In the wake of a pandemic, some of us have lost less than the others. We have a comfortable home to stay in, enough rice and lentils and most importantly, good internet connection. It’s undeniable that each of our lives has been affected and will be affected for a long time. Turn on the TV or radio, you will definitely be washed over with numbers, statistics, and exponential graphs. Some news will horrify you while some others will reassure you that there is still hope for humanity.
For those of us who aren’t doctors, nurses or in any of the essential services, our contribution to help contain the pandemic is staying safely indoors. Some of us are using this time to call up old friends, the old fashioned way instead of just scrolling through their social media feeds. Some of us are using that yoga mat that had curled up in a corner. Some of us are channelling our inner Masterchef, Bollywood star or Picasso. Some of us are taking time to enjoy the morning cuppa, watch the sunset, listen to the birds, and clean our cupboards.
After reading about the little boy who broke his piggy bank to donate money, I wondered if I too could do something more than just social distancing. I currently live in Denmark. During the lockdown in India, we were still allowed to go for a walk and get takeaways from restaurants. I started buying bread from the local bakery instead of the supermarket, bought a coupon for 10 salads from the café nearby even though I am mostly cooking at home right now, and often get a coffee from a stand on my way back from a walk. This was my small way of making sure local businesses can survive the lockdown as I am privileged enough to be able to work from the comfort of my home and get paid.
While it is important to acknowledge the service of those going out there and doing their jobs, we too in our own small way can help those who cannot go out there and do their jobs. Buy coupons from your milkman even if you have enough, pay your house-help or share some groceries with her, share food with the construction workers holed up in that site nearby, check up on that neighbour who lives alone, shop for the old couple down the street, avoid forwarding fake news on social media, or share books, games or puzzles with the neighbours. I’m sure each of us can find a unique way of being kind. As someone said, in a world where you can be anything, be kind.