Corona virus has knocked the day light out of me, if not everyone. By nature I am an out-door person. In retirement I have rarely spent a whole day staying at home. I usually go on errands to buy one thing at a time as PN suddenly declares emergency. If her requisitions dry up I would simply go for walk. Even that would be with a purpose. She would ask me to survey the market to scout for availability of options for a future home need.
Alas, this activity came to an abrupt stop on the fateful night when our beloved PM decided to save our country from an impending medical disaster and announced an innovative measure called the lock down, which meant “shutters down”.No one was allowed to venture out of their residence. Being residents of a senior community, the restrictions in our case were even more severe. No outsiders were allowed in, including house help for the next 3 weeks. All of us were inconvenienced terribly. However we accepted it in our own interest and looked forward to the D day of liberty.
Sadly it was not to be. We became the atypical caged birds even as the lockdown was extended repeatedly with more and more prescribed compliances, before being slightly relaxed a few weeks back. We are now perfect caged birds that have forgotten the freedom of free air and are keen to remain in the cage even if the door is opened. We stay in our apartment. If temporarily I have to go out, I am anxious to return at the earliest and shut myself in. If the door bell rings I am reluctant to open it as I fear that it is Corona that is threatening to fly in!
I walk early morning everyday to keep my blood sugar in check. We have long external corridors to facilitate this. In Corona times I gave up this facility as the traffic was heavy and also necessitating greeting everyone through my mask. I tried to walk up and down indoors from my kitchen to the open terrace. 17 rounds take 5 minutes. A count of 100 rounds meant half an hour. I congratulated myself for solving a complex space-time mathematical equation a la a more famous Scientist. Just then the lady downstairs came running with a rolling pin threatening me for disturbing her peace with my hammering steps. I then had to revert to external corridors to avoid a boundary dispute. Our aggressive Himalayan neighbour came to my mind. After all I can’t match our gutsy PM.
As we are in a seniors facility, we are entitled to a lot of conveniences even in normal time. The bank sends us the cash requested on Whatsapp and collects the cheque later. The Chemist delivers medicine at the door. Grocer, ditto. In Corona times these services have been strengthened. The only change is that I have to take delivery at the reception in the ground floor which is 3 levels down. We do have the elevator facility but for obvious reasons I prefer the stairway. You know how easy it is to go down. That is happening so swiftly in the last 6 months of Corona all over the world, be it demand, employment, sales, GDP, or any other economic metric. For the first time the world is discovering the ‘gravity’ (pun intended) of the situation.
Now, it is the climb back that seems daunting. In this situation I am going down and up 3 floors for collecting the supplies. The cafeteria is in fact situated 4 floors down in the basement. That trip is done at least twice a day. At 81 this is no joke. Yet the driving incentive is that I am assured it is good for my lungs and sugar level. More flights means lower sugar levels for a diabetic.
Moreover this lockdown is reskilling time in ways I never imagined. I am learning more kitchen chores to ease life for Padmini. I make my own tea and toasts. I wash the utensils once a day. I remove clothes from the washer and hang them to dry in the terrace, and quickly bring the stand in every time it threatens to rain which is half a dozen times in this rainy season in Bengaluru. This is not all. I am the designated door keeper and telephone attendant. I also make my bed if I feel like it. Never imagined that these simple looking activities could demand such a lot of skill and time.
My next project is up-skilling, like training myself to operate the gas burner, handle the kitchen knife and manage my finger chips. These are hazardous tasks and involve a higher degree of risk management.Now you know what my daily life is. Never a dull moment.
I don’t know whether I would ever return to my earlier exploratory street trips…..Ah well! I am not exactly regretting it
This is my take on this week’s Friday blog post topic suggested by Shackman.
The other bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Shackman, Conrad, Ramana, Sanjanaah, Gaelikka, Srinivas and Padmini.
Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they say about Power.