When the new year arrived, there was excitement all over the world. This new year was more special because it marked the beginning of a new decade.  Unfortunately, barely 20-25 days in and the world was hit by a headline that changed our lives forever- the novel coronavirus outbreak. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a worldwide panic, but it has also brought communities together. 

So far, this year has collectively taught everyone to look at the brighter side of life, no matter what the conditions. Confined to their homes practising social distancing, people are finding wonderful ways to lift each other’s spirits and the spirits of those who are bound to continue work even during this time. 

Socially distanced, together

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COVID-19 is a newly-discovered infectious disease. The virus may not be necessarily fatal in all cases, although it has caused more than 12,700 deaths worldwide, the main issue is that it is highly contagious. Sadly, China deliberately covered-up the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan and did little to contain it. They allowed it to spread unchecked in the crucial early days and weeks imperilling not only its own country and but also over 100 nations now facing potentially devastating outbreaks. 

It takes about 10-14 days for a person infected with COVID-19 to show symptoms, which include difficulty in breathing with dry coughs and high fever. This makes early diagnosis difficult worsening the situation. So, to prevent this virus from further infecting others, authorities all over the world have ordered citizens to maintain at least 5-6 feet distance from other people and practise social distancing. And since, it is not possible to do so when people are still going to work and continuing with their daily routines, they have been asked to self-quarantine. In the time of coronavirus, staying indoors with our loved ones has become our salvation. We are all socially distanced, together.

The sound of hope

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Parts of China, Europe, the UK, USA, India and many other parts of the world are under lockdown in efforts to control the spread of the virus. During these periods of lockdown, people from all over the world have shown unity and support for each other and appreciation for front-liners fighting COVID-19 in various ways. From the Germans singing ‘Bella Ciao’– the ultimate anthem of resistance to people from Dallas singing the Bill Withers song ‘Lean on Me’ from apartment windows and Italians singing and ringing bells to most recently, Indians clapping together country-wide during ‘Janta Curfew’ yesterday- the world is echoing with sounds of solidarity and hope. 

What do to do in ‘quaran-time’?

From self-isolation to working from home and self-quarantine to cancelling all travel plans- people are trying to do everything that they can to help control the spread of the novel coronavirus. However, it is not easy putting a pause to life and staying at home- it takes quite an adjustment and can even be a little frustrating at times.

Here are some fun ideas on what to do in quaran-time:

Maintain Hygiene 

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True, it is not exactly an activity, but washing hands, using sanitizer, cleaning your living quarter regularly can build a great habit for the future. So, use this time to cultivate it, now it is the need of the hour, in the future, it will ensure yours and your loved ones’ good health. If you have no choice but to go out, please do not forget to also wear gloves and a mask, this will prove a huge asset in protecting you from catching the virus. 

Read a book

How often does it happen that you look at your bookshelf and let out a sigh because you haven’t been able to take out the time to even pick one up yet. Well, now is your chance, read the book you’ve been meaning to for so long but never came around to opening it. Lose yourself in Alice’s Wonderland, take a stroll down the Yellow Brick Road, go on an adventure in Narnia, or just wander off into the Hundred Acre Wood. 

Broaden your horizons

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This is the best time to learn a new skill, exploit the internet, watch all those ‘How to…’ videos and practice something new. Take out your old guitar and learn new chords, or practice how to crochet, or maybe teach yourself a whole new software. Use this time, you will absolutely be exhilarated when you will come out of this time with a whole bunch of new skills. 

Love yourself, and others

If you are quarantined with your family or friends, then this is the best time to reconnect with them. We are so caught up in our work and daily routines that we do not get a chance to spend quality time with the people we love. We see them, almost every day, we don’t actually get to be with them that often. This is your chance, even if forced upon, it can be used to re-build relationships, have fun with each other, get to know the most important people in your life a little better. And if, you are alone, don’t worry, self-love is just as important as loving others. Meditate, workout, eat good food, take care of yourself, do the things that you love and can do during this time. 

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Although these times are hard and trying for all of us, do not lose hope. From self-quarantine and social distancing to staying hygienic, all of us are doing our part to prevent this outbreak from further spreading, and together, we will defeat this pandemic, soon.

Till then, stay safe, stay strong. 

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