Hey guys. It’s been a while since I have written anything on here; partly because I have had essays due, but also (and more importantly) because of a particular disease which pushed significant (and necessary) policy action within the span of mere hours, and required that I pack up shop and head back home (which is India, if any of you were wondering. Yep, it’s far.).   As I made my way back home, I was extremely tense. I do not deal well with abrupt changes in plan. Add that to my general nervousness while travelling (making sure that I have all my bags with me, checking constantly whether I had my passport and visa on me; you know the drill), and it spells a recipe for constant jitters and disaster. In those moments at the airport (till the moment I boarded the flight), I kept reliving my recent past; a week before, I was just staying indoors with my friends, cooking dinner and having a great time. The only stress on my mind at that point was with regards to my essays (due in three weeks, then) and figuring out an itinerary for a London getaway the week after the essay submission. Simpler times, they seemed to be. I was happy to be heading back home, but the circumstances in which I was heading home were not to my liking.   

I was happy to be heading back home, but the circumstances in which I was heading home were not to my liking. 

  As I reached home, I remembered the next thing on my checklist: a fortnight of self-quarantine. As soon as I set foot into my house, I was reminded that these walls were all that I would see for the next two weeks. Not the way you’d expect to spend Easter break, am I right? However, I had no choice; I understood the importance of it then, and I still do now. At this moment, I am ten days in to this self-quarantine. There have been ups and downs, high points and extremely low points, but I’ve managed to deal with them with the help of my amazing friends and family.   

There have been ups and downs, high points and extremely low points, but I’ve managed to deal with them with the help of my amazing friends and family. 

  Meanwhile, the situation kept getting more stark by the minute; every day, a nation went into lockdown, which sent people here into a frenzy. With an address from the Prime Minister imminent, everyone expected the worst; thus, they began to stockpile resources at a breakneck pace. It reached the point where guards had to be hired to regulate entry into grocery stores. This came before a state of lockdown was properly instituted; at the moment, my state (and many across India) have instituted lockdowns and issued advisories to all to stay indoors as far as possible.    I know I am painting a bleak picture, but this does have a silver lining. In the beginning, I thought that I was going through all of this alone; in reality, I was not. I did not think that there were millions of other young students like me who were forced to drop everything, pack essentials into a bag and head home in the middle of their academic year. There are so many of us who are affected in a myriad of ways by this crisis, but we don’t know it. We do not know that all of us are in the same boat; we are the ones who can help each other make it to the other shore. Staying indoors for prolonged periods of time, the first thing that takes a hit is morale; being social animals, we need to move around and meet new people. As fellow human beings, we can still indulge in socialising as we would in normal circumstances; texting, social media and a range of video calling apps make our job much easier in this aspect. Catching up with friends without leaving the house has never been easier or more enjoyable. Further, let us shift some of the focus from the negatives of this ongoing crisis, and bring some of the positives into the spotlight. Make an effort to share positive news about the crisis every once in a while. Furthermore, don’t feel the need to be updated on the issue every split-second of the day. It is good to be informed, but there are limits to that as well. Also, make sure you verify (at whatever level you can) each and every piece of information that you decide to share with your peers (be it on social media or messaging apps); a single stroke of misinformation can lead to mass hysteria, dealing a deathly blow to morale and undoing the progress our medical professionals are working so hard to achieve.   

I thought that I was going through all of this alone; in reality, I was not.

  I’m sorry if this post is long and unwieldy to read, but I thought that this is an apt forum to share my views with the Warwick community, and to reassure you that you are not alone. We are all in this battle together; we will battle it out and see this crisis to its very end. It demands strength of spirit and resolve; when we walk together, though, no mountain is high enough to stop us. Just wanted to reassure you guys of that. Finally, I would ask you to reassure your peers as well. A kind word during tough times can go a very long way. Take care of yourselves and your loved ones, people 🙂   

We are all in this battle together; we will battle it out and see this crisis to its very end.

  If you guys wish to reach out to me, find me on Instagram (@tanishksaha or @thinkingoutloudtheblog)! You can also message me on the Our Warwick messaging system, although I am guilty of not checking it as often as I should. I will be there for you to talk to and air your concerns if you need it! Stay safe and stay strong <3