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As a big part of the world is currently under lockdown or could potentially be under lockdown in a few days I thought my experience might be useful. Being from Kashmir, I have had the misfortune of living under lockdowns more than a couple of times. In some of the cases, those lockdowns, were far more difficult to live in than this current lockdown.
1. Try to Be There for Your Elders
We need to understand that lockdowns or such situations are far more difficult for elders than they are for us. They usually panic more. They usually have a greater level of anxiety in such situations. So, try and be there for your elders. If you are not living with your parents, just try to be in touch with them as regularly as possible. If they have access to the internet, count yourselves lucky, and try to be on a video call with them as regularly as possible.
2. Don’t Panic, Don’t Hoard
Trust me! Food and groceries will have their own way of finding people who need them. If the existing supply chains are disrupted, new supply chains will be innovated. You will have access to groceries one way or the other… as long as you have money. So don’t panic. Don’t hoard.
If you know a neighbour, if you know a friend who has run out of their groceries, share your groceries with them, until you’re able to restock.
3. Help Daily-Wage Earners And Low-Income Groups
Lockdowns or curfews are the worst for people with minimal savings – daily-wage labourers, people from poorer economic backgrounds. Try and help them as much as possible. If you know someone, if you come across people, who are daily-wage labourers, who have lost their jobs, have no savings, try to help them financially as much as possible otherwise, they will literally die of hunger.
These are the moments when charity really matters.
4. Pick Up a Hobby
Try to pick up a hobby if you have a lot of time. Because normally, if your work has been disrupted and you have a lot of time, we end up spending a lot of that time reading the news and further go into this cycle of depression and stress because most of the news is about COVID or saving.
Or, try picking up an aim. If there is something that you wanted to achieve if things were normal.
For example, in 2016 when Kashmir was under lockdown for a couple of months, luckily at that time in Kashmir there was internet. I always wanted to take GMAT but I never had the time to study for that. I utilised those three months to study for GMAT and once the lockdown was over, I took the GMAT and was able to get a good score.
5. Introduce Kids to E-Learning
Your kids would suffer in terms of education because schools have closed down and I don’t see schools opening for a long time. This is a good opportunity to get them exposed to e-learning. A lot of e-learning platforms across the world and in India are offering free services. In the future, more and more learning would have online so think of this as an opportunity to test e-learning content or modules.
6. Remember, It’s Temporary
Don’t worry too much. This would be over. This is temporary. One month from now, two months from now, three months from now, life would be normal. We’d come out of this far stronger. And my hope is this helps us see through our differences and we come out as people who are more humble and more empathetic and as a result more united than ever.
(The author is an IIT graduate and co-founder of RISE and organisation that works to improve quality of education in Kashmir. He is from Kashmir and has lived through several lockdowns. All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)