Coronavirus Society

India lockdown: The 21-point guide to survive 21 days

A quick reminder of everything you need to do to stay safe, yet sane over the next three weeks, as the COVID-19 crisis rages

1. Routine rules

It is quite easy to lose track of the days when you are not stepping out (Ask Omar Abdullah, or Andy Dufresne). So before our old enemy ennui sets in, let’s have a daily plan that doesn’t change too much and goals for the coming weeks.

2. Home offices

No matter how comfortable your memory foam mattress is, it cannot be your workspace. Try setting up a corner of your house as a workstation, preferably one that gets enough daylight and ventilation. Keep it clean and organised, and if living with family, make it clear that this is your personal space.

3. Switching modes

Try and switch on to your work, and then off at the end of the work day. When your work is interspersed throughout the day, it can seem never-ending and frustrating. This applies to people involved in homecare too.

4. Hey, good looking

Working in ‘home clothes’ may be blissful for the first three days, but after a point those ‘workwear holidays’ can make you feel like you’re not going anywhere -- metaphorically speaking. You will want to look in the mirror and feel good about yourself. Self care, folks!

5. Break take

Repeat after me: Slurping down noodles while alternating between tabs of YouTube and work email does not a break make. Stretch, play with your kids and pets, or talk to a family member. This means a break from the 24/7 news cycle as well.

6. Plugged in

India lockdown: The 21-point guide to survive 21 days

The World Health Organization said test, test, test. And now we say, video-calls, video-calls, video-calls. Living alone during the time of lockdown can test your mental health. Stay connected with your family members and friends through daily video calls. And let’s stop talking of social distancing, but instead talk of physical distancing but social support. Those in families — ever thought of doing a real life telling of how you met their mother?

7. Alone time

Just because you’re with family doesn’t mean you need to spend every waking with one another. It is okay to zone out and be in your own world for a while. Meditate, if that helps. Mental health support groups like MPower are also holding online counselling sessions. Or step onto the balcony or terrace for a breath of fresh air every morning — you’ll catch some sun and you can start a pranayama regimen.

8. Covid cowork

Some accounts on Instagram, such as @chutneyspheres have been organising work from home together video calls for colleagues and even strangers to take part in. The only condition: no unnecessary chit-chatting. By the end of this lockdown, you might find new friends!

9. Social media live

Going live is becoming super popular on networks like Instagram and Facebook. With the ‘add me to your live’ option, multiple people have taken to cooking or painting together, hosting discussions, playing charades, quizzes and so on. Get creative, find a Live near you, or go Live yourself. It is a nice feeling: to see and be seen.

10. Gaming sessions

Call of Duty, Dota, FIFA — you finally have time for your multi-player gaming sessions. Done for no longer than an hour, it could be a stress buster. There are also apps such as QuizUp, Psych and Hangouts to have fun while staying connected.

A screenshot from FIFA 2020

A screenshot from FIFA 2020   | Photo Credit: Electronic Arts

11. Moving on up

Most fitness trainers are migrating online to workout live, so the rest of us can follow. You can also train with your buddies online. No equipment at home? Get creative: lift water cans, step up and down from the sofa, heave backpacks full of books or simply walk about every time you get a phone call.

12. Freshman-21?

But all that working out won’t amount to anything if you don’t stay away from the temptation to snack. Keep your hands away from munch station, and find healthy alternatives here.

13. Skill drill

All those hobbies you meant to pick up but never had the time for? Now you do. Take online courses and teach yourself new skills. That guitar finally won’t be for show.

14. Hello, silence my old friend

For those living alone, if the silence gets too loud, here are playlists you can listen to. Make your own and share it with friends for them to add their song selections. Or simply, shout and sing yourself.

15. Balcony meetings

Depending on your neighbourhood, you can say hello to each other through your balconies or verandahs. Funny banners, dance music that drifts from one house to another, or even a basic daily acknowledgment of another human being can bring relief.

16. Nature appreciation

Try growing plants in your balcony – for instance, when you buy mint with the roots, plant it and place in the shade. With humans temporarily out of the scene, the earth’s green cover is returning and birds are out again, making this a great time to get out your binoculars. Bonus: aesthetic looking pictures for your Instagram.

17. Content is king

Read books, watch movies and shows, listen to podcasts, scroll through AMAs on Reddit threads, and store all this trivia upstairs for whenever the pub quiz night is held next.

18. Pro cooking

On holidays, prepare elaborate dishes that you never had the time for before. With no option for eating out, make cooking a fun activity for the family and bond over lengthy meals, where everyone partakes of the process too. For a cleaning up plan, each one gets to pick their favourite activity on a different day.

19. Water on

Don’t forget to drink at least eight glasses a day.

20. Future focus

Because this too shall pass. Plan, visualise, and put up a mood board, of all the things you want to do after things settle down.

21. You are not alone

Whenever things get overwhelming, just remember we are all in this together.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 4:04:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/india-lockdown-the-21-point-guide-to-survive-21-days/article31170442.ece

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