Patience is thin these days. The shortness of attention span and thoughts flocking around concerns of days ahead are straining conversations often. We are six days away from the official date of lifting the national lockdown. Meanwhile, I hear many states have begun opening up businesses and government offices. The situation continues to look precarious. What we have achieved is one large slowdown. The spread of the virus would have been extremely rapid given how crowded our public spaces in towns and cities are. The lockdown helped. As the days passed the fear of the pandemic gave way to worries about jobs, income, career plans and short and mid term outlook on personal lives. Relationships – personal, professional and whatever else people had, have changed. For the remainder of the year this change will be haunting us and bothering us as we go about adjusting our lives. Today’s post begins on a personal note because having made it to the other end of the lockdown with just a week to go, among the clouds of personal, professional and future concerns, personal seems to be growing. Even as we officially exit the lockdown on 3rd May, it may not help in getting out of the city immediately. Airports will take longer to resume normal operations. I will avoid trains for a few months. I look forward to long walks that can help in rehab from the leg injury. A few cycle rides, when cleared by the surgeon, will be nice.
I make better sprouts now. The shift from buying to making has happened. I tried a haircut too, on myself of course. The result is presentable. To head to a barber will now only be a function of efficiency of time and effort. This slowing down has been helpful in re-ordering, re-orienting life. The direction we figure we have come along and lives we now live do not often afford us this space to stop and think. For the firefighters that it inevitably turns us into, this pandemic is proving to be a useful reset. As I wrote earlier, the effect of this pandemic on each of us, in our personal lives, will change things by adding up. A cynical view floating earlier was that this will change very little and all of us would be back living the same lives as we were before the lockdown. Had it been a week-long affair, maybe that would have been a valid outcome. But time has worked on that cynicism. At the end of six weeks we all carry unique prints an unusual experience.