It was Friday. Or Saturday. It was 3 pm. We were all gathered together to shoot a short film. It would have been my first ever short film. It was a holiday and a fairly good, not too sunny weather. I had plans for the weekend I was eagerly looking forward to them. We knew a global outbreak had happened and a virus had already taken many lives and threatened many but we were just enjoying a good afternoon and we had absolutely no idea of the nightmare that was going to hit us.
The forced yet necessary confinement that started with the lockdown in mid-March is not over yet. I say forced because nobody is staying at home everyday on their own will. Nobody likes this confinement and limitation of physical freedom and for many, the loss of friends and company. Because China didn’t report the virus at the right time and prevent it from spreading, about 1.25 million people have died across the globe (As of today, 8 Nov,2020; source: Google) and the whole world is living through a horrible time in isolation. I said necessary because social distancing is the best way to prevent contraction. But this is not a factual column. This is personal. This is somewhat an admission of the 8 months of time that has passed since life as we knew it was abruptly brought to a halt and the lack of certainty of any good signs in the immediate future. We weren’t given any time to make a transition. Nobody knew the pandemic will stretch this long. For the first three months I just kept thinking,”I should be in college right now. There is supposed to be a class going on right now. I should be hanging out with my friends. I’m not supposed to be sitting in my grandparents’ place for three months without doing anything at all.” For those of you who indulge a lot in memes, even to this date I just think about that last day in college thinking I’ll be back in the first week of April, “wtf just happened ?”. As a 20 year old, I’m not enjoying wasting all the energy of my prime. This is my last year of college and like everyone else in my batch, I also expected to great experiences this year. Well now I’m just having one. Great lifetime experience.
I didn’t understand how to deal with all the time now that I’m home and I literally don’t know a single friend in the place I live. The screen can’t give you compare 24×7. Nothing can do that for you. You will keep finding new things to do until you realise what you are missing is the company of your peers. All of a sudden, online classes make you nostalgic. The situation becomes absolutely out of your comfort zone when you are an outdoorsy person. And you don’t like spending too much time alone. It becomes hard to believe that something like this could actually happen. It becomes too much to take in at times. I manage my best to hold myself together in these demotivating times by trying to do things that I like. But the greatest lack of hope and extreme despair hits me when I admit the fact that there is no clear date on an arrival of a vaccine and a return of normalcy to the world. There is no lockdown technically anymore. Restrictions on movement have been lifted. But still colleges have not reopened and many, many of us are stuck in places alien to them. Every day is a challenge to get by. This pandemic has made me realise to take it in “one day at a time”. All long term plans made before now have to be restructured. Your schedule is destroyed. Your sleep cycle is wrecked. You don’t follow a systematic feline for anything anymore. Everyday is the same. The charm of the weekend and the glow on your face on Friday morning is gone. The monotony of the weekday is also no more. It has been replaced by a seemingly endless and hopeless constant. Now more than ever, you need to keep your hopes alive. You need to keep your plans, ambitions, dreams alive. It is November now. This difficult year is coming to its end and hopes and stakes are very high for the next year. But we will make it out of this virus back to normalcy. We will get through this ordeal together. We must keep hope alive.
A writer in (hopefully)progress.