From December 2019 and all of 2020, life went on a roller coaster ride and it seemed like we were traveling simultaneously in the slow and the fast lane. While the weirdness of what was to come started with toilet paper rolls taking center stage, the attention moved from the netball and footie courts to monopoly and other board games. Gone were the days when mums and dads went separate ways with the children, taking them to different venues, be it piano or ballet classes or music lessons, the era of family time as it existed in the 70s and the 80s was on its way back. The tiny virus with tinier tentacles had us all doing head stands.
2021 came with hope and as the sun rose from the East on the 1st of January 2021, we all were ready to put COVID behind us and move on. But alas! It was not to be! Refusing to cow down the mutated form of the virus emerged with a vengeance taking lives and creating havoc. Life was in disarray and the cocky human race was once again brought to its knees. And this time it hurt even more. The novelty of the initial lock down had worn off and the mandatory hand washing now had the ‘masked’ companion.
Businesses that were slowly beginning to crawl back to life were trampled upon with no mercy and there was no place safer than home. While some were fortunate to stay in their jobs and work from home, the absence of human interaction for the social beings that we are slowly started impacting our mental health. As would in any situation, some thrived, and some suffered.
The COVID related payments affected many businesses, and we were in the strange predicament where there were jobs aplenty with no takers. People were getting addicted to receiving a payment without lifting a finger. The already dying economy was now being muscled to submission by poorly managed government handouts. People were earning more sitting at home doing nothing and thus were not motivated to return to work.
The media played its role in highlighting the trivial and not reporting on things that mattered. The anti-vaxers manipulated the media and a futile war began between the propagators of AstraZeneca and Pfizer. There was so much misinformation and false news out there, with most TV channels oozing negativity and fear mongering. Australia became the laughingstock with premature, unplanned, and unrealistic lockdowns. At one point there seemed no light at the end of the long dark ‘lockdown’ tunnel.
Fortunately, people started waking up to the fact that vaccination was the only way forward, the voices of the anti-vaxers faded into obscurity as sensibility prevailed.
And mid-October the state of NSW decided it was time! The lockdowns were lifted, and freedom of movement proclaimed to those who were double jabbed. This came as a huge relief to the Hindu community who had two of their major festivals, one in mid-October and another in early November. For others, relief came in the form of family time. I hugged my older son after a gap of 12 weeks!! Christmas shopping began and a distant cousin of life as we knew it was back. But as we started getting comfortable, and planning for our Christmas celebrations and getaways, Omicron came knocking. But we must carry on with life and not let this miniscule of a creature rule our lives. We cannot afford to get caught up in a vicious cycle crafted by the virus. Booster doses have now become available, which is believed will give us that extra layer of protection. I have had mine.
What has 2022 in store for us, no one knows. There is no denying that vaccinations and booster doses are the shield that will protect us from the wrath of the virus. But for how long will be a question that will continue to linger …… How soon and wildly the virus will mutate, nobody knows. Life has never been this unpredictable. And as we tune ourselves to settle down to the new norm, we step forward with this uncanny wariness hanging over us!
Hoping and praying that “ALL IS AND ALL WILL CONTINUE TO BE WELL IN OUR WORLD. “Wishing you all a HAPPY AND SAFE 2022.
PS: I made the best of the 2 months I got by catching with my friends and my saree tribe. The silver linings in the otherwise dark clouds.