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My life during coronavirus

COVID-19 stopped the world in its tracks and a sense of calmness descended on the Earth (“COVID-19: What I miss most about my life before coronavirus”, Gulf News, April 21). Lockdown has made people homebound and work from home is the new norm. Humans are supposed to be adaptive but strangely seem to be gradually transitioning to the contradictory. Many are feeling caged and restricted between their four walls. On the same note, digital life evolved with use of existing technology.

I am trying to keep my life as real as possible. I do confess I wake up an hour later than I used to. The first week was worrisome watching others scurry in fear. My husband went to India just before the flight restrictions, so I’m here alone. He motivates me everyday and advised me to enjoy everyday and lead life as normally as possible. So, I didn’t give up on dressing up for work every morning or for evening Zoom meets. Most evenings are spent on calls with family.

Transformation to digital life opened up more ways of connectivity for work, worship and entertainment. WhatsApp, Facebook and Zoom are the new cinemas and café with the occasional Netflix.

Weekends are busier than before. I meet a group of lovely ladies on WhatsApp for two movie nights per week, a comedy night and a zoom coffee meet. These meeting are full of fun, laughter, encouragement and sharing information. A very active lady in the group is constantly finding new activities to engage all participants. I celebrated our festivals and birthdays online. A slew of games with friends and some groups are amazing. Pictionary was fun with a lively group.

On the spiritual side, church services have gone online. Study groups are meeting on Zoom and are supporting each other and praying for others to sail through these rough times. Children and parents alike are getting adapted to distance learning. All these digital engagements sound positive and being able to stay connected with family has sustained us. The lack of human interaction is missing. We are longing to step out into the real world to meet others and normalcy to resume.

From Ms Sridevi Adivi

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How I utilise my time in the lockdown?

The lockdown has made us all pause and think (“Letters: Readers discuss keeping busy during the pandemic and reducing stress for children”, www.gulfnews.com, April 8). We are at home all the time. After the housework is complete, what do I do? I personally have used my time quite well, I think. I compiled a book for my niece in Singapore. This book contains interesting short stories with moral teachings. My niece will share this with her friends and their children. I hope they like it as much as I liked compiling it! On another front, an uncle’s son decided to form a WhatsApp group of us cousins. We have been so busy sending in information about ourselves, and also photographs. Some of us are getting in touch with each other after 50 years. Isn’t that strange? With this group, we hope, we will be in regular contact – on birthdays, wedding anniversaries, when children get married and as life goes on. A document is being compiled, which will be available for all to see and refer to. I have been helping my cousin with this. People are making masks for normal use and distributing them; others are bringing out old cookery books and long lost recipes of grandmothers and mothers – Master Chef here I come! We don’t know when the pandemic will be over. We don’t know when the lockdown will be lifted. So it is up to us to best utilise the time we have been given, so that we may not repent later. I wish I had been able to do this when I was younger. Live in the present and be creative.

From Ms Aruna Mathur
New Delhi, India

Keeping busy

A lot of people around the world have been keeping to their houses and are social distancing (“Coronavirus-buster: Take part in a stay-at-home contest, challenge”, Gulf News, April 17). The coronavirus pandemic has us caused us to pause our lives and live in the moment. However, some people have started complaining on social media that they are “bored” at home, and have run out of things to do. I can’t believe it. For me, the free hours I have in the day are simply not enough. Those complaining now need to be in the present and enjoy their time. Work will start and then these individuals will wake up and yearn for the time spent at home. The grass is always greener on the other side.

From Ms Alia M.

Stay safe, stay home

I would like to ask everyone to be vigilant and avoid taking chances with your health (“Staying home: UAE residents find time to pursue hobbies”, www.gulfnews.com, April 17). Those who have been stuck at home and now can go out, please be cautious. Just because everything is open right now, it doesn’t mean we are free to wander like before. Make sure you are protected since it is your life, and you might endanger the lives of others. The UAE is working really hard to keep people safe and provide the appropriate services. Yet, people aren’t able to follow protocols. Everyone of us knows the threat of this virus to our health. Be safe and stay at home.

From Ms C. Enriquez
Facebook comment

Vaccine: Need of the hour

The initiative of Serum Institute of India, one of the largest vaccine makers in the world, in collaboration with an American biotech company, is developing a “live attenuated” vaccine in six months is a good development in the fight against COVID-19. At this hour we need a drug to fight this deadly coronavirus.

From Mr K. Raghavan
Bengaluru, India

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