COVID-19: End of year update

Posted on Dec 2, 2020

December is here. 2020 has been a wild ride and looks like it’ll overflow into most of 2021 as well. This year, if nothing else, has been an eye-opener on what the most important things in our lives are.

As we live in the constant fear of death, we can’t help but cherish those who give us happiness and appreciate the people around us for what they are. Even though mortality rates are pretty low, the uncertainty of all of it is what affects us most. We’re all doing what we can to stay safe, but nothing is still certain. It’s a cat and mouse game where we are the mouse, and the cats are invisible.

Then the realization comes that maybe this is how it has always been, and the pandemic is just pointing a finger at it. Life around us has always been this uncertain. We are trying to convince ourselves that we have been in control of our lives before COVID, but maybe we were not. Now that there is a pandemic upon us, we realize that we have taken everyone and everything around us for granted, expecting them to last for a certain period of time. And yet they didn’t. But now, the fear is on us because of the amount of grief and anxiety we’re already feeling from everything that’s happening around us.

While we constantly try to stay in control, we realize how fragile and temporary everything around us is. Maybe we need to appreciate everything regardless of a pandemic looming over. If you like someone, go tell them. If you appreciate someone, go tell them. They’re just as much confused, stressed and feeling hopeless as you are. Maybe make their day a little better. And maybe their happiness will bring you some relief. And they’re around today. We don’t know the future.

Because my circles are mostly techies, during the first quarter of the pandemic, there were a lot of tech discussion to help everyone stay busy/distracted/relevant. But as we crossed the 6 months boundary, seems like that died down. And more human discussions started taking place. I myself have become exhausted of constant tech talks around. At this point, I just want to throw everything away and cook good food every day and feed the people who care about me.

I miss traveling.

Going to visit families soon as they’ve been extremely stressed mentally. We’ve done all that can be done from far away. Travel has its risks, but if I can help their anxiety even a little at this point, it’ll be worth it, given their advanced age. Tomorrow is uncertain, but I can do something about it today.

Whenever I get stuck at a decision about whether to do something or not, I always judge them by how much happiness that will bring me, or to the people I love, or to the people who love me. At any cost. After all, what’s the point of living, if we’re not happy? Why wait for tomorrow to be happy?

This pandemic has really put my decision-making process to test. What brings happiness is to stay closer to those who love you, but traveling to them is also the last thing you should do because you could be a carrier. In the end safety won over. I didn’t travel home when people around me were. And it’s been almost 9 months since. In these 9 months we’ve done everything possible to help our families stay sane and happy. I’m pretty sure the anxiety has been more difficult for them than us. The least we can do is to try to keep them occupied and happy for an hour a day.

Keeping the constant fear of losing people aside, what has kept me mostly sane during this year, is playing games with friends and talking to them, and cooking good food at home.

Dunno if we’ll ever get a year like this where everyone is at home, and not exhausted from commuting all day, or looking at their manager’s face all day. Even though forced WFH has had adverse effects on people who are not suited for it, now that they’ve spent almost a year in this lifestyle, working in their PJs, I don’t think they can go back to their pre-pandemic work clothes anytime soon. But thanks to that, got more time to play with people.

Special thanks to you, Sathya.

When it comes to cooking at home, we’ve always cooked a lot, but this pandemic has forced us to increase that even more. For the first 6 months of it, we didn’t have outside food even once. That means a lot of cooking at home. And making food is always delightful to me. Plus having a partner who loves it as much as I do, if not more, helps. But that shouldn’t stop anyone from cooking IMO. Being able to cook food is a gift, that lets you fill your, and if you’re lucky, other’s stomach as well. As we live and breath, there is no greater deed than that. Food brings people closer, we need that now more than ever.

Thankful to all of you for keeping me sane.

Avoid the crowd, wear a mask, stay safe.