What i learnt from my Quarantine
Quarantine is a tough time for many. Mine was no different. On self-reflection, observing and preserving.
I have been staying at my home since over a year at this point. The official lockdown was announced a few days after cancellation of our board exams on 18th March, 2020. I have not been to school other than some rare occasions and to give exams. Most children alike me have very rarely met their friends in real life. Playing and going outdoors has reduced drastically. As soon as it was considered all over, India got hit with the second wave of COVID-19. It was difficult, this time even worse than the original times and even heavier strain on the healthcare system. Children had no need to go out, and so they didn’t.
It was really hard to get comfortable with boredom. Over the last year, all learning has been online, even family meets and friends talk are limited to calls. This has not only hampered the everyone’s studies, daily life and the norms but taught some key lessons as well.
It was the eve of my 17th birthday, when I started to feel a little sick and feverish. I took paracetamol and slept alone that night. On the dawn of my birthday I felt really sick and tired. I had fever but it wasn’t anything alarming. Hence, with all rational decisions, it was decided that I had to quarantine in my room. This is my experience being in Quarantine.
On 23rd when I felt a bit sick, it was night time; So I would consider my quarantine starting with my birthday. Imagine not being able to meet anyone else in person on your 17th Birthday. It was definitely a weird experience and kind of disappointing. All the hopes to bake and eat the cake, chocolates, etc were lost. Video calls it were. Even though, I had not yet got tested (because doctor asked me to wait), to just make sure no one else got the disease, it was a wise decision to quarantine strictly.
Being dejected and bored with boredom itself, it did give me enough time to think about myself. Probably all of this was God’s wish to give me a pause in life and think stuff through. Probably to teach me how to wash dishes and clothes.
I couldn't even watch YouTube for the first week. My eyes used to kind of burn, partially due to fever and partially due to the heat. I hence did converse with my friends and others, for hours sometimes.
Did I mention that the AC in middle somehow didn’t work (the switch board caught fire! … yeah!) and so, I also slept in the gallery for few days. Also studying was so boring for some reason. And I always felt tired. Twisting turning on the bed, partially just because mentally I was locked in a prison. I was usually just lost in the thoughts.
When you do not have anything to do.. like nothing .. when only thing you get is boredom – it opens up gate to your own self. I was kind of clear about my vision. Got to think about a lot of things and hence started the 30 days blog challenge. I learnt that to achieve anything, it always starts with setting small targets but those that push you out of your comfort zone.
The only picture I have which is not of a lizard roaming outside.
What did I learn
When I was young, I used to be amazed by each of the very small things – be it getting a dairy milk, or finding out some really cool thing like a sea shell. I always used to read Safari magazine and used to be stark in amazement of how beautiful the world is, all of it I seemingly was forgetting. It was a realisation that I was loosing myself. I remember seeing sin and cos and square brackets and standing lines in my elder cousins book, and always was confused on what it meant – thought of it like it was some other realm. When I first learnt about trigonometry then in 8th – 9th class, I was blown away. I was so happy that now I know about all of it. But nowadays, that feeling does not happen. I remember using old RC circuits to make a custom janky remote control car and used to be blown away, on what I could achieve when I was 11. But all of it is now on the verge of disappearance, and I want to bring it back. I want to observe the world and try to find happiness in whatever I can, like even eating pasta. (14 days without any tasty fast food was difficult).
As I was grounded, I still used to hear disheartening news of so many of my friends and relatives, and was filled with negativity on reading Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, even TOI. Moving forwards, I want to foster true principles of benevolence, while also trying and learning to fight negativity. WhatsApp messages with conspiracy theories didn’t help either.
I realised that things are kind of meaningless – we are wired by society to somehow find happiness with things, but the more I thought: it’s not things but humans; and more importantly – conversation. I even found myself happy on just listening to people conversing, without my active participation.
When you imagine that change is not going come, you are dreaming. Always!
The world is constantly moving and evolving, an individual should move along with them and evolve and grow. Sometimes, it is really helpful to take a small break observe with a different perspective and observe the world. Observation is such an undervalued activity. Sometimes it feels, like I want to speak out everything and continuously do so, but often forget that when we talk, we should not forget to listen. Finding the balance is key to an effective learning strategy. After all, I believe our goal in life should be to learn as much as we can – from people, surroundings, the nature, and history.
I did test positive for CoV-19 three days later, and completed my 14 days of quarantine, a birthday present I was least happy with. But it did give me some very crucial lessons, I would have forgotten otherwise. Still wondering how I got the virus, when I had not even stepped out.
People now wish that things go back to normal, like they used to be. But my belief is that we should not just be like what we were. We have evolved. Learnt so many new things, new lessons, the value of little things in life. I wish as we move back to living like we used to (hopefully when the second wave gets demolished), I (and society as a whole) do not forget the values learnt. Hopefully we do not go back to that fast-paced life focussed on consumerism. 2020 for all of us was like a break, we got more time to spend with family, think about ourselves, do good deeds. When you are alone, you value stuff even more. I wish to not forget the things learnt, once back to “normal”.
Shout out to Aryan for helping me edit this.