‘Life in a Box’

COVID-19 Diary

By Batchu Rushali

Can you imagine a tiny little virus which is not even visible to the naked eye can just turn the world upside down?

That’s how unpredictable life can get at times.

“Each of you will enter one or the other media organization within the next few months. You are not students anymore,” is what our Dean told us every once in a while that’s what we believed in as well. Until in a blink of an eye, we had to leave the campus. We had to vacate the place which was no less than a home to each of us for the past eight months in two days. All, to avoid landing up in a quarantine camp.

The next thing I knew was hug pouring in from my friends and classmates—my family of eight months. Each of us trying hard not to break down and preparing ourselves to leave the campus.

Where would I be if it’s the last place I could ever be at? And that place to me would be at my home with the people I love. Yet somehow I couldn’t. It was was already too late to travel back home and hence, I had to come to stay with my local guardian in Bangalore.

Living far from the city and almost always being drowned in assignments, I couldn’t fathom the terror and destruction this unknown virus had created in our society until I saw the empty streets on an otherwise busy weekday and sealed apartments in a bustling neighborhood.

When the government introduced the complete lockdown for 21 days little did we know it was not enough to fight this deadly virus and we’ll have to stay in longer than we had anticipated.

The lockdown came in as a trauma for many, be it the daily wage laborers who had to sit back home without knowing how to run their homes or the migrant workers who had to walk back home jobless and helpless.

On the other hand, each day coming across the ever-rising cases of the COVID-19 pandemic and surviving a day more without coming in contact with the virus feels like a privilege. Amidst the pandemic and regular assignments, life felt more like a productivity contest. I realised that humans have this constant urge to come up with something new and different constantly. Sitting back and relaxing, taking in some sun, or just spending the whole day doing sweet nothings doesn’t seem to be a good option anymore.

I figured this lockdown is the ideal time for all of us to get our old drawing books out of the box and invest our hearts in painting, just like old times. This lockdown has also brought out the hidden chef in me. YouTube has some amazing and easy recipes to try out, I tell you.

Being at my relative’s place, I realised how relations and perspective change. These are the same people I never thought I would spend my quality time with, and look at me now, privileged and thriving. I’m grateful.

I remember there was this time my uncle asked me if I wanted to join him to get some essentials for the house because I have been in self-quarantine for 14 days since I entered the complex, and that felt like the happiest thing. I never thought going out for groceries would be as amusing and thrilling a thing to do as going out on a family trip.

While the situation is still not normal and the lockdown can take a toll on our mental health due to the restrictions. It introduced me to a different version of myself, be it while I laze around and watch a movie on a Tuesday afternoon or dance my heart out in the kitchen with my little brother while we try to cook something new every time. Feels like I am rediscovering happiness.


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