6 Lockdown Losses
No matter how desperately I try to stay afloat, seeing no end to this pandemic is beginning to weigh me down. The strong facade that I have managed to display is beginning to show some wear and tear. There is no denying that for each of us this pandemic experience has been different based on our pre-pandemic disposition, and so for some of us it has hit us harder.
I belong to the harder-hit category. My losses are stacking, gains slacking. And here are 6 things I have lost so far in this lockdown:
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1. Finding shoulders to lean on:
I admit it was never easy to reach out for help even before the lockdown days, but the social distancing has significantly upped the level of difficulty. Earlier I used to have people around me and they would check in on me when they saw me aloof or distracted. Our facial expressions, our body language, the way we carry ourselves – all these are non-verbal cues we communicate with. However, these days it has become difficult to find comfort without explicitly asking for it, and I am not the asking-type.
2. Human touch:
When our hands – our basic tactile device, could turn into the most efficient virus-carrier, physical touch has become a big No-No. Simple yet meaningful human touch with or without any accompanying words is forbidden – a pat on the back along with the words “Well-done”, a reassuring hand on the shoulder along with the words “Everything will be alright”, holding hands with the words “I am here for you”. The plain words just don’t have the same impact without the human touch.
3. Getting some fresh air vs infected air:
I used to go for a walk or rather force myself to take a walk around my place – and the act of getting some fresh air. Actually, it was the only form of exercise I could bring myself to do, and now I can’t even do that. Although the air quality has definitely improved globally, I wouldn’t dare go out to enjoy the fresher air and risk bringing the virus home. My only way of working out has vanished into thin air.
4. Personal hygiene:
Before the quarantine era, my biggest motivator for a shower was the sweat. Now being confined to my house, the only legwork I can afford is to the kitchen and back with zero probability of sweat. You can do the math! Brushing teeth has gone down to once a day, shaving has gone down to once in never, hair care is about the possibility of growing dreadlocks… Hence, in terms of personal hygiene, except for handwashing everything else has become redundant.
I have never been the athletic type so my pre-pandemic interests revolved around computer/ mobile screens (if you know what I mean). With the social distancing and quarantine, the first few weeks were like a blessing because then I could indulge in my interests without feeling like I had wasted my time. However, I have lost interest in the games now, maybe because it felt like work. There’s hardly anything that interests me anymore.
6. Fear and stress:
Assignments, deadlines, presentations, and other work-related things were scary and stressful. All I wanted then was to be able to run away from the white-collar mundane madness. Fortunately, those fears and work stress have dissipated. Unfortunately, other forms of fears and stresses have sprouted. The pandemic stress, financial stress, fear of contagion, fear of going to public places… I have lost some fear and stress only to gain more in different forms.
Some losses are inevitable, some losses avoidable. Because of the looming crisis we are all in, we all have had to bear losses in some way or the other. Whatever the reason, whatever the cause; losing is disappointing. And at the risk of sounding rather depressing, I urge you to count your losses and speak about it. After all isn’t it better to air it out than keep it in?