About Me

My photo
Journalist, Author, Columnist. My Twitter handle: @seemagoswami

Friday, June 23, 2023

Pandemic praise

Now that life has returned to normal, here are some things I miss about Covid lockdowns


I suppose it was bound to happen. After many months of celebrating the end of Covid lockdowns and rejoicing in the fact that life was returning to normal, I suddenly find myself in the decidedly odd position of missing the pandemic. 


Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to go back to the bad old days, when we were all locked in our houses and had to wear N95 masks even to open the door for deliveries. Perish the thought! But increasingly, there are moments when I find myself thinking back to the pandemic with nostalgia rather than dread.


What can you possibly miss about those dark days of Covid lockdowns, I hear you ask, in tones of utter incredulity. Well, here are just some things I miss, in no particular order


·       What I loved best about the days of the pandemic was how my world shrank down to my core group. All those casual acquaintances, distant family members, professional contacts, all fell victim to social distancing. And what I was left with was the people I truly cared about: my immediate family, my best friends, my closest neighbours. It made me realise that we don’t really need the vast social circle we build around ourselves. All that matters is the handful of people who make your world complete. Everything else is extraneous – and that is a truly liberating feeling.

·       The thing I treasured most about this period, when we were all locked up in our homes, was that I had almost unlimited time to myself, where I could do exactly what I wanted without the thousand other distractions that are usually a part of life. This is what allowed me to concentrate on the writing of my novel, Madam Prime Minister (a sequel to my first political thriller, Race Course Road), ensuring that I finished it in record time. Now that I am struggling to finish the spy novel that I am currently working on, I find myself longing for those Covid lockdown days, when it was so much easier to concentrate on my writing.

·       Going for walks in my favourite parks when the lockdown became less severe was, without fail, the highlight of my day. There were very few people around because not many folks were venturing outdoors. So, I had vast, vacant spaces to myself for the most part, and I could enjoy the spring flowers and the summer blooms in splendid solitude. Now that the parks are overflowing with picknickers, those Covid-tinged days seem like a dream that ended too soon.

·       It was during the pandemic that I rediscovered the romance of the road trip and discovered the charms of places closer to home. Not only was it a relief not to have to brave airport security and long flights to go on holiday, but I also found that road trips brought me closer to the country that I was driving through, giving my experiences an immediacy that air travel sorely lacked.

·       But the absolute best bit about the pandemic days was the air that we got to breathe in Delhi. Thanks to the lack of construction work, and absence of vehicular traffic, the pollution virtually vanished. Every day was a blue-sky day and the air quality varied between good and moderate. Bliss!


So yes, the pandemic came with some blessings as well – though we may have been blind to them at the time.

No comments: