A doctor recollects on the things that have gone missing in our lives during the COVID-19 pandemic- Small day to day pleasures.

As the pandemic rages around us, everything looks a bit gloomy. Some of us might be wondering when will it all end. Some of us might wonder if it will ever end. But some of us, and I like to think, most of us, feel that end it will. It must. And then we have to pick up our lives and move on. Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen so much change regarding various aspects of the disease. For instance, Ibuprofen became dangerous, safe and protective by turns. While on the medical front, uncertainty is the only certainty, in our lives, we also have seen a lot of changes.

There is an overwhelming feeling that due to this unfortunate event, some things are gone for quite a while at least. I suppose all of us will be having a list of things we miss, speaking from a nonmedical point of view entirely. These are due to restrictions placed for our safety and for our health. Here’s some of the stuff we might have lost, maybe temporarily.

  1. Movies: the big one. I think cinema theatres are one of the most amazing places you can go to. Imagine sitting in a crowded theatre, bawling with hundred others as Ironman dies. Or holding hands with a loved one watching Shah Rukh Khan romance Kajol in the beautiful countryside of Switzerland. The thrill of a Bond film. These things can be experienced in a darkened auditorium best when countless others are sitting with you. We laugh together, cry together and feel together. So when Schwarzenegger looks at you and says, “I’ll be back”, you won’t be yelling back “So will I!” in a hurry.

2.Concerts: the incessant thump of music! The strobe slicing through the dark! The audience screaming, jumping and singing along! Attending an online concert is probably not going to feel the same.

3. Monday mornings: Remember those Monday morning blues? It will be with a wistful smile now, won’t it? All the online meetings and WFH (Work From Home) that used to sound irresistible- guess someone just found out that they aren’t. We want to get back to cribbing about the short weekends and peak hour traffic jams.

4. The gyms, the parks, the long runs: There was once a time you would peek at the treadmill of the guy next to you and adjust the speed on yours. There was once a time when you would stroll through the parks, smile at friends, look at the kids playing happily on the swings and the slides and marvel at the well-maintained lawns. There was once a time when you would run on the seaside, the cool morning breeze on your face and you would be at peace with your thoughts.

The buffets: Remember those queues for buffets when you would keep your fingers crossed hoping that by the time you got to the baked tilapia with tartar sauce, there would be some baked tilapia left and you wouldn’t have only the last few molecules of tartar sauce left? Apparently, buffets and those wonderful B&B packages are going to take a while to come back.

The get togethers with friends for a cup of tea at the café, chats at street markets, quizzes and cultural events.

Travel: The planning, the countless internet searches on Tripadvisor, the guides, the innumerable photographs with the latest cameras, the albums on Facebook watching the ‘Likes’ pile up. We will miss that. Especially when we get those notifications from Facebook about some memory we want to share.

Hopefully one day, it will all be back. As before. Conversations with people, sharing meals with friends, marvelling the natural beauty of Interlaken, strolling through the streets of Pompei- life. As they say, life will find a way.

And, the day will come when we see a stranger smile at us, our first response will be to smile back, and not ask, “Hey! Where’s your mask?”

Feature image courtsey : Farid Askerov on Unsplash