“We were gearing up to travel to the UK when the deadly virus struck us and changed many lives forever last year. My husband had been deputed on a long-term project to London and because it had been more than a year he was away, we decided to join him there till his assignment got over.When the lockdown was announced initially, I somehow did not realise the gravity of the situation at the beginning. I took a complete break from work as well as social media and used that time to focus on family and self. To my good fortune, my parents were with me during that period so I was able to manage things well at home in my husband’s absence as they were a great support. However, after the cases started rising, reality hit me.
It was hard to digest that we were actually in the midst of a pandemic. I love meeting people and going out, so the sudden lifestyle change did take a bit of a toll but I kept reminding myself about my privilege and was grateful that I was in a much better situation than many other people. Somehow, even my 6-year-old was able to adapt well and that gave me further motivation to work around what we had. We were disappointed that we would have to be away from my husband for a longer period, but I decided to use the time well for my work.
Being a digital content creator, entrepreneur and blogger, I came up with many unique and pioneering initiatives to engage my mind creatively and add value to my work. However, things took a turn towards the road we never wanted to take. COVID reached our family with my parents contracting the virus first, and then my in-laws getting impacted by it in the second wave.Thankfully, they recovered but many others did not. Like most of us, I also lost loved ones to COVID and coping with this collective grief was something none of us was prepared for. That phase which lasted for a few months was challenging and stressful. I was also volunteering for COVID aid leads during the second wave, and the whole experience affected my psyche deeply. Post-COVID can never be the same as pre-COVID. Some changes in all of us will be permanent.
My biggest learning from the pandemic experience is that we need to stop taking ourselves and our health for granted. “What truly matters?” – this is a question that we need to give time to, introspect and answer. I think this time has proved why EQ is extremely important and more than the course curriculum, kids need to learn resilience.
As a parent and creative writing mentor to kids, I would suggest that open and honest communication on emotions and mental health, getting involved in creative pursuits, reading together, seeking professional help and dollops of love help a child immensely to cope with adversity.”
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