Reflections from the pandemic – Reminiscing the Journey

‘March 2020’, is that remarkable month, that changed our lives so drastically that sometimes we are left wondering, if we will ever be able to go back to our old ways- shaking hands, hugging loved ones, having street food on a random stall, trying out clothes in a mall, living without a constant fear of ‘that invisible enemy’ around. 

The journey has been tiring but it helped us get our priorities right, explore ourselves, be adaptable, overcome fears, built endurance, made us more accepting and grateful, taught us to think on feet and showed us pros of community living which was getting diluted with nuclear family set ups and busy schedules. Today, I find myself in a better place emotionally as compared to past.

Given my and spouse’s background in healthcare industry, we were more aware about viral transmissions and its nature, which made us look at every person as a carrier and object being contaminated. Further, having lived in NCR and gone through the worst of the pandemic, we had a much higher effect on our lives. Summarizing some shifts…

Earlier….(Pre Covid times)Now…(Living with Covid)
Shopping ~40% was online mainly for groceryTry out new brandsUse cash and digital wallets bothAll 100% is online including items that I strongly believed can’t be bought online (Jeans and saree users can read my pain)Stick to ‘tried & tested’ brands to ensure bit of stability in ever dynamic situation aroundAll transactions through digital wallets
Food habitsEat out frequentlyTry out new restaurantsServe ordered food as isStore grocery and veggies as isInitially like many of you I also cooked every possible dish. Now we have moved to ordering from trusted joints.To eat out stick to trusted restaurants who would maintain hygiene (hopefully). Painstakingly re-heat each and every food item ordered from outsideQuarantine/wash all packets and veggies
Leisure activitiesWeekend travels, dinners, parties, meeting friendsI resorted to things I had never done earlier and explored myself…acrylics painting, water colours and Mandala art. It is a form of meditation to me wherein I focus all my energy at that time 
Family timeMostly restricted to weekend outing and few hours in evening. Never liked video calls and always opted for audio calls as I can multitask  at that time (Working mom *sigh*)Only time on weekends to call loved onesSuddenly there was so much time for each other… We played games like Uno, Ludo, Scrabble as a family. Binge watching over weekends became a regular deal and we got time to talk about so many things right from the heart.For the first time, I started video calls as that gave me comfort of seeing some people apart from 3 of usMore frequent calls to loved ones
Work lifeWork was ‘center of life’ and office was 2nd homeTravel time of 2 hrs everydayCould not imagine working with everyone around at homeWork hrs were restricted to 8-9 hrs in officeWork became part of life and stopped being the center (which shifted to health)No commute time Adapted to efficiently work amidst chaos and multitasking with many other thingsBoundaries s got blurred with work hours stretching beyond 8-9 hrs 
Health & wellnessNutrition supplements, immunity boosters were ‘good to have’ Exercising was important but wasn’t regularHealth was never prioritized over work and other responsibilitiesSupplements and immunity boosters are a ‘must have’ nowPranayam, Yoga and exercising is part of routineHealth became the core of existence. All actions and reactions revolve around that core now 😊
HygieneFollowed all basicsSanitizer was always there in bag but never used as muchChanged clothes after coming back homeCleaning home was such a big task Mandate now with extreme cautionSanitizer use has increased at least 100 timesTake bath after coming back homeResorted to cleaning robots and magic mops and the task doesn’t daunt me as much now
Personal GroomingVisit salon regularly Invest in makeupInvest in formal clothesInvested in items like waxing kit, tweezers, coloring kit and next option was UrbanclapNo makeup purchased No formals bought…only ‘Pajamas and Tees’
OthersAlways carry wallet and phone while stepping outStart my day with a newspaperAlways put mask. I try not to carry my phone and wallet unless necessary to avoid sanitizing them later Read news on digital app…and finally even took subscription

And after jotting down these items…I realize how much my life has changed. 21 days is considered as the threshold for building any habit and now having lived this new way of life for almost 2 years now, I don’t know how it will be like to go back to the ‘old normal’ 😊

New ways to celebrate at home…

New ways of self exploration…

New ‘essentials’ when going out…

– Sapna ( Associate Principal- Primary Intelligence- APAC at IQVIA)

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