S. and M., two teens in Kerala, India
Locusts, Cyclones, and Coronavirus
It’s funny how the world quickly changes from the daily routine of children going to school and parents buying groceries to families being caged in the four walls of their houses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this time of crisis we have to be optimistic and be there for our families. Sure none of us can meet people much less even leave the house, but we have our family to keep us company. Kerala schools were shut down by the orders of the government on March 11th, the exact date when our exams should have started. The hardest part about the pandemic was not being able to interact with people face to face. When we thought things couldn’t get worse in India, it did. During the COVID-19 lockdown, we had the worst locust attack in years, major cyclones are threatening everyone near the coasts and board exams pending. On March 25th, PM Modi issued a nation wide lockdown where we weren’t allowed to go outside unless your homes had a shortage of food and anyone lingering on the streets were taken to the quarantine centre by the police. When masks and sanitizers were scarce, families took matters into their on hands and stitched masks and made hand wash. All around the world, stock markets plummeted. Every morning we woke up to the news channels and newspapers reading the number of passings, active cases and cyclones. Sure we couldn’t meet our friends or go to the theatre. But let’s not dwell on the negative points.
Looking at the bright side of the pandemic, we bonded with our families over delicious food. We played and cycled in the evening and spent dinner arguing about the fouls the other team did during that day’s game of football and lagore (a game with 7 stones). We celebrated birthdays and anniversaries by eating homemade cake. Almost every night we watched movies of different languages “professionally” handpicked by our father.
Covid 19 has two sides, we just need to choose which side to look at. My advice is “keep calm and carry on.”
[submitted on 6/5/2020]
Life in Quarantine: Witnessing Global Pandemic is an initiative sponsored by the Poetic Media Lab and the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis at Stanford University.
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