Tag: coronavirus

My Lockdown Novelties

The lockdown has almost upended my life and now it is just a stream of unhealthy lifestyle choices including this new habit of writing at three in the morning. One of the major discussions that I participate in these days that is not work is about what food to cook and eat for the next meal.

I have been working from home for four months now, making a lot of time to read and write, and overall enjoying this stay-at-home model. But what is interesting to me is that I have some newfound activities that are not substantial enough to be called hobbies but just enough occupying to be regarded as work killers. They are keeping me sane.

  • I have started playing scrabble. And it has grown on me so much that I spend at least an hour hunched over my smartphone every day forming words out of random letters to beat my international opponents. I don’t know what beef TechRadar has[1]despite giving a 4-star rating (out of 5) with Wordfeud but so far I have found it to be the best scrabble game for Android. (I’m at ‘Tejas Nair’ if you want to play a game.)
  • I have started making memes. I didn’t know I had it in me to be this funny (trust me) but I have been making a lot of memes using an Android application called Meme Generator (by ZomboDroid) and have been tickling the bones of my colleagues and friends. Sure, my memes may never feature on Know Your Meme but one of them at least got me a Brave Grande! award on Reddit. (See below.)
  • I have started to take my side project (Book Title Drops) seriously. I also started an Instagram account where I post regularly (once a week).
  • I have started recording my book readings and after-thoughts to help me retain more of what I read. This is going great so far but requires a bit more motivation than I originally imagined.
  • I have been shutting off from work on time. This was not possible during the pre-coronavirus days.

Overall, like I said, I am having the time of my life. Even more so enjoying the monsoon the way I have always wanted to: at home without having to worry about opening and closing my umbrella and get wet while commuting to work. TN.

Mumbai middle-class starter pack from mumbai
My award-winning creation at r/mumbai

footnotes

1 despite giving a 4-star rating (out of 5)

My Nostalgic Pre-Coronavirus Experiences

self isolation india

On 16 April 2020, I completed a month of remote working. As I continue to practice spatial distancing and occupy myself with some indoor activities, I have grown nostalgic of some experiences that I used to enjoy before the Covid-19 epidemic. Experiences that I never thought I would have to live without. Or at least wasn’t prepared to live without for such a long stretch.

Here they are in no order.

  • Watching a movie in a packed theatre and sometimes getting so absorbed in it that I pay no attention to anything else (even my phone or my mom sitting next to me)
  • Going for a solo walk or just strolling through the busy streets near my house while running errands in between and observing people carry on with their own tasks
  • Going for an unrestrained bike/car ride with some music on to enjoy the feeling of moving faster (despite the threats)
  • Travelling to work in a local train (which I took up back in January) that for more than two decades was an activity that made me anxious and exhausted but still made me feel like a part of something, a collective group, a herd
  • Going to a restaurant with friends or family to have a complete meal and getting lost in the food and conversations
  • Catching up with friends and replenishing the feeling of belonging
  • Travelling to farther places to de-stress after weeks of hectic schedule at work (my Bengaluru trip earlier in 2020 is going to go down as very special in my personal history)
  • Staying at a resort and enjoying the comforts of a laid-back holiday characterised by borderline decadence.

Some or all of these may sound like thoughts of a privileged person. It’s not that I do not understand the gravity of the coronavirus situation where healthcare professionals, law enforcement, and essential service workers are putting their life on the line for the sake of the greater good. I also understand that the essentials – food, shelter, internet – that I am enjoying may look like privileges to those without some of them.

But hiding these feelings wouldn’t have been right either. They had to be recorded. TN.

10 Things to Do While Observing Janta Curfew

self isolation india

The PM of India has asked its citizens to observe what his office likes to call the Janta Curfew so as to try and restrict the further spread of the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) disease. Essentially, we are not supposed to venture out of our homes on Sunday, 22 March 2020 from 7 AM to 9 PM unless there’s an emergency. As someone sitting in his Mumbai residence, it’s hard to know what all I can do tomorrow.

So, I did some research to come up with ideas to help you through the curfew, also spelled as ‘Janata Curfew’ sometimes, which I think is an obnoxious term for the regulation. I know you may already have plans to laze all day tomorrow but hear me out.

10 things to do during the Janta Curfew. Will also double up as handy tips for the future self-isolation days when most of us will continue to work from home.

  1. Do nothing
  2. Take a 30-minute walk at 6.30 AM or 9 PM
  3. Learn how to take a better nude of yourself. (5-step guide by Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz for The Cut)
  4. Watch the 1998 cult Hindi action film Gunda (for free on YouTube)
  5. Browse IKEA’s catalogue of beautiful products but don’t buy anything right now (wait till the pandemic dulls) (example)
  6. Watch a Met opera (for free)
  7. Tour a popular world heritage site for free (via Google Arts & Culture)
  8. Telephone an old friend
  9. Watch a live home animal safari organised by Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden at around 12 AM IST (here on Facebook or via their YouTube channel after the live session is completed) (a glimpse)
  10. Read how to detect a fake news story or fake information in general (by Christina Nagler for Harvard Summer School)

Whatever you do, you should avoid following what others – mostly blind patriotic twits – in whatever they plan to do at around 5 PM tomorrow (22 March). Instead, explore better ways to congratulate and support your local healthcare professionals by donating either to Kasturba Hospital in Mumbai or by chipping into the global coronavirus relief fund.

You know what you have to do. TN.

Featured image courtesy: JD Designs via Unsplash