My Lockdown Story

Stories do have special powers

It’s very rare on my blog that I share my personal experiences. Offdhook is more about people and stories that matter to you and me. It’s nothing to do with my life as a blogger!  However, recently I felt that I do have stories to tell. I too, have my own experiences. Every story has something special to say, inspire and motivate. Who knows that someone in some part of the world reads your story and finds it interesting/motivating? What if your story can change someone’s life? What if your story has a power to inspire? Unfortunately, we shy away from sharing our life experiences, stories, incidents or learnings. It’s vital to understand the role we play as humans. Being compassionate, generous and empathetic is a normal human behaviour. Therefore, narrating your story not only helps in seeing life from a different angle but also with a new perspective.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic made our lives miserable. On the other hand, it also gave many an opportunity to dive deeper into the different shades of life.

Toughest journey ever

My work from home journey started on 17th March, 2020 (I believe for most of us). It kicked off pretty well as we all thought it is just a matter of few days. Who knew the days will stretch to months and a year?  I am a working mother of a nine-year-old and wife to a media professional who being in essential services been working since the day 1 of lockdown in India. Initially I didn’t like him going to office but when I looked around to the increasing couples’ fights, I took a sigh of relief. Jokes apart, I feel proud of his little contribution and efforts. Though I was scared to the core. Every day I prayed for his and our safety from corona, and till date the fear exists as he continues going to office every single day.

It wasn’t an easy journey; I saw numerous highs and lows in this one-year period of Corona. Staying at home taking care of household chores and the kid is definitely a BIG DEAL. Hats off to all the women and men who braved it happily. I too continued working from home despite of all the challenges that I faced. My challenging journey started with a deep cut on my right hand while doing the dishes. Oh God! it was the worst experience of my life. Thanks to my neighbor who came to my rescue on a panic call made by my son (yeah! he is trained to respond to emergencies). Three weeks following this incident were terrifying as life never stops no matter the circumstances and situation you are facing in life.

My office work didn’t stop and hubby also kept going to the office after serving us Aloo Paranthas (the only thing he can cook) and doing other chores of the house. Did I feel pity for him? Hell not!

This was just the beginning of my sufferings as something or the other kept happening to me. Next in the que was the food allergy with my favorite vegetable that I have been eating and relishing since my childhood – Arbi (Taro Root). I mean why? Allergy after all these years of eating this vegetable? That too in middle of a pandemic? Anyways it was treated well with the common anti allergic medicines available in the market.

PS – All this is happening with a background score of endless office meetings, zoom calls, webinars and Mumma I am hungry sound effect.  

So, was this enough? NO. Almighty had his own plans….

Next, I got hit by a problem in my right foot. Walking and standing became miserable. After few days of pain, I decided to take online consultation. It came out to be a – Plantar Fasciitis. Yes, even I can’t pronounce it properly every time. I had never heard of this heel problem but it turned out that many people suffer from the Plantar Fasciitis. Many of them however, have no idea about it specially women and they think it’s a normal heel pain. The worst part is there is no treatment for this pain. Icing, stretching exercises, or a physical therapy can help. It takes its own sweet time to go off like in my case it still persists. So, if you have one, please treat it right now! 

Loosing a family member to COVID

This was still nothing compared to the loss me and my family had in the month of September. Losing my mother-in-law to COVID will remain the biggest pain of our lives. We experienced fear, anxiety and helplessness. The saddest part of this virus is ‘Helplessness’ the feeling which you have when unable to meet or see your loved ones in the hospital. You can’t even take them to the hospital. She fought it all alone but succumbed to death after a one-month long fight.

My biggest strength and support, she stood by me through thick and thin. She motivated me to work all my life with a fearless attitude. I was her daughter and not a daughter in law. When my friends had gossips to discuss about their mother-in-law’s, I had nothing at all to share as she was simply the best. Today, she is gone, half a year passed by without her being around. But she is still alive in our hearts, in our home, and in our prayers.            

Look for such stories

It’s not only my story. There are millions of such stories. Humanity has experienced the worst in this pandemic. What I faced is nothing if I think of people who were struggling to get food during the lockdown or the people who fought the battle alone. Mental health care was at stake. COVID raised the profile of violence against women within the global discourse. Divorce rate too was alarmingly high. Front line workers sacrificed their lives and families to save us from this deadly disease. People are losing jobs. Markets are still unstable. COVID has done no good to anyone. Look around, ask people, help your friends and do what you can possibly do for the society/community.  

Many countries including mine are still juggling with this virus. There are many questions in our minds. Is there any ray of hope? When is the situation going to improve? Will this always be a new normal?

We all certainly have doubts in our head. I am too looking for answers. But I am still hopeful as my Argentinian friend Luana says “Hope is the last thing you loose”.   

By

Richa Sharma

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