Ranjana TN

The silver lining to the Coronavirus cloud

Like nearly everyone else on the planet, I am staying at home with my family as the entire country is under lockdown for the next 21 days. To say it can get quite tiring to be home all day is an understatement, as many would agree. However, over the last couple of days, I’ve begun to feel more appreciative and positive.

This came as a pleasant and welcome surprise to me because I hadn’t been feeling my very best emotionally over the last couple of weeks. March 14th was my birthday and I had a lovely day planned. I woke up that morning to find that I was down with a cold and cough. Given what I had heard about the virus, I canceled all plans and stayed at home. I wasn’t happy. My beautiful plans! All burnt to ashes. I also knew that I had to self-quarantine. There was nothing else to it.

As the days passed, I increasingly became irritable. Some days I felt just plain blue. One particular evening was the worst; the electricity went out for four hours in the evening and I thought I’d suffocate to death in the darkness. That night, however, I stopped attempting to work and read some fiction on my kindle for a while. Later, I joined an online video group call with a bunch of friends and spent a good three hours just hanging out with the peeps. I was in much better spirits at the end of it.

I find that reading fiction helps me as does exercise. I’m using the Nike Training Club app to do 30 mins of HIT-style workouts. I feel so much better afterward! I’m also glad that I’m with my family. I like that a part of my brain is not dedicated to worrying about them. I feel extra appreciative that I have them around me. I’ve started meditating more these days. It really helps me ground myself. I did a meditation/visualization yesterday to send healing and positive vibes to the planet. I felt peaceful after that.

Going through these days of lockdown is helping put things in perspective. The global situation makes me feel humble and empathetic. I think a pandemic such as this one can really shake people up. Everything else seems so inconsequential in the face of it. Now I just feel like shrugging and know that other ‘issues’ will be resolved one way or another. I am hoping and praying for the health and safety of every person on the planet. Yesterday I got particularly emotional thinking about all those people who’ve died or are suffering (both the sick ones and those who are close to them). Once the tears stopped, though, I realised that there’s some beauty to all of this. I don’t for a second believe that what’s happening is something the world deserves. Of course not. But going through a period like this is giving me a sense of appreciation for the things that I often take for granted. Family, friends, food, sunshine, water, electricity, books. I also feel appreciation for the things that I enjoyed for so long which I no longer have access to such as my local gym, parks, restaurants, the freedom to go wherever and whenever I want. The overall quality of my thoughts has gone up. During the past few days, I’ve realised how stupid and inconsequential negative thinking is when I have bigger things to pay attention to such as staying healthy and safe in the face of a global pandemic.

I know that when the restrictions are lifted – however long that might take – I’ll have a newfound sense of appreciation for how abundant my life already is. I feel stupid now for having complained so much when things were just so good! I have already started thinking about the fun stuff I’ll do once the pandemic is past and that puts a smile on my face. In the meantime, I’m slowly trying to get more disciplined with my daily routine. Now is a good time to establish some good habits and learn new stuff. I’m focusing on getting my tasks done one by one…keep putting one foot in front of the other. It’s my way of controlling what I can. It’s good to feel productive, focused and like I’m getting things done. I need that right now more than ever. These times are precious too and it’s not all bleak. There’s definitely a silver lining to the Coronavirus cloud.