I spent 2 months of lockdown in Mumbai before returning to Goa where my businesses are based. The difference from being stuck in an apartment with no activity, no friends to get together with and no places to visit compared to our life in our home in Goa with gardens, open beaches, hiking trails, open restaurants, dinners with friends etc is almost surreal. The lockdown has made somethings amply clear. People can so easily give up on their freedom, their jobs, the joy of friends and family, nature and exercise if forced into a fear psychosis about their lives ending. Data and stats on Covid 19 in India (15 k in 6 months) when compared to that of TB (2 lakhs yearly) and common influenza (upto 2 lacs a year) in India does not substantiate what an entire country has been put through emotionally, mentally, physically and financially.
Who knows whether the conspiracy theories about it being a “plan-demic” (not a pandemic) to fulfil agenda’s of global organisations, corporates, pharma companies or Bill Gates are true or not, but one thing is for sure, our lives were altered, our minds were altered, our realities were altered and in every possible way, and we were following rules more out of fear, than logic. Highly contagious doesn’t mean highly fatal and the only thing that is really your best friend is high immunity. Every rule of lockdown be it fear, inertia, being stuck indoors, mental frustration, loneliness, anxiety, stress due to job loss, bad spouse or having to endure irate family members and over sanitising are all red flags that lower your immunity. My fiancée and me were sitting in our sunshine filled garden sipping tea and laughing with some of our wonderful friends who had come over and we all decided to head to the beach for a swim. The laughter, the happiness, the positive headspace, the good energy, the healthy food, sunshine… all of them immunity boosters! It doesn’t matter what happens to you, what matters is how you respond to it and what you are equipped with. We choose to live (not exist trapped), while we are alive and we don’t fear the virus. In fact, given how contagious it is, we think it’s best to get it, have our immunity fight it, and get it over with and build antibodies. If you read the reports on migrant workers and also of the infected highly populated Dharavi slums having attained what seems to be “herd immunity”, you’d understand what I’m talking about. We are entering the season for cough, cold and flu and every symptom will probably press a panic button in your head saying “Covid!”. Is this how you choose to live, year after year? Pump your body with vaccine after vaccine for every mutation of every virus? Focus on keeping your immunity strong, a positive state of mind, sunshine, laughter, the company of warm, loving, happy, comforting and stimulating people. Make your life one spent living in happiness, than in fear. Whatever you choose, it’s a self-fulfilling prophesy.
1. I have a best friend, he cares about me a lot, we talk everyday, but he is married. Do you feel I should think of more than friendship with him?
On one hand you say he’s your best friend and on the other hand you want to break his marriage? If you feel he is overstepping boundaries then as a best friend you should guide him to stay committed and loyal and if he is having issues in his marriage, to help him resolve it. That’s called being a best friend.
2. My in-laws have come to live with us during the lockdown and while everything was alright in the beginning, things have become quite tedious now. They tend to interfere in things, taunt me for not doing housework or looking after my children properly and try to create a rift between my husband and myself. I have tried my best to keep calm, but now I just want them to leave. Am I being selfish? How should I broach the subject with my husband?
Tell them honestly that you’re feeling overwhelmed handling it all, and that you’d love to learn how to do everything in a planned methodical manner and since they are so good at it, for them to show you by doing it all themselves for 1 month or helping you through many tasks. Smile and say you’d love the help and would also greatly appreciate the time out to focus on keeping your balance as well. Look at them warmly and kindly and remind them, that you are human and not just a role.
3. I live with my sister in a rented apartment and the recent lockdown has resulted in major salary cuts. While we’re managing okay, the problem is my sister’s unemployed boyfriend, who my sister has been sending money to. She claims he will return the money eventually, but I have my doubts because he’s been unemployed ever since we know him. How do I convince my sister not to fall into this debt trap?
Let family consensus make her realise that in such uncertain times it would be nice if his family and friends also chipped in to help split his upkeep costs. There’s no reason the sole burden of that should rest on her shoulders. There are no expenses in lockdown and he should spend these days under his parents wings, as his aren’t developed yet.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.