It’s been almost two months since I’ve stepped out of house. It all started with an extended mid-sem break and now I am in a middle of a never ending lockdown. As a grad student, the thought of an extended break from college was clearly a blessing regardless of the reason it was extended and I could see that I was not the only one as I came across the viral video of IIT students chanting ‘Jai Corona’. Well, that explains a lot about Indian Education System but that rant is for another day. When all of this started, I was extremely productive or maybe just busy, making schedules for myself and listing everything I wanted to learn. But after the pressure of waking up in the morning to go somewhere was uplifted, I really fucked my sleep cycle up, this is common to all of us ( I guess). There was no more routine to my life but the stress was still there. It was like you have added a new thing to worry for and to cope with but you’ve taken the coping mechanism away. In a way, the routine which bound my week together, kept me busy, allowed me to chill with my friends, and helped me escape a little bit was taken away. On the top of it, social media flooded with news that how economy is at worst, number of cases are multiplying and this might not ever end,  simultaneously beating myself for feeling sad and anxious because there are people having worse than me and I am actually at the position of privilege in this situation.Various kinds of challenges, videos of people working out and making amazing food at home, my friends doing incredible things and here I was trying to wake up before 3 PM and struggling to start a new show or finish the book or complete my blogs or study at least one hour in a day or being angry, sad and restless on even the smallest of inconveniences. All these messages and post on how to stay productive and even one was not working on me or many of us. I came across the video of Vitamin Stree explaining about the productivity during lockdown. 

First of all, we need to realise that we are experiencing a collective form of trauma and in trauma productivity is the last thing that will come to our mind. The reaction to this trauma might be to freeze or throw yourself at work for others.The fear is conditioned, which means you’ve associated a situation or thing with negative experiences. This psychological response is initiated when you’re first exposed to the situation and develops over time. This explained the behavior of mindless scrolling and staying in the bed. I am happy that you’ve discovered your love for cooking and that my father has reconnected with his hobby of playing Harmonium but I’ve also learned that sometimes being productive is not a choice especially when you’re dealing with a situation you’ve only seen in Hollywood movies where you’re not even the hero.  It’s okay if this situation is not a blessing in disguise for you, it’s okay if you’re not learning a new skill and it’s totally okay if you’re lying in the bed to process your thoughts. You might have the will to do it and you also haven’t lost the ability to do it, you’re just don’t have the capacity to do it because you are mentally, emotionally, financially and socially occupied by this pandemic.

Ruchika Rao The Indian Opinion

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