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Your Home is the Safest Place on Earth — Stay at Home

Amid the Coronavirus scare that has taken India on a whirlwind, 19-year old Prateek, who studies in Pune, wants desperately to come back home to Kolkata. The same home he wanted so desperately to leave, a few months back. Contradictory? Well, that is life for you in the time of Corona! Suddenly home has a new meaning in all our lives. Both for those who are homesick and for those who were sick of home!

Stay at Your Home – Government Mandates Social Distancing

In its efforts to stop the contagious disease from entering stage 3, where it spreads through community infection, the Indian Government has urged for determination and restraint in adopting social distancing. Immediate steps have been taken by most states to brace surveillance, contact tracing, and isolation. Epidemiologists and medical experts are reiterating the need for social distancing and complete lockdowns for the management of COVID-19. According to some experts, if the virus is not contained right now, there is a possibility that at the present rate of the spread of Corona in India, we might witness 13 lakh confirmed Coronavirus cases in the country by the mid-May.

A Sense of Security During Troubled Times

On the back of this mandate, when many renters and students putting up at co-living spaces face hard reality, the Covid-19 outbreak has put the significance of home into blunt relief.

Rahul, a young banking professional from Odisha puts up at a rented apartment in a residential complex in a relatively posh locality of the city. His work demands him to go out for work for at least a few hours every day, even during the lockdown. This, evidently, is not going down well with his neighbours. Many apartment-owners think he is putting every resident’s lives at risk. The familiar faces that always greeted him with a smile till a few days back, now look at him with a little disapproval, if not with suspicion. The warm community feeling suddenly wiped out by the gripping fear of being infected. As a sense of insecurity takes hold over Rahul, he misses the backyard of his own home in Puri. Would he have faced the same disdain if he had owned a flat here, he wonders?

As Rahul’s question continues to blow in the wind that’s thick with news of the deadly COVID 19, Preeti faces a much larger difficulty. For her, the low-grade fear of getting the virus has been compounded with an emergent sense of social ostracism. Earning a decent living as a nurse in a government hospital, Preeti had rented a place in the city after moving from her suburban home. With the increasing number of patients coming to her hospital for testing for Covid19, the fear of social ostracism has suddenly become a reality for her. She has sensed that her neighbours started avoiding her and keeping a distance from every member of her family. Her landlord has started dropping hints so that she leaves her home. He has said that other neighbours are putting pressure as she and her family is considered a health hazard to the community. She wished of having invested in a home – a place from where nobody could evict her!

Though Shymali’s problem is not so dire, it cannot be watered down either. Her landlord keeps picking on her for the extra water she and her family uses to wash hands repeatedly and keep her home clean during the virus scare. Fed up with his constant nag, she has made her husband promise that he will buy his own flat this year!

Your Home is Where Health Is

On the back of such an unfolding health emergency made more vicious by the impending economic meltdown, home seems to be the new haven – the safest place on Earth. As Corona unleashes its terror on hapless mankind, we are forced to look deeper into our souls. Adjusting our lives under the new norms of social -distancing, staying at home with our loved ones, we prepare ourselves to pause our fast-paced lives; learn to count our small blessings; appreciate the big things that we took for granted.

Our Homes Will Save Our Lives in Times of Crisis

Before the Corona scare, did we ever think how owning a home would be so critical for our safety? The freedom to do whatever one wants to in one’s own home breeds a deep sense of security – a feeling so important at a time that is fraught with anxiety. The support system of a friendly neighbourhood adds to this sense of positivity.

The present situation also calls for certain adjustments in our daily routine as we spend more time with ourselves.  Here some tips to make your relationship with yourself fruitful and will also help you to stay safe:

Wash Your Hands – You already know about this one!

Stay Informed – Keep a track of new updates from WHO and local authorities.

Care for Your Immediate Community – For a disease that spreads in geometric progression, it is like this – for every person you don’t infect, you save hundreds of people from being infected. Stay at your home!

Be Generous – show empathy towards those who will be most inconvenienced by this disease.

Reignite a Hobby – Staying happy is important. Take up a past hobby; read, sing, grow a kitchen garden.

Coronavirus crisis has forced us to see that homes are not only made of bricks and mortar – they have a soul. Aren’t we lucky to have a home to run back to safety? Doesn’t this stay-at-home order remind us of our childhood, when terrified of something sinister, we used to run home to Ma’s lap, looking for a safe haven?

Your home is always the place for you to take shelter amidst the love and care of your family. The feeling of the definite assurance of a roof over the head is priceless.

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