While the recent coronavirus-induced lockdown caused hardship and difficulties to most of us, for me the lockdown paled in comparison to the containment I had to recently undergo.
It was a Saturday morning when the news reached us that there was a Covid-19 positive case on the floor below ours. BBMP handled the situation very efficiently. They came over to our apartment building, sanitised the surrounding areas and then declared that the containment area would include the affected floor, the floor above and the floor below.
During the initial lockdown, you could at least go out to buy essentials. That meant some amount of fresh air and sunshine. However, during containment, three floors were barricaded with ropes and tapes and strict instructions were given – no movement outside one’s unit. Which basically meant that we were absolutely housebound. Okay, we thought, after we got over the initial shock, we can bear this for 14 days--can’t be too bad, can it? Then BBMP dropped the bombshell – the containment would be for 28 days!
I had never imagined that staying at home could get so stressful! Home had always been a place of rest, a place to recover, a place to recharge one’s batteries. Now, with this enforced ‘imprisonment’, it became the opposite. It became a gilded cage and we, the residents, the birds in that enclosure. Thankfully, volunteers in our building ensured that we wanted for nothing. And of course, we had all the comforts of home – TV, internet etc. Waking up every morning to the fact that we were completely stuck in these four walls for the entire day, was enough to extinguish one’s mood.
Absolutely no one was allowed to these quarantined apartments, which meant no visitors of any kind. This on top of the previous 60-day lockdown! The only ones permitted were the BBMP folks, who came to check on our status daily. Other than this, the only faces and the only people we saw for the next four weeks were the ones we had been incarcerated with – our immediate family. It is a wonder that we were not at each other’s throats!
Thankfully, the ordeal did finally come to an end. When it did, I did not jump up in joy or rush out to meet friends or even walk out on the streets. All I did was heave a huge sigh of relief and wish fervently that I would never have to undergo such an ordeal again, gilded cage or no.