“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world” quoting a 14 year old girl – Anne Frank, who spent several years “locked-up” in an annex to escape the brutalities of a holocaust, but never forgot to acknowledge the value of even a single moment. Speaking of ‘Life in a Lockdown, what is a ‘lockdown’? Technically, ‘lockdown’ is a state of isolation or restricted access instituted as a security measure. But, more than being‘enforcement’ or rather a governmental implementation; the lockdown we are currently going through can better be defined as a ‘collective human effort to support each other at the time of a global crisis’. It is fascinating how a viral particle, otherwise considered ‘non-living’ in the absence of an animal or human host, is making us all ponder over how invaluable every moment in our ‘life’ is. We now invariably realize how the whole world is mutable and equally subject to death. Measuring just over a hundred nanometers and remaining ever invisible to the unaided human eye, this extraordinary teacher is giving us lessons that we have failed to learn all this while, in the most unparalleled and unpredictable manner. All of our collective wisdom is no more than a tiny speck in front our newfound teacher. Although perceived by many of us as a phase of strife, the past few weeks have given us golden lessons that we cannot ever forget. I view this lockdown not as a dark phase for the world, but as a phase of ‘golden learning’, with lessons learnt that will remain with humanity forever. We have received an opportunity in the form of a crisis, wherein we can effectively rewire our brains to break-free the chains of dormancy and value the ‘life’ in each one of us. At this juncture, let us look beyond the notion that life is just a journey between birth and death. Nay! It is now time for each one of us to discover the true essentiality of ‘life’.
My Lockdown Experience
My lockdown began on 14th March 2020, and it has been exactly twenty five days now. Following social distancing protocols and hand hygiene techniques quite diligently, it is probably the longest record of staying indoors for most of us. I have personally undergone three phases during this lockdown – phase of dilemma, phase of seeking and an ongoing phase of realization.
The Phase of Dilemma
The first couple of weeks during lockdown were a period of confusion for me. A sudden pandemic outbreak, with unprecedented effects on the world and now also on our nation. I was awestruck at the quick and quaint turn of events. Everything was at a sudden, unexpected halt - the madding crowd, the traffic, the constant buzz in college. It took a while for all of it to sink in, almost as though my vision was blurred as a result of being stopped suddenly while running a marathon.
The Phase of Seeking
This was the period wherein I set out to understand what really caused the whole world to be shaken. Initially unable to comprehend the ‘lessons’ being given, I felt forlorn and a state of apparent mental clouding seemed to haunt me for a couple of days, only to reveal the veiled rays shining beneath. This was also the phase wherein I read extensively about our ‘tiny teacher’- whom we now lovingly call the SARS-coV2.
The Phase of Realization
This is when the clarity of the true lessons in these incidents began to unfold, one at a time. I started to realize that our beloved teacher, not tiny rather mighty was here to give us lessons that will remain imprinted within all of us, until eternity. It has been rightly said that –‘The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible’. The coronavirus as it is popularly called is not just another virus, but an incredible teacher – like no other humanity has ever seen before. I’m still in this phase of learning.
Thoughts and Future Insights
Anything that has been constant throughout this period of lockdown is ‘change’ and uncertainty. Although constant and change sound quite ironical when juxtaposed, this is the current reality. This is the time for all of us to realize that “change starts with our thoughts”. Everything that we had ignorantly taken for granted, busy with our cycle of daily routine, have now come to the foreground and claimed their due credit – be it family, friends, time, or life itself. I immensely revere and admire the wonderful teacher hidden within the little ball of protein housing a positive sense RNA strand – none other than SARScoV2.
Although the future looks apparently bleak with the ongoing pandemic, the future will definitely find us wiser and more responsible towards life, and its unfathomable gifts. SARScoV2 has not only taught us to value life, but also blurred the borders that we had created- be it the geographic borders between nations, discriminative borders in terms of socioeconomic status, gender ,race ,caste or creed and innumerable other man-made distinctions.
In conclusion, the ongoing global pandemic of COVID19 has given the human race the best lesson we could ever ask for. When we all realize this as a collective consciousness, our strife will cease. We will all value life and value each other more than ever before. The time that we have is truly precious. Let us cherish these moments of realization. This too shall pass, and the agony shall turn into the bliss of wisdom.
Author: Ms. Rajasiri Iyengar
Dental Undergraduate Student
NSVK Sri Venkateshwara Dental College And Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India