What are the right questions to ask in a pandemic stricken world and how you can preserve the memories of life during COVID19 era
Ever since Covid19 pandemic made an uninvited entry to turn our lives upside down, the most frequently asked question, “how are you” became the most irrelevant question. The truth is no one’s really doing well. People are falling sick and dying in alarming numbers all around us. Today I am lucky to be fine, but tomorrow I might not be. Our jobs, our economy, our entire financial future is in ICU. We are all dealing with pandemic stress, and we are not even sure how much and for how long we have to endure this stress. So, what’s the point of asking an inappropriate question that was once a polite way of expressing concern for a person’s well-being?
If you are genuinely interested in someone’s well-being, then perhaps rephrase your questions that clearly check about their emotional or psychological well-being. “How are you coping with the pandemic?” for instance, signals that you don’t expect them to be doing great, and that you are genuinely interested to know how they’re handling things. “What’s going on your mind lately?” suggests an openness to a more in-depth conversation. You might also follow up with a more positive question, “did you try out any new thing” or “we are living in the most historical times of your lives, how are you going to showcase your pandemic memories to future generations?”
When a crisis hits us, there are two ways to deal with it –succumb to it without trying or find a silver lining around the dark cloud. Being an eternal optimist, I opted for the latter. I started exploring all the unexplored creative desires I didn’t know I possessed. While anthropologists and historians around the globe are using this stressful time to create archives that can be cherished for years and years to come, I realised that I too needed to document this vital part of my life. The pandemic may not discriminate between its preys. Still, every single individual has a unique experience that could be great bedtime stories for their grandchildren or inspiration for literature and TV novellas. If you can’t simply seem to decide where to start before the unique experience takes a backseat in the train of your thoughts, use the following to help yourself from pandemic stress and simultaneously start preserving pandemic memories effectively:
Journaling: The Heart and Soul of Preserving Pandemic Memories
I have always found describing my feelings in words therapeutic. Journaling allows you to identify your problems and find solutions to them. Every time you open your journal, you slide into a safe mental zone, you can pour out all your feelings into without the fear of being judged. Be it your tiring work from home schedule or a small disagreement with friends or closed ones because of the sudden responsibilities the pandemic has delivered in our laps; the journal is the most healthy way to express your anger and frustration. You can also experiment with different ways of journaling. Personally, my favourite one was creating a Pandemic Travelogue, but here are some more ways you can explore:
Photo-Essays: Learning New Skills
Photo essays are extremely suited for some of the most commonly experienced things by people during COVID-19; some of them are:
Becoming Healthy and Fit
The most crucial change that pandemic brought in my life is a healthy mindset – I became more health-conscious and started exercising regularly. Being a night owl morning walk was a far-fetched dream for me, but thanks to the lockdown period I did the unthinkable – I adopted the ‘early to bed early to rise’ age-old wisdom into my daily routine.
Thanks to my health-conscious friends like Amit I started exercising at home, and once parks opened, I started morning walks in nature. The bonus was capturing the simple moments of life which I overlooked until now. Moments such as listening to the birdsong in the park, witnessing sunlight transform dewdrops into natural prisms, sweepers calmly making India ‘Swacch Bharat’ while we only indulge in sloganeering, doodhwallah (milkmen) and newsaperwallah (newspaper delivery man) going door to door, morning joggers catching up on national issues while catching their breath and many more such seemingly mundane moments suddenly became interesting.
I started appreciating the vagaries of ordinary life while keeping myself healthy. Slowly the lockdown didn’t appear to be so bad as it gave the much-needed time to reflect on the fragility of life and appreciate the little moments. If you did the same, why not share it with others. Who knows your effort can become someone’s inspiration?
The Rise of the Self-Proclaimed MasterChef
All of us understood the importance of cookbooks we had buried beneath the piles of unread magazines, YouTube videos and recipes from the best cooking blogs around the world better than we ever have. I started experimenting with the ingredients in my kitchen and sharing the proud result of my culinary skills with my friends. While I am not into food blogging, you can write about all the new recipes you cooked for yourself in the pandemic and how you made local or vegan versions of dishes from all around the world. Those mouth-watering dishes definitely deserve the best clicks!
Making Workspace a Fun Space
As work from home and video calls became the new norm of professional life, the need for renovating your work area started gaining momentum. Take, for example, my friend Shalini who works as a creative Director in an Ad Agency, started subtly showcasing the creative workspace during office video calls. She always wanted a corner office like her boss, so she took lockdown as an opportunity to create one with a couch, artefacts, flowers, and plants. She started experimenting with lights, plants, furnishings, and even different corners of the house. Suddenly her aesthetically done workspace became the conversation starter in her official and personal video calls.
Blogging to capture the ‘New Normal’ of Travel
Travellers all around the world, in a brave yet intelligent way, played a crucial part in creating a new normal for the Travel Industry. With all the Personal Protection equipment and safety guidelines guiding my Staycation in Hyderabad, I could see an entirely new way of travelling and personal care being born. I made sure to share the insider information with my readers to quell myths about flying in 2020 and safe travels. Travel Photography companies like ShootMe have created options for you to capture your journeys (even to local areas) safely and professionally along with making quality virtual shoots a possibility in this pandemic.
Vlogging for Vivid Pandemic Memories
If you’ve been posting out a lot of videos on Social Media lately for communicating the changes that have come into your life, and for motivating others, in that case, video journals are just the thing for you. Video journals or vlogs can be simple collections of all the little things you did in the pandemic, alone or with your loved ones. Even saved recordings from an online meet with my friends and family stuck in different corners of the world has helped me understand the value of all these emotional bonds we took for granted. I used this time to create informational videos about my past trips from Laos and Maldives.
So, these were some of my ideas on how you can preserve Pandemic Memories during COVID19 era. Have you learnt any new skill during this time or brought a positive change in your life? If yes, please feel to share your feedback in the below comment section.
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I love these ideas for documenting life during the pandemic, as well as making life a little better during this difficult time. I’ve been working on my photography since the lockdown began, and I’ve also been working on eating healthier and trying new recipes and cooking techniques. Your friend’s success with making an aesthetically pleasing workspace has given me a new goal, especially with all of the Zoom meetings we’re doing these days!
I think everyone who was in lockdown for more than a month can relate to becoming a masterchef! I tried my hand at baking and it didn’t go too well but I had fun in the process. I agree, it’s important to make your workspace a fun and pleasant area or else it’s going to make you even more anxious.
I know that it’s a pandemic and basically affecting everyone. In the beginning, I tried to look at the ‘bright’ sides and explore my backyard etc etc. After six months, however, I’m tired of smiling. Although I was even able to travel to two beautiful places this summer, I’ve so had it with this limitation of….everything.
Just like you say, this pandemic made an uninvited entry in our lives; along with it, several other things too crept into without invitation. All we are left, to learn and live with them. No option. No escape.
Interesting, well-written blog!