They say that history can now be divided into two time periods: BC (before coronavirus) and AC (After coronavirus).
Okay fine, nobody said that. I made it up.
But that's certainly what life feels like for me. Let's admit that living through a global pandemic is a moment in history we'll never forget. Someday we'll be telling our grandchildren all about that time when the entire world shut down, we were confined to the walls of our houses (for those of us who were lucky!) and how we spent most of our time baking banana bread and playing online Ludo.
But as the end of the pandemic is finally in sight, dare I say that I've become...comfortable in my new situation? I'm beginning to enjoy my new routine of not having to deal with getting panic-ready in 10 minutes in the morning, the rush hour traffic, and not having the privilege of working from my bed on my period. But as several countries have begun their vaccine rollouts, here's a look at what 2020 aka the year of the pandemic taught us.
I'd like to believe that I'm the world's biggest introvert, and going out more than twice a week was my idea of hell. So when the lockdown was announced, I thought I would ace it! After all, I've been practising for this moment my entire life, right? But after a point, I ran out of shows to watch and books to read and recipes to cook, and the loneliness set in. It doesn't matter whether you're an introvert or an extrovert--human beings are social animals, and we're not meant to thrive in isolation. But thankfully, not being physically present couldn't stop us from connecting with our loved ones. We figured out a way to bond with others--whether it was zoom happy hours with our colleagues or attending your school mate's virtual wedding!
As a young girl growing up in India, you're constantly told you NEED to learn how to cook because 'how else will you take care of your family?' So naturally, as a college student studying third-wave feminism, I rejected the idea of cooking altogether. I felt like stepping anywhere near the stove will turn me into 'bahu material' and that is NOT the future I imagined for myself! As I grew older and started living on my own I realised that ordering in every day was hella expensive and cooking was...actually a useful skill? So while I began to teach myself some terribly easy recipes, it wasn't possible to find the time to cook every day, thanks to my hectic job and fast-paced life. Come 2020, and I had no choice but to learn how to feed myself, and then I realised that cooking isn't rocket science and that it IS possible to cook a delicious and healthy meal all by myself from scratch! Now, I can proudly say I cook all three meals by myself every day! *puts on douchy sunglasses*
Prior to the pandemic, work from home seemed like a utopic fantasy ("you're telling me that I DON'T need to get out of bed and get dressed for work?"). And the first few weeks of the lockdown, it DID feel like that...until it didn't. After a few weeks, the distinction between work and home life had completely blurred, and many of us were on the brink of burnout. But several months into the pandemic, it looks like we've finally gotten the hang of working from home. We've figured out how to run entire companies without being in the same room as each other for 10 months, and I think we all deserve some applause and thali-banging (you know you want to!).
The list of new words we learnt this year is possibly endless. It all started with 'COVID-19' and 'pandemic', and before you knew it, we were talking fluently in another language altogether. We needed to practice 'social distancing' to 'flatten the curve' because 'herd immunity' wasn't a feasible option. And anyone who didn't do so was a massive 'Covidiot'! In fact, thanks to the sheer amount of new words we learnt, Oxford couldn't pick just one Word Of The Year--they released an entire list!
When the lockdown was enforced for the first time, we had no prior notice to prepare for it. So when suddenly, the government asked us to not step out of the house for three weeks, we had to make do with the bare minimum. We made sure we utilised every ingredient in the pantry, and were forced to stop all unnecessary shopping. Turns out, there's so much we mindlessly spend on! I think the best thing the pandemic has taught me is to learn to live on less, and to not jump to spend money any time I encounter a minor inconvenience. I've learnt how to find creative solutions to my problems, only buying things when I *absolutely* need them! My bank account is eternally grateful to COVID-19.
So while the end of the pandemic might be in sight, let's carry forward all the lessons this year taught us onto the next!
Featured Image: Instagram