Quarantine is already driving us nuts. Isn’t it? It’s been like around one month of social distancing, and we can’t take it anymore. And some are even asking what if Quarantine lasts for a year and we remain stuck till then?
Surely, there are bigger concerns associated with COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean social distancing is a trivial concern. Trust me, it’s not. We, at The Meraki, focus on bringing the most relevant talk for you for the present times. And it’s almost crazy how relevant Quarantine Effects have become. We’re at a point where the elevating trend of this particular side effect of COVID-19 is alarming.
Not getting to meet your friends as often as you used to, or at least have the liberty to walk out the moment you felt like, is suffocating for many. Despite the temporary engagements that we have indulged ourselves in, one particular question keeps bugging us at the back of our minds: how long. What if the quarantine lasts for a year? What will life be like? Will we get used to the caged lifestyle for the sake of survival? Will we even be happy with this, and start considering stepping out as an inconvenience?
The questions and their magnitudes of disturbance are both divergent and ever-increasing. Therefore, addressing the situation (to whatever extent possible) is now a necessity. Let’s not give in to disturbing possibilities and face what may lie ahead.
Quarantine: Current Dilemma
It was in late March, or to speak of official data, the first of April when nationwide lockdown got announced in the perimeters of Pakistan. The entire nation got forced into their homes.
Retreating to the four walls of the home did not only mean a changed routine but also sacrifices. People could no more head out to earn their daily living, lend a hand to that elderly neighbor residing in the other street, celebrate once-in-a-lifetime events, and finally execute the plans that they were planning for ages. Or even, provide comfort to the family of the deceased, and gather at funerals.
Also, it meant that people who depend on the outside world to keep them mentally stable need to find an alternative (which may as well be impossible in 70% cases). For example, if casually discussing daily work with your colleague during a break is your only means of healthy human contact (face-to-face), you’re so done for. Dry emails and texts will easily replace the relatively alive conversation.
According to a previously conducted research, people with weak social relationships may have three times greater mortality rate in a given period (i.e., nine years as per the study).
Many people challenge such claims by putting forward the struggle of patients who battle the coronavirus and the medical staff serving them. They say it’s almost nothing in comparison to what they do.
Certainly, it’s not. The whole point is: there is no competition.
Stress is on both sides. And we can confidently claim that because with WHO’s release of mental health guide for COVID-19, this opinion is now a fact.
Now the question is: how long does the world have to stay put with this stress?
And Our Hopelessly High Hopes
Lately, Fawad Chaudhry – the Minister of Science and Technology claimed that Pakistan upgraded its healthcare department, and very soon, it’ll be amongst the first few countries to get rid of the coronavirus. Although we pray for this and want to believe in this with the bottom of our hearts, we must keep ourselves in check with reality.
As of the exact time of penning down this post, the number of COVID cases in Pakistan are 17, 439. And globally, there are about 3.27M cases. Plus, the count is only rising (quite rapidly).
Even more, the lockdown dates have already been extended twice. We expect another extension as well. Also, the examinations, orientations, and all other activities scheduled for June and July are getting postponed to later months of the year.
Globally, countries have begun devising their economic and operational strategies for the rest of the year with the lockdown.
Considering these circumstances, it is highly improbable to claim that the lockdown will get called off anytime soon. Even if the authorities let loose, it wouldn’t be for the better. As for the ease provided, I don’t think it equates to the free air that we used to breathe in.
What Will World be Like, then?
God knows. I know that’s not what you want to hear. You’re here for a more practical picture: to read it in someone else’s words to finally believe it.
But, the truth is, only God knows. Let me still present to you what the world thinks of you can say, the scenario of highest votes and probability.
Our movement in the outside world will become cautious and conscious. You will no more receive an out-of-the-blue pat from your friend because you just laughed your stomachs out. It would perhaps only be a nod: a sign of acknowledgment somehow. Perhaps, that makes it clear how common bursts of laughter or joyous everyday activity would be.
Academics and work will resume but from home. Systems will shift their entire mechanisms to online platforms. Employees will have to get up from bed, get dressed (or even skip that), sit in front of the PC/Laptop, and execute pending tasks until their settled off-time.
It may mean a major boost in technology and the online world. Stores will begin operating through online stores, which will provide a significant boost in the e-commerce industry. People will open up more websites, and soon, the virtual world will be the real world.
Perhaps, the basic sectors of our life, such as education, health, and even security, will shift completely towards the online platform. Imagine online jobs, schools, courses, doctor consultations, counseling sessions, conferences, and even social meet-ups.
Certainly, technology will adapt to this new world and invent more convenient devices. Using a smart device will become a necessity than a luxury. Our homes might contain more advanced equipment and communication devices. Perhaps, the intensive demand for connectivity may even make the internet equivalent to food. Undeniably, there are higher percentages of the new world to look like the ultra-modish human era that we used to see in sci-fi movies.
But, it will also mean deprivation of vitamin D and a lively atmosphere. It will also mean a major cut in that sense of achievement and social life. It will also mean a sense of dread and tiredness all round the clock.
Also, if this continues until the end of the year, we might run out of all the creative activities that we have planned for ourselves. By then, we might already be done with learning or even mastering various skillsets. Be it learning a new instrument, or a new language.
Here comes the next big question: what to do then? How to prepare and cope with the situation?
Pause. You still got this.
Well, considering that we know, this is going to last for a while and that things don’t appear in the best of shapes, it’s time to prepare ourselves.
But prepare with what?
Look now, for the present times, check out these helpful methods to stay mentally calm, stable, and engaged. And for the long run, focus on establishing a routine. For example, separate a portion of your house if you do not already have a study and dedicate it for work purposes. At least, you can have a sense of achievement when you step out of that particular portion after a day’s work.
If your work department has not yet started operating online, dedicate some time from this free-time to learn a new skill, which may get you employment in case your employing field or company crashes.
Similarly, divide time between academics and household activities wisely. Stay strict to your schedules, treat yourself on weekends the way you used to do. Moreover, you must stay connected with friends and family as well as neighbors. For the sake of productivity and greenery, plant if you have got the opportunity.
And lastly, don’t lose hope. Don’t stop contributing to the pool of positive energy that we all direly need. Miracles do happen. Right? We can wake up to the Coronavirus-free world sometime next month. Keep yourself open and prepared for situations of all sorts!
The comprehensive, all-embracing post covers all aspects of the current situation in terms of Quarantine, along with what the future may look like. A must-read for those who worry about the coming months and shape of the near future. So that even if Quarantine lasts for a year you have got it all in control.