By Diksha Modi

Here we are, in the elysian fields
The existence so thus enclosed
Confined and throttled
In a place of bittersweet symphony
Playing atrocious gamble of fortune
With the standstill
Warmth of nature’s arms
Savouring the delighted clutch
The birds chirping
A song of hope, buoyant peace
Sunlight streaming contentment
Bringing in the solitude
Ahead and all around
Oozing the dark and eerie dreams of night
Setting on fire
The Long-Lost Hope!

I have considered my life crisis-free, prior to the present times. This coronavirus pandemic, is the first paramount catastrophe I have encountered, and in some ways, it feels like we’re living in a terrifying zombie apocalypse movie.

The complete shift from normalcy to disorder has changed the way I think about tasks I wouldn’t have a second thought about before. I have never been forced into isolation, which has made me realize things I subconsciously already know. I love college, and miss it with all of my heart. The people, the learning, and the sports have enveloped my mind.

This may have brought despair and sorrow to many aspects of life, but this disaster has given me time to do some things I have always wanted to do. I have had more time to work out, without the stress of a coach breathing down my neck. I have had a lot of time to improve my music skills, from practicing piano and euphonium, to learning guitar and the accordion. I have loved getting out into the sun, with all of the early beautiful weather. The bike rides and my woodworking activities have made my days more manageable. For every dark part of this devastating time, there is a glimmer of light that can make this situation a little more bearable.

Gratitude in my panic room

I often overthink about the fact that my brother’s business is shuttered, I’m away from my parents, my friends are off work and their bills are mounting.
Negative feelings can transition into depression unless we come to accept the ugly situation for what it is. The key is to be grateful for what you have, instead of worrying about what you cannot control.
I’m grateful that my parents are safe, I have food to eat, bed to sleep and people who love and care about me.
I am both grateful and concerned for frontline staff and first-responders everywhere who take extraordinary risks in merely doing their daily jobs.
I am grateful for local businesses that have prevailed in the face of potentially devastating economic conditions. I appreciate both their curbside and home deliveries. The indefinite length of the closure orders for them, however, is disconcerting for their financial well-being.
I am thankful for people’s resilience, creativity, and patience during their unplanned sequestering. It can’t be easy trying to work from home while teaching active, restless children and simultaneously trying to complete household chores.
This perspective became more apparent to me when a friend found her son’s homework in the refrigerator.
I am thankful for the garbage workers who continue on their regular routes, not knowing what precisely it is they are hauling. I pray for their continued safety.
I am thankful for the universal generosity of people who share their gifts most graciously. Using their talents to make personal protective products for strangers who need them is priceless.
I am grateful for a safe and secure home and neighborhood where I can hunker down and walk for exercise among nature’s artistry.
Although there are a plethora of strange happenings there are also appreciable moments. To be honest, there have been times when I’ve been down, fearful, anxious – none of us has ever lived through times like these. It’s easy to feel vulnerable and like you have no control over the outcome of your life. But when have we ever had total control over the outcome of our lives? We can’t focus only on the negative – it won’t solve a thing. Let’s think about all we should be grateful for.

Embracing the present

“No hay rosa sin espinas”

This is a Spanish saying and it translates to, “There are no roses without thorns.” Life is rampant with contradictions. Life, death, light, dark, good, evil, ancient, modern, ying, and yang. Many believe our purpose is to find happiness, become rich, or attain enlightenment. But what if the actual reason is to experience and appreciate everything the world offers? Do we not welcome the warmth of the summer sun after the frigid temperatures of winter? Drought sweetens a thunderstorm, navigating rough waters heightens the joy of smooth sailing, and the coronavirus creates gratitude for our health.
There is evidence suggesting when we face challenges, we improve our existence. You know the adage, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Weightlifting tones muscles, solving problems strengthens confidence. Devising creative solutions keeps your mind nimble and amplifies your sense of achievement. When we look at difficulties in a unique light, we can see them as opportunities. They are
the catalysts of growth, and a reminder to live to the fullest, experiencing the exhilaration of the highest highs, and even the despair the lowest lows.
It also increases your compassion for others. You can’t walk in someone else’s shoes, but your path may have exposed you to similar situations, which enhances your empathy. Empathy produces better people. Shared experiences unite humans in a common cause against a mutual adversary. Maybe this virus is not the scourge it seems. By fighting a microscopic enemy, we are developing closer relationships with family and friends, helping strangers, and finding innovative ways to manufacture needed supplies.


“Day by day, in every way, I am getting better and better”

There is an affirmation that I repeat every day at least 5 times:
Although at first it sounded very superficial but overtime, I started observing a very positive effect in my life. So much so that I now get external validation to the fact that I am, in fact, getting better and better every day.
No matter what perspective you choose, your quarantine story is yours to tell. And it will be different than my story or anyone else’s. The only request or advice is to make this story a positive one. One from which future generations can take a learning.
God forbid if it is something of the sort that is to return in future, may your story help others to cope. To view lockdowns as a time much needed for self. Rather than viewing them as a halt to your progress.
If you are someone who wants to grow and progress in life, trust me no pandemic can ever stop you. Again, this is my personal story and I don’t want to impose it on someone else.
With all said and done I do realize that not everyone has the mental capacity to cope and spend all this time productively. So, if you’re someone who simply survives this time and comes out sane, know that you have done enough and this is no little achievement in itself.