By Muskan Bhatnagar
How boring and hard is it to sit back at home during lockdown? No new episodes, no new movies, no delicious restaurant food, no car rides, no parties, no meetups with friends, and no travel plans.
But do we realize how privileged we are to be able to safely sit back at home? We are privileged enough to have a roof on our head, privileged enough to have sufficient food and savings, privileged enough to have our loved ones close, privileged enough to sleep at night when millions are dying outside, privileged enough to watch movies when the world is going through a crisis.
There are thousands of people who are stranded on the roads, away from family and hometown, with no source of income, no shelter, no food and no money to survive themselves. They’re dependent on the society and government for survival.
While the government has instructed us to stay home to prevent us from catching coronavirus, these people have no other choice than living on the streets. They’re highly exposed to the virus and can catch it anytime. With public transport shut, these people precisely the migrant workers, are forced to walk thousands of miles to their hometowns. Many of them fail to survive throughout the journey and lose their lives.
There are hundreds of such workers who have to sleep under the bridges or on the roads together. This also results in the suspension of social distancing norms which can increase the threat of the deadly virus. How worse can it get than being stranded thousands of miles away from home, with no money and resources to survive or return during a pandemic outbreak?
The sorrows don’t end here.
Many families, who have shelter, food, money, etc are in great pain too. The pain of separation from loved ones. So many people from rich or middle-class backgrounds have been tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus mainly because of travel history.
While the death toll is increasing every day, the lives of families whose members have been tested positive for COVID-19 have turned into a nightmare. The people who are tested positive are quarantined in hospitals while the family members are not allowed to meet them till they have recovered completely. There is no surety of recovery of any person. Now imagine the amount of fear, stress, and pain the family goes through.
You have your loved ones suffering from a virus and the best you can do is not meet them, when you have no clue whether they’ll survive or not. You have no idea how the person is being treated in the hospital and you’ll never get to know when they need you. Even if you know, you can do nothing about it. How hard can this get further? On the other hand, the patient who has been quarantined is going through other stress. Imagine being away from family, not feeling well, the negativity of people dying around you, living with strangers for days, and with no guarantee of life. The story is equally difficult on both sides.
Many people are losing their lives because of COVID-19 and the loved ones even not even able to visit their dead bodies.
If you still haven’t realized how privileged you are, then think about the hundreds and thousands of women and children who’re going through domestic violence and sexual abuse while in lockdown. They’re stuck with their abusers under the same roof. And they’ll be abused physically, mentally and sexually till the lockdown is lifted. The world has seen a significant increase in domestic violence cases since the outbreak of coronavirus has restricted us into our homes.
Can we now realize and respect the privileges we have, while many others are facing the biggest tragedies of their lives every day? Not being able to enjoy and go out is not a “problem” when more than half of the human race is struggling for life.
While you half-heartedly eat homemade food, someone is dying of hunger. While you complain about not being able to go out, someone is dying of walking thousands of miles outside. While you get bored of watching movies, someone is waiting to look at their loved ones for one last time. While you fight with your family in lockdown, someone is walking miles to meet theirs.
Let’s start valuing the things we have and stop complaining about the basic inconveniences in life.