By: Basanta Adhikari
We have been on a nationwide lockdown since 24th March 2020. It was a sudden decision of the government to stop the spread of corona viruses. Once the lockdown was professed, the whole region seemed to suddenly wake up. I was quite happy with government’s decision despite hearing about it just a day before lockdown. We had already seen the consequences of neglecting this deadly virus on some of the developed western countries and in China.
Nepalese government has also instructed its citizens to stay home and be on self-isolation as far as possible. There needs to be a strong reason for moving outside. Home is the most protective place for all of us, and it feels particularly acute while staying home for near 2 months. I live in Balkot, Bhaktapur— the kind of place where everyone knows each other more than any urban communities. There is something comforting and safe about being here. Maybe it’s the fact the place itself is less populated and community is small with some greenery to generate fresh air. People living here are taking good care of their health by maintaining physical distances, refusing to handshakes, forming orderly queues at the store, and so on. Moreover, Municipal authorities have also done some worthy efforts like raising public awareness on basic precautions as well as spreading chemicals to kill the germs on the street and public places.
Few days of lockdown was interesting as we were spending good time with family, watching movies, playing cards, video calls to relatives and so on. Having a lofty rooftop is also a blessing; we could enjoy the beautiful sunrise and sunset. In addition, we can play games and relish warm sun during daytime. Boosting friend’s old photos on social media and playing Ludo has also become a new trend. It is weird but in some way entertaining.
On these days, big query in the minds of youngsters revolves around the topic of their education. Though it’s hard for us to relax and keep our eyes away from the screens instead of reading course books. Many students are blessed to be studying in schools that have hosted virtual classes and brought education into their homes. On the one hand, there are students who still have board exam left to attend, with no clarity on when they will take place. Thanks to all incredible teachers who have been encouraging students to use this time more productively, by picking up new hobbies, learn new skills and spending valuable time with their family.
The situation has brought about numerous variations in way of living and many activities of our lives. The quarantine situation in some extent has turned to be curse for teenagers who are unable to meet their friends or go out to play games. From behaviour to routines, it has conquered every day-to-day activities. One thing, however, remains irreplaceable i.e. screen time. With situations compelling us to be indoors on these days, most teens and many adults are forced to depend on gadgets to keep themselves engaged.
Research shows that the average teenager spends 7 hours and 22 minutes on an average looking at the screen daily. With the strict lockdown all over the world, this number will significantly rise up. Teenagers and adults now have a greater need of gadgets. As per scientific experiments and past experiences, it will not be wrong to say that raised screen time is the cause of many troubles including but not limiting to anxiety, depression and irritation. Adults as well as the elderly people are hesitating to keep the phone aside these days. They now use their hours to explore the limitless world of technology.
Few decades ago, the mass entertainer and educator of the world were books. Books should stop being treated as a stepchild and must be given some love. They are, after all, man’s best friend. No one is required to read fat, bulky encyclopaedias. One can start by reading articles on topics that interest them, be it sports, politics, robotics, entertainment, discoveries, etc. Search for renowned and established books for your age and read a chapter, a day and slowly you can cultivate a beautiful habit.
We are growing a habit of leaving our house armed with the strongest weapons of viral destruction i.e. sanitizers and masks. It almost seems certain that the fight against coronavirus is a long one, so instead of getting lost in the cloud of sadness, let us see its pros— Nature has pressed the pause button temporarily to help us rediscover ourselves, our hidden talents and explore all the things which we dug under our academic load.
However, the corona virus has made one thing clear i.e. nothing is above the power of the universe. The world had caused so much misbalance in natural ecosystems by human activities and now the nature is gradually recovering. And it’s amazing to see nature bouncing back, including the weather around us and streets in Kathmandu. Moreover, we must be grateful for being able to see our loved ones while bounded by the rules and able to be somewhat productive at home. Therefore, we can definitely say that technology has been a saviour for us in many ways. Ultimately, we should be thankful to see food on our plate and remember each loss is compensated by learning.
Adhikari is a 12th grader science stream student at V.S. Niketan College and the vice-president at VSN Innovator’s Club. He is also an active member of Nepal Teen Leaders Batch- II.