As the saying goes “we’re all in this storm together but we’re all traveling in different sized boats.”
2020 has been the year the world went into lockdown. Staying in and zooming has become the new going out. And lockdown for some of our community has been described as ‘a gift’ – a way to go deeper inside, through creativity and mindful practices. But certainly not for everyone!
This is the story of what kept 63 people sane across 16 cities and widely fluctuating income levels. This is a story of the haves and the have nots.
Our ‘meta’ lockdown story – our overall theme- is that those with low incomes in disadvantaged parts of the world have had a completely different time to those living in large homes with facilities.
Social Distancing and the Digital Divide
Social distancing is social dividing. The very concept of distancing is something people living in the Red Zones of Mumbai simply do not have the luxury to afford! Instead they live with entire extended families in small houses and shared bathrooms. They cannot keep distances. Instead they sit on their doorsteps every night chatting with their neighbors in close proximity. It helps them feel better.
Some of us were lucky- we experienced an enjoyable lockdown with more time to go inside- to have our usual lives paused whilst we painted, read and really developed our creativity, did all the things we’d always wanted to from restoring furniture to developing our crocheting and cooking new recipes. We had time to reflect on our lives and work on ourselves. To go deeper into yoga and meditation, moving up Maslow’s pyramid of needs towards spiritual fulfillment. Many of us could work from home on our computers, safe in the sanitization of our living rooms. However many others couldn’t.
The divide here is partly digital – not just access to internet as most Indian urbanites have mobile phones with unlimited data – but more how we use it – for producing and interacting with rather than merely consuming free content. For those consuming only they often felt bored and demotivated at home.
What’s been the universal lockdown mood lifter?
Across all income levels it’s family and love, love, love…the Beatles were right. This means love between extended families, local communities and co-workers. It means love for children and pets. For Poornima it’s been her cat, for Stefano his little daughter, for Nivedita her grandson. For Nemat it’s his 2 kids and Sandhiya her son.
The other major thread to keep people going is religion and prayer. Having something to put faith into.
And environment. Those who could be outside the city and in Nature felt lucky. This surpassed income.
Roll on the New Normal
We salute you, our community. We are made up of those who
Everyone in these stories has inspired us with their positivism and generosity of spirit. We’ll all think about these experiences in time to come, the massive changes we all went through together, perhaps the biggest thing in our entire lifetimes. So colossal it will takes years to assimilate. The new normal is the next phase of how we’ll live with the virus. Where we learn to live with ourselves differently.
On a positive note, change is coming. Some of the largest global fashion companies have committed to reducing the number of annual collections. We celebrate that.
Will coronavirus really change the world?
Will kindness and empathy have a longer-lasting impact than recession and job losses?
Is the real message love?
Tell us what your experiences have been and how it’s shaped your outlook of the world to come.
– Written by Niki Gomez