The Fear and finding ways of Engaging in productive activities
Mousumi Kalita Sachdeva

No one ever had dreamt of a day amidst our busy schedule, the chaos and noise in our lives, a complete silence in the streets except fear. This fear has compelled us to cage ourselves at our homes and thus save many lives. But in the process of locking ourselves in, to survive and let others survive, many of us are bound to feel their minds locked too? Are you stressed? Do you think this quarantine period has let you remain paralysed in your couches and sofas with no idea about the future? Or, has it become a troublesome period to bear the home tantrums without having the least opportunity to go out and inhale the fresh air? People of all ages are seen to suffer in one way or the other having been locked inside as the threat of Covid-19 has emerged worse than the world wars. Do we then give up to the consequences or fight back to win this psychological war torturing our brains?

If we delve deep into the results of this lockdown, the scenario is indeed worrying. Firstly, women are seen to be mentally suffering due to the increase in the work load at homes. Yes, they must not be having time to rest in their beds due to the sudden change in their lives. The children at home have turned demanding as they have no schools, no outdoor sports or entertainments, no friends to meet and no snacking outside. The mothers, indeed have to toil with no helpers at home in fear of inviting the virus. The husbands being at home too at times become demanding as their daily routine to the offices, markets and friends have been zeroed. The working women are facing more stress due to work from home system added with the household chores. In such a situation, women are likely to be stressed and further it may take the form of depression too.

Men are no less free from this stressful environment. The sudden halt in their daily movements has compelled them to be confined in their homes. Even if they are working from home, the progress rates of the work are declining as the change in the system has curtailed their freedom to use their individual techniques or strategies of working. Above all, the constant threat of losing their jobs, loss in the business and the fear of making their families financially secured are adding more stress in their lives. Many are sitting clueless about the future plans. While being at home, many are sharing equal responsibilities of the household chores in the absence of helping hands.

The students or the children are suffering from dilemmas about their course, exams and careers. The complete curtailment of their movements has made them cranky and aggressive too in many cases. Away from friends, sports and other outdoor entertainments added with the pressures of studies, many students have invited stress and depressions. Many are still awaiting for the commencement of the board exams suspended in the midway due to the outbreak of covid-19. They no longer are able to concentrate on their study tables preparing the same syllabus again and again. On the other hand, they fear that their preparation for the remaining papers might fade away with time bearing the stressful situation. In such a crisis, young minds are likely to face stress and depressions too.

The youth who were looking for job opportunities, many who were waiting for their interview dates and the pass outs who had dreamt of higher education in the top universities of the world remain clueless today. The picture of the degrading economy, the probabilities of recession and loss of jobs have dampened their hopes and dreams.

And, to the weaker section of the society, it is a dangerous threat to their livelihoods.

Quarantine days are undoubtedly challenging; however, amidst this we must not let our minds get uncontrolled. This is the best time to let our minds think out of the box and find out innovative ways to utilize the time in productive ways. The world will be very soon led by the online jobs and businesses. Why not take the opportunity to make ourselves technologically smart? Why not find out ways to engage ourselves in learning and practising something which will help us to spend the lockdown period in a constructive way.

Having talked to some aspiring youth, it seems that the doors of creativity are never closed be it in any situation. The owner and director of a running popular website Mr Amit Kumar, yournews.in is compelled to sit at home leaving everything in the city. Being in the marketing field, he had his routine mostly out in the city meeting high professionals. His news portal was active, but not as leading as today. He took to working seriously on his web portal thus inviting many young writers to contribute articles and stories for which they are paid per contributions. In this way, he has not only created a platform to do something different, earn from the traffic entering his website and a few advertisements, thus keeping himself busy as well many to explore their creativity.

Parents should now take the opportunity to educate themselves and update their knowledge of technology so that they can guide their children in the present situation or may be in the future too where all classes, courses and coaching would be provided online. Students should be encouraged to try taking various online classes along with their ongoing school facilitated online classes. This is the hour when we should make the best use of technology and the social sites to spread an awareness and show to the world various constructive activities where we all can engage ourselves. Ms Jyoti Dhankar popularly known as Foodie mom has been expertizing herself in her culinary skills thus using her Instagram account to teach everyone the best ways to eat healthy with whatever we can manage during the quarantine days. Many youngsters have started their YouTube channels posting their art and skills they are expertized in. Many young and old are trying their writing skills thus posting wonderful writeups including prose as well as poetry on their Facebook pages which are far better than the published authors and poets. The fitness freaks have started posting their workout tricks and techniques for all to remain fit and healthy during the lockdown days. The people of colours are seen to paint the best portraits and pictures which in future they can exhibit for sale too. Many skill trainers are organizing webinars to discuss various topics and through various online discussion platforms. There are many ways to explore and find ways to engage ourselves during this period of crisis. Young people in the regions like Jammuand Kashmir where Technology is yet to rule and soar high must try various experiments to spread knowledge on various skills to the masses. This is the best time to show unity though socially distanced and making the best use of this quarantine period making the people rich in thoughts in the region. Every young talent can explore and find innovative ways to keep the people happy and lively through different mediums of art. Let the women in the family listen to music while working thus letting them flow with the music while doing various tasks. Let us all help each other in the family to accomplish all the household chores on time and involve every member in making the quarantine days productive.

This is the testing period- the test of our patience and willpower. Even if the lockdown is withdrawn, we can never assume to be free from threats. Things may grow worse with no vaccine to cure, yet we will be out so that we do not die of hunger. Yet, we must still stay home and limit the hours of staying out, moving out only for extreme necessities. Children and old people still can’t take the risk of going out freely as the virus is still alive looking for human bodies to survive and spread infection. Until we find a vaccine to defeat Covid 19, we will be compelled to lock ourselves inside our homes mostly. In such a threatening environment, let us not open the doors for stress and depression which may turn worse than the virus. Talk to your family members and friends whenever you feel low, make a phone call, chat with people who can keep motivating you, engage yourself in constructive activities and stay away from stress and depression. Remember, the day has come when we will witness – the survival of the fittest.

                                                                                             Stay home and stay safe!

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