Sitting here, on a grey, muggy, overcast morning, waiting for the monsoon to break (day after tomorrow, we are told) the People’s Curfew of 22 March seems a lifetime ago.
And yet – though we didn’t fully appreciate it at the time – that was the end of the old normal & the beginning of the new normal
It’s just 3 months since we were locked down, and yet our old routine, our oh-so-normal life is a distant memory.
We marked yesterday, Sunday 21st, by going out for the first time in 3 months, to meet up with 2 couples, amongst our dearest friends.
Coincidentally, one of the couples, Anjali & Hardy, were the very last people we saw before lockdown. On a whim, they had called in to see us on the night of 21 March, the eve of the People’s Curfew.
I remember we speculated that the “Janta Curfew” could well be a dress rehearsal for what might become a longer lockdown…little did we know.
And there we were 3 months on, tentatively heading out. Meeting “outsiders” for the first time.
It actually felt strange to be out.
Since Delhi eased its restrictions on leaving the house a couple of weeks ago, I have gone out to the local park for a run most mornings. and in the evening, I go back to the park for a walk with my husband.
But we don’t talk to people, other than the very rare muffled and masked “hello”, so it’s all totally impersonal.
And that’s it, on the going out front.
Two trips a day to the park, all masked-up.
So yesterday felt like a bit of a milestone, actually going out to meet friends for lunch.
Everyone in my circle is safe and healthy, thanks goodness, with the only 2 people I know to have contracted coronavirus safely recovered (very close members of my British family).
So why the gloomy feelings today?
I know I should be rejoicing that we are safe.
I do not take any of these things lightly, truly I don’t, but there is nevertheless a pall of gloom over my horizon today.
India has, I fear, difficult months ahead of her.
Our infection rates are steadily increasing and Delhi, where I live, is particularly badly hit.
One fears that the city is stretched and overwhelmed, but to be fair, every day there are announcements of new measures and strategies to tackle this dreadful virus, so one can only hope and pray that the powers that be, and the exhausted medical staff, can control the spread and the infection rate.
As I write, at mid-morning on Monday June 22nd, Delhi’s COVID-19 tally is nearing the 60,000-mark and over 3,000 coronavirus cases were recorded yesterday, June 21st.
It is a grim picture and, to be honest, it doesn’t make me want to step out of the house any more.
Perhaps yesterday was enough.
We remembered what it was to sit and chat and eat with friends. Admittedly much of the chat was about Coronavirus and masks and precautions, but it was a change of scenery.
Perhaps, like a hermit crab, it might be time to withdraw and stay home.
March 22nd was Mother’s Day.
June 21st, our first foray out, was Father’s Day.
There’s some sort of message there, if only I knew what it was.