Lockdown Journey Through The Lens of a Selectively Social Person

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It was on March 26th India announced there would be 21 days lockdown. I was downhearted like everyone else, but the inner me was overjoyed as I could go on a mini-vacation to my humble abode. (That’s something only an introvert can understand!) However, weeks before the lockdown, my University had sent a circular that it would remain closed for a few weeks, so I was already wrapped in my blankets and embracing the “me-time.” The lockdown was an extended holiday, but it also meant I couldn’t go out for my early morning walks in the park. How does that matter when one could work out at home, you ask? Well, it was critically important for someone like me to go out. Wait, let me backtrack a month before the pandemic surfaced India.

Buzz. Ting. It was on February 8th. I was anxious and curious as I received the text message. No, it was not from the one you’re thinking of. It was from a Diagnostic Lab. Yes, from a test centre as I had taken a blood test the previous day because I was suffering from Telogen Effluvium for over a year. I swiftly opened my laptop to check the results, and what I saw next was unlikely. I skimmed through multiple pages of the report, it was all well, but when I reached the final page of the report, I realized that my Vitamin D levels were extremely low. Well, an ideal value is between 30-50 ng/mL, but mine was 8ng/mL. Can you imagine how low that was? I never thought it could be this low.

That explained a bunch of things I was going through, but that also meant I had to soak myself in the sun for real good three to six months every day for a few hours. Vitamin D deficiency causes depression, back pain, hair loss, feeling tired often, and getting sick infinite times. Amidst all this, the lockdown ensued. As much as I loved staying at home, it was essential for me to step outside. It was black and white all at the same time. I was shattered, depressed, and felt like I would die of the virus as I was highly susceptible to even the slightest infections. For a 23-year-old who had to look fit and healthy, I was there seeming like an 83-year-old with brittle bones, back pain, and almost on the verge of becoming bald.

I was zoned out for two days, but gradually came in terms with reality and started preparing a 21-day timetable for the lockdown. I pledged myself not to watch movies as it would add on to my already depressed soul. I deactivated my Netflix and Amazon Prime accounts. Indeed the toughest, but it was a positive start to staying in my cocoon for sure. When all my buddies forced me to watch the new season of “Money Heist,” I would start cleaning my room to forget the urge of installing the apps. Oh, and it did help a lot.

I’m an artist, and I love to paint. It is a great mood changer. My friend had gifted me the STAEDTLER 24 shades colour pencils last birthday, and I thought this was the only time to make the best use of it. Did I start painting for posting on Instagram? No, not at all. I’m not on any social media platform. You can call me old-school. I like being in my world and doing the things I love. I also started watching a lot of YouTube videos. Not the one where we go on an endless spree of watching all on our recommendations. We all know the loop and how we end up wasting an entire day watching meaningless videos. Well, I was into cooking and baking after watching multiple videos like everyone else. But, ran out of ingredients after a few days, so that ended there.

Parallelly, I was engaging myself with online courses. Though an engineer, I did not like my subjects at all, so I started digging the Internet and found out a bunch of new stuff to learn. I signed up for courses on different niches that were entirely different than I studied all this while. Right from trading to creative writing to digital marketing, I learned all of it. Most of all, I loved these more than my engineering subjects.

In the beginning days of lockdown, the first thing in the morning was to watch the news channel. That urge subsided over time, but the one thing that kept me hooked to television were the classics that were re-telecasted after decades. I, who was once an all-nighter, slept on time to wake up early and watch Ramayan. It was truly one of the most well-made shows of all time, and that was the only time the entire family would come together and watch the episodes. Sadly, it ended pretty soon, so it does get monotonous now.

A few of my friends claimed to have received messages from people after years. They were either their school mates of forgotten exes. Lockdown did help people bring back old memories and get in touch with some of the lovely people. While some genuinely wanted to talk, others just wanted to get past the day. But, as I mentioned earlier, an introvert doesn’t get any such messages from anyone. It’s not a bad thing at all as I’m glad that all the unnecessary drama following it is avoided. See, being an introvert is not as bad as it seems.

If you’re still wondering about my Vitamin D levels, well they have gone up, and now I’m fit and fine. How in this lockdown your question? I was on medication for two months and was soaking myself in the morning sun for a good amount every day in my balcony. Period.

In a nutshell, I’m embracing every minute of the lockdown and glad to have learned new things in the past few months. It was a much-needed break to re-think and reflect on myself apart from the everyday university stuff. We often forget ourselves in the process of seeking a better job, a better life, or validation from others. Lockdown has taught a bunch of things and the need to value the little things in life which are often overlooked otherwise. Maybe, one only realizes the value when something serious like this happens.

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