In 2020, it's not just smiles that are infectious. I intended to write on the COVID-19 scare but are we really frightened about the virus anymore? It mutated as we changed our ways of breathing under a mask and stepped out of our 6-feet lakshman rekha. Sometimes it looks like the virus may have died a painful death after getting crushed mercilessly in the crowd that is out there partying, shopping and what not!
Lockdown and down with COVID
'COVID is gone' was the first thing I heard on the day I tested positive for the virus. I was under a self-imposed lockdown for nine months. It was a rude shock to my family as we hardly got out of our house. 2020 truly defines the digital era. From groceries and food to essentials, everything was delivered at home, even the virus. How I got coronavirus still remains a mystery, just like the monoliths that appeared randomly this year.
My daily routine in 2020 included posting about COVID-19 at work almost every day. Not even in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would add to the nation's tally one day. I fondly took a screenshot of the numbers too, like a COVID souvenir. I experienced countless emotions at one go when the rapid test turned out positive. It hit me like a bombshell and took quite some time to even process it all in my head.
Some thought it was a silly prank when I told them I tested positive. Luckily, I didn't lose my sense of smell but I certainly lost my ability to understand how the virus made its way into my life. They say expect the unexpected for a reason. You read so much about COVID every day -- there are hundreds of studies on it. Yet, you are never prepared for the virus. You take it as it comes.
Some laughed at me for 'staying home' while others were annoyed as I made absolutely zero plans during these nine months. Yet, I was forced into isolation. COVID is kind of a 21-day detox where instead of getting rid of the toxins in our body, we start to lose hope and completely lose track of time too. It's as if we're living in a different reality altogether -- like being trapped in the Bigg Boss house. Sometimes you wonder if anything makes sense at all.
You have to be an individual player and survive with limited resources despite all the hardships. With COVID, everything becomes a task. You wake up because you need to perform the day's first assignment of taking the herbal drink followed by a healthy breakfast and morning tablets. It's high time they renamed zincovit as 'zincovid.'
The toughest part about the battle is that you have to fight an invisible enemy. Staying positive while testing positive was the hardest part of my COVID journey. But, hope is a good thing. Only in the most 'testing' times, quite literally in my case, you realise you're stronger than you think.
The virus is here to stay next year too like 'new year, new me.' It is better to be safe than sorry. In my case, I was both. I can assure you that we were in a state of paranoia and always held our guard up. But like I said, how I tested positive still remains an unsolved mystery.
We always sanitised everything at home. No delivery ever made its way into the house without going through 'Operation sanitiser.' When we tested positive, we continued to disinfect every place at home like maniacs.
Forget the pain caused by sickness, it's very exhausting to remain conscious about the things you come in contact with, and the never-ending disinfection routine only makes you feel more sick.
The new normal made me very anxious. It felt very uncomfortable to even look at people crowding anywhere. The best part of my COVID journey was I had zero contacts and was able to live without any guilt that I was the cause for someone's sickness.
It's not the virus that should haunt you but the fact that you could lose a loved one or be the reason someone is losing their life. Don't be scared of the virus. Be afraid of people moving in groups, stay away from the unmasked ones, maintain social distancing with those who believe the virus is gone and, more importantly, shed your fears about getting tested for COVID-19. More than the results, the uncertainty is what we should be worried about.
Living in isolation is terrifying at times. You battle a cruel virus while fighting your inner demons. But remember Bojack Horseman's words -- "In this terrifying world, all we have are the connections that we make." At the end of the day, be grateful for those connections.