I began this year on a very hopeful and positive note with my blog in January 2020.I had also expected myself to be writing almost every month. But unexpectedly pandemic hit across the world in the month of February 2020 and we were suddenly put under a different situation we had hardly imagined. Writing took a back seat for ten months as home, health and care of near and dear ones became the topmost priority.

The words CORONA virus, COVID -19 have now become a household name across the world and the talk of young and old alike. The CORONA Virus which spread by droplets from mouth and affected the lungs has had a very disastrous effect as far as human health and loss of human life is concerned. The terms like ‘lockdown’, ‘social distancing’,’ sanitization’ are now a part of the vocabulary all over the world, in all spoken languages.

The pandemic has made us aware how fragile and unpredictable our life is!! It has made us think of our health and hygiene on a serious note. ‘Our health is in our own hands’ is perhaps the most important message to be learnt from this pandemic.

Washing hands and legs after coming from outside or before/after meals was and continues to be a norm even today in most of the households in India. So doing the same more often was not too much to ask for but wearing mask was never imagined. The term ‘lockdown’ with restrictions and curbs on movement to go outside home or in public created a lot of anxiety.

Man being social animal, it was a real challenge to imagine not going outside for 15-20 days and as to how we would manage things under the restricted circumstances. Schools were closed and children were forced to be inside homes. It was a vacation which they always liked and so it began with quality time being spent with each other. Children played Board games, started giving a helping hand in household activities, giving time to hobbies like painting, drawing, singing etc.

Most of the shops and hence markets, offices and industries (except those that catered to the essential supplies like medicine, food products, dairy ) were shut down to avoid large gatherings and avoid people to people contact. Those in the IT and Media industry were working from home. It was initially a fun time that perhaps each one longed and yearned for. The entire family was together at home and bonding with each other after long, from morning to night. The positivity with everyone around did not let any negative thoughts or vibes enter the homes. Those alone and single at home had stress, depressive thoughts and anxiety staring at them. Hence it was a test of mental strength for them. The Senior Citizens who were the most vulnerable group to be taken care of against the infection also found it tough on them with the restriction of movement.

Eating healthy home cooked food became the only option as not only restaurants closed down and getting food from outside was a strict NO because it could carry and spread the virus. Mothers who had been stressing their kids to eat home meals were now the happiest as the kids were not only eating but also helping in preparing and cooking the delicious recipes. So kids and the family and friends spent time doing cooking, baking different dishes and sharing the same with everyone over mobile phone. The mobile became the most important commodity to keep oneself connected and bonded socially. Video conferencing /video-calls became an essential way of communication. And so mobile gained a lot of respect and became a Second Self.

The lockdown phase increased from weeks to months and that is when online classes for students across the globe began. Children who were always warned and refrained from using electronic gadgets were now forced to do so for a couple of hours daily due to online teaching. It had its benefits as children were now busy with some learning, coupled with playing, within the indoor premises of their homes.

Children always love the audio visual media and online learning gave them the opportunity of making use of the same. The first month was fun but soon kids started missing the school premise, their teachers and friends. The school they were now learning was VIRTUAL and that really distanced them from the teacher and friends. The physical distancing stressed the children and mentally disturbed them. “When will things become normal?” was the question that I as a parent faced daily. The answer was not known but ‘very soon’ was the only answer that could be given to keep positivity and hope going.

As months passed with the new normal of social distancing, wearing mask, using sanitizers or washing hands frequently along with lockdown did not seem dreadful but a necessity considering the increase in number of patients and the severity of the situation. Everyone now had become used to them and venturing out to their work place when needed or as a part of doing daily chores was the new routine. The initial anxiety and stress has been partially replaced with caution and care.

We as humans have a responsibility not just for ourselves but the flora and fauna and the planet on the whole. Along with the virus, the world faced challenges in the form of forest fires, thunderstorms, rains, landslides -making us ponder and know that nature still has an upper hand over us and we need take a lesson and mend our activities and ourselves.

Day in and day out the statistics of people infected with Covid -19- symptomatic and asymptomatic, serious patients and fatalities are been placed before us on the audio-visual media to make us understand the gravity of the pandemic. Countries are making use of their entire health and medical systems to combat the situation and fight the virus. Use of known Allopathic drugs like Remdesivir, Hydrochloroquine etc., Homeopathy or using traditional forms of medicines as prescribed in Ayurved or Alternative forms of medicines are being tried in permutation and combination to find the remedial solution for the virus.

The emphasis on exercise and yoga has increased and people are doing them at home as outdoor gyms and parks have been rendered inaccessible due to the pandemic. Meditation which can relax our mind has also been recommended and people are now beginning to make it a part of their lifestyle. As we do our bit in the battle of pandemic as individuals, scientists world over are finding Vaccine for the same. Countries like India, USA, Russia etc. are leaving no efforts to be the ‘First’ in finding the Vaccine.

Even as the world is progressing and trying to make things normal with the new way ahead; the Virus is not going to vanish in a day. The Corona wave has been popping with second wave or third wave in some areas and making its presence felt.

The world awaits the VACCINE like a MAGIC WAND to free us from the Corona virus. But will it be the case that is the real question. The vaccine can be just one of the means to safeguard ourselves from the virus but the real solution lies in improving the lifestyle and the life around us.

The pandemic has shown us that a healthy society does not mean just healthy individuals i.e.  it is not confined to ourselves but also our surroundings. Covering our mouth while coughing or sneezing, not spitting on road, keeping areas litter and garbage free will all aid to our healthy surroundings. The environment around us is equally responsible for our health and well-being. We have to make progress technically but we cannot forget or ignore the Nature around us that we are due to. Nature and its resources will continue to be the backbone of all the living beings and hence have to be preserved and protected.

The Vaccine that we all are awaiting eagerly is not a MAGIC WAND. The real wand is within us- our grit, our determination as individuals and society to come together and take bold steps for our health and community as a whole. We must take a CORONA PLEDGE –

We will work on OUR MIND, BODY and SOUL to make ourselves HEALTHY, HAPPY AND FIT not just physically, mentally but spiritually too!   Our Wellbeing is in our hands and we will fight and win over the CORONA VIRUS or any battle that comes before us.’

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Stay safe, stay healthy and Good luck for YOUR OWN HEALTHY book!! —Medha