May 26, 2020
New Delhi
Humanity has been slapped with a pandemic of extreme severity and magnitude in terms of incidence, penetrance, and mortality in such a short span of time. Global standstill, thy name is COVID-19.
Having claimed more than 346,000 lives (Johns Hopkins University, CSSE data, 26/5/2020, 18:12:25, IST) [1], this pandemic has affected the lives and times of nearly every human being. Blessed are those, who have shelter over their heads, food to feed on, family to go to, and money to; well it can move mountains.  Essentiality is a subjective conjecture. It varies from person to person. However, I would like to narrate the changes this pandemic has brought in on a personal level.
For a Ph.D. candidate, going to the lab on a daily basis is a routine. Once life comes to a still, suddenly you realize how this otherwise monotonous routine has halted your hopes. You miss the corridors of the department, greeting people in the morning, casual conversations with the lab-mates, mentored by the supervisor. You don’t plan for such a hold. It comes to you, totally uncalled for. You feel good for a couple of days but then it starts growing on you. With time, I have been more reserved with a limited circle of friends and well-wishers at the workplace. The dearth of already inadequate people in professional life challenges emotionally. Food has been an issue. Under these difficult times, the chef in me finds utterance with regular assistance from mom/dadi. Being away from home bugs. Especially parents who constantly keeping a check on their son whether he is doing okay? One interesting pattern being witnessed during the lockdown is a great surge in over-the-top media services, social media, binge-watching, etc.[2] In the solace, I have found it difficult to assimilate with the new lockdown trend. This sort of vacation is not worth cherishing though. Wreaking havoc on the biological clock, this pandemic induced lockdown has been challenging so far- physically, mentally, and emotionally.
People are losing precious time being locked down. Academic courses are being delayed [3], jobs on hold [4], medical services sidelined [5], and the economy under turbulence [6] [7]. My heart goes to the people who in the summer of April-May are migrating homes, walking hundreds of kilometres, starving, losing near and dear ones, and struggling to make a living.
Migrant worker carrying his 5 yo son in the nation-wide lockdown/ Photo: Danish Siddiqui/REUTERS

Migrant workers are the nation builders, a sidekick in the developmental progress of the country are at the suffering end the most. Their inexpressible grief and misery will haunt the generations to come. 

Hum dekhenge!

The image that shook the nation/ Photo: Atul Yadav/PTI
There are always bright sides to a story. This pandemic has catered to the needs of children working or studying away, spend plenty of time with family, bond with siblings, and hone culinary skills to name a few. On a personal note, I advanced my cooking skills. Taking a few courses online from Coursera/edX and other platforms. Continuing my studies on other courses as well. I utilized this opportunity to learn some artistry over adobe illustrator, clinical statistics, and reviewing scientific articles. The human-made disasters in terms of pollution, global warming, aggressively competing with the interests of the wild are in check. Suffice to say, mother nature is healing [8].  Adversaries teach us unity. We will stand together in the fight against the coronavirus and defeat it. Once again, the people will hang out with family and friends, shop, watch a movie in the theatre, dine in a restaurant, do whatever they wish to. Is that too much to ask for?
The pandemic has shown us our true selves. It has dragged down the developed world to its knees. Perhaps this is the time to look beyond the narrow surmises of borders across the countries. Nuclear warfare may help to establish military supremacy over the other country, but not against the tiny invisible enemy that lies in a virus. World, we need to invest heavily in education, healthcare, STEM. Are you listening?

And as Aristotle would have it; “Hope is a waking dream.” Let’s aspire for the best.
This too shall pass. Om Shanti!



  1. COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU)
  2. Surge in OTT platform subscriptions during India lockdown: Survey
  3. Delayed academic plans and uncertainty-anxiety grips CBSE class 12 students –
  4.  100 Million And More Indian Jobs Are At Risk After COVID-19 Lockdown. Is Your Job Safe?
  5. How covid-19 response disrupted health services in rural India
  7. India’s Services Activity Collapses As Coronavirus Paralyses Global Economy: Survey
  8. From ozone layer healing to animals on the streets, here is how nature is healing during lockdown
Categories: Thoughts

1 Comment

Mayank Srivastava · May 26, 2020 at 15:23

खूब निमन बात.

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