having dinner and off to bed. However this schedule does not exist for us anymore and our new one has taken us for a rollercoaster ride. What used to be problems in a Mathematics textbook is now the task of washing dishes. What used to be prose and poems in Literature has now been replaced with the task of dusting the cupboards and shelves. After such difficult tasks, when we talk to our friends we get to hear the same story.

Thus this period of quarantine has brought us together in ways which were seemingly out of our imagination. The enduring memories made in this quarantine will always be present in the deepest trenches and crevices of the hearts of the family members and will be captured into the frame of eternity.

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”

-Hal Borland

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