One reason I have not posted here in a long time is because I did not want to talk about the ever increasing death toll, or infection spread, or the lockdown, or the impending economic crisis. We all are getting enough dosage of that negativity from newspapers or TV channels. I did not want to discuss those same things in this space. But I am also not able to put my mind to anything else. If I try to write about something completely different, I feel like I am avoiding the elephant in the room. This is the biggest thing that is happening in the whole world right now, which is directly affecting our daily lives. What sense does it make to post something unrelated at this point of time? Anything else seems frivolous now.
I realize it is important to break out of this vicious cycle. I keep checking the numbers, keep reading about desperation faced by many, countries where health care system is overwhelmed and people are dying without treatment, people are suffering because of lack of work, lack of food…and I get anxious. I read about how a cured person can get this disease again and I think will there ever be an end to this. I know these things are not in my control and the only thing I can do is to stay at home and stay safe and healthy. But I am not able to put these thoughts out of my head. I try to remind myself how lucky I am. I have food to eat, a roof over my head. I have a stable job and don’t have to worry about losing my job or salary cut….that is so much more than what so many people can say right now. But the worry does not leave me alone. It is always present at the back of my mind. I believe it comes from a feeling of helplessness. The rising toll makes me worried but there is not a single thing I can do about it. I am closely following the news of scientific research about vaccine. But even here I am pinning my hope on something which is completely beyond my control. There is no way I can do anything to influence the speed or success of that scientific experiment. Are they doing it right? Have they taken into account all possible things that might go wrong? How long will it take to standardize the vaccine? Will it work on all populations? Some scientists are saying different mutant strains are found in different parts of the world…will a single vaccine be cure for all?
I try to keep myself busy. I am working from home….but it is much slower than normal office days. My team members are also working from home and our overall efficiency is much lower that usual. I watch netflix….but at the end of a movie I quickly take a look at the news and there it is again. I have downloaded few books for my kindle…reading is one of my most favorite things. I am reading Howard Jacobson’s “Live a Little” now. Just started it so can’t tell you yet how it is but I expect it will be good. I read his “Finkler Question” few years back….it was brilliant. So this one should also be good. I take my kindle to bed and when I feel sleepy, I turn it off but instead of closing my eyes I turn on my mobile to check that day’s numbers and my thought returns to the same topic again.
It is a strange time we are going through now. Suddenly our lives changed completely and became quite similar. On a normal day my life can be very different from yours. You do different sets of things, depending on your country, your culture, your society. But when we are not leaving our house except to buy essential items, listening to the same news, often thinking the same thoughts……there is little difference between our lives. This thought that we are all connected, does not even comfort me. My anxiety-prone mind is twisting it and telling me “we are all trapped” instead!
I am trying to break out of this spiraling thought pattern. I am trying to engage my mind to more positive thoughts. But this gnawing anxiety is persistent. It keeps me from even regularly checking your blog pages….there are many of you whose blogs I enjoy reading, love commenting and it makes me happy like a child when I receive a reply from you. But I have not been able to do this in a while.
Nature around me is suddenly more beautiful now. Birds have become ‘vocal’, their chirping you can hear all through the day. Complete absence of traffic noise has made them braver and they come out more in numbers. The air is clean, the mornings and evenings are crisp. Almost everyday there is a glorious sunset I can see from my living room window. I am consciously trying to put myself in a more calm and assured frame of mind. I am telling myself that it is going to be okay….we will come out of this, perhaps with some permanent changes in our collective mindset, but the end of this tortuous path is coming nearer.