By Shadan Muneer
Social distancing is the key to slow the spread of Coronavirus and to break the chain of transmission. Following the guidelines of the State Government, Mysuru too is under lockdown with most places wearing a deserted look.
Home quarantine, fear, anxiety, boredom and various myths and cures being circulated on social media are adding to the paranoia of the virus. Star of Mysore has put together suggestions from professionals from different fields in city to help you make the quarantine period productive and stress-free.
This quiet period can be used as ‘reset time’ for the perpetually busy and ‘always connected’ life of professionals. From students to toddlers, from office-goers to working mothers, everyone now has an opportunity to stay at home and spend quality time with family.
Collective reading, revisiting memories
“An idle mind is a devil’s workshop.” Hence it is recommended to keep yourself engaged in one or the other constructive activity. Revival of some traditional and popular games like carom and chess are great ideas to bond with family, collective reading, revisiting memories by flipping through old photo albums, doable and tangible projects can be encouraged. Staying home and having extra leisure can easily make one overeat so it is very important not to over-indulge and to eat healthy and fresh food, says Dr. Seetharam, a Health Professional and also the President of NGO SVYM (Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement).
He also adds, “I personally think music is a stress-buster and my children play good music which is very soothing and is good time pass for me.”
While a lot of awareness is created about physical health and hygiene, mental well-being is as important in these trying times. “Media is quite aggressive in projecting the virus and it is very important to stay calm and avoid unnecessary anxiety. Getting the right information is essential; consult a health professional rather than relying on social media,” opines Dr. Krishna, a leading Psychiatrist. He further says, “Body and mind needs exercising right now and working out increases energy levels and improves mental health, opt for indoor games and exercises. Fall in love with caring for yourself, your body and your mind. Eat right, utilise this time to heal and rest.” He also adds that great emphasis must be given to explain the current situation and hygiene practices to children at home in a calm and playful way to avoid anxiety amongst them.
Keeping children occupied & safe, a challenge
With the closure of schools and absence of summer camps and swimming classes, keeping children occupied and safe is proving to be a great challenge. “Educating children below 10 years and creating awareness is an absolute need of the hour and for pre-school age kids it is even more daunting as they can’t comprehend what the buzz is about, but we must instil in them the habit of hand wash hygiene and make them aware that it is not safe to go outside for now,” says Anju Eapen of Buds Pre-school and Daycare.
She further adds, “Cutting down the screen time is a must. Parents must read books with their kids, writing spellings, painting and drawing is also fun. Audio books, creative activities are recommended to keep them occupied. Encourage them in making crafts work that requires brain power, creating a routine like the playtime, read time and screen time will be helpful.”
Staggered employment engagement
Some of the public and private sector companies have allowed their employees to work from home based on their access to office.
Arjun Ranga, Managing Director, Cycle Pure Agarbathies, has allowed his employees to work from home. He says, “Health and well-being of my employees is my priority and we strongly believe in following whatever the local administration recommends. All precautions and safety measures are being taken care of. Work from home is to maintain social distancing and we have categorised employees as to how they commute to work. We have adopted staggered employment engagement at office and running at 50% capacity.” He also adds, “If there will be a total shut down I have a lot of things planned to do at home, there are books that I want to read, have many activities to do within the household, pickup on my writing skills and try my hand at cooking which I enjoyed while I stayed abroad. I would like to recommend my employees to take up online short courses on digital media as they will have additional time on hand.”
Pramod Shaandilya, CEO, Mysore Aqua, manufacturers of RO packaged drinking water states, “Being at home is honestly difficult for someone like me who is used to being on the move. The revenues are hit and my production has been affected, but the situation is unavoidable so we have to stop worrying about falling economy and losses and focus on containing the spread and saving lives.”
“The positive side is that I am enjoying my days being at leisure with my immediate family after long, I am getting time to read books and catch up some movies being at home,” he adds.
Do something productive
Ananya Graam, working for a research institute, has been working from home because of the virus outbreak. She says, “There are both positives and challenges of working from home. Some people tend to concentrate better at home as there are no colleagues to chat with and for some others it gets difficult to sustain the motivation amidst a lot of distractions like the TV set, kids playing around but work pressure remains the same.”
Her time spent travelling and dressing up for work is saved and wishes to utilise this time in some productive work like going back to reading, playing tanpura which was her passion and catching up some movies. She thinks that it is an opportunity for everyone to do something productive.
K.P. Althaf, General Manager of a store at Forum City Centre says, “If the lockdown continues further then we may have to think of some alternative ways to reach out to our customers. Now that I am at home it feels nice to spend time with family. I am getting this opportunity after many years and I am enjoying it. I am listening to a lot of music, getting back in touch with my old friends, relaxing and giving my time and attention to my family. It is also very satisfying to see my children bond with each other rather than spending time with their own friends.”
Dr. Sridevi Kulenur, Associate Professor at JSS University says, “With Colleges and Universities being closed, academic calendar will be affected and syllabus will remain incomplete. Students from different States who are part of a University are also in a fix because of the travel. In case the lockdown extends then we may have to come up with online assignments so that the students don’t lose touch with the subject.”
Sridevi, who is also a professional singer, would like to utilise this time by writing lyrics, composing songs and honing her singing skills at own studio. She has also observed that the locals are seen eating street food in groups which is unsafe and hopes that the people take this virus threat seriously and maintain social distancing.
The brighter side – cleanliness
“Empathy, understanding, self-reflection and self-discipline is the need of the hour. As a home-maker and a busy mother of three children I don’t step out too often and home quarantine doesn’t affect me much but as a positive person I believe this phase of virus breakout shall pass soon,” says Nazneen, a resident of city.
She further adds, “Looking at the bright side, places and spaces are being fumigated and sanitised, there are lesser people on roads, noise and air pollution levels have gone down. Every cloud has a silver lining, it is the time for us and the mother earth to heal.”
Stay at home, be innovative
Remember, staying at our homes with food, water and people you love is a blessing. Don’t let panic and stress prevent your attitude of gratitude. When the great plague of London was around in 1665, Cambridge University shut down and Isaac Newton was forced to stay at home and that’s when he invented Calculus. He saw an apple fall from a tree that inspired his understanding of Gravity and the Laws of Motion. So you have the option of using your mind and time to be creative.