Letter from Dubai
The world is at a standstill – an unprecedented event in living history.
The Coronavirus Pandemic has left millions under lockdown, meaning deserted highways, desolate neighborhoods and an overcast sense of anxiety. Families have been struggling to cope with the extent of time they now have on their hands and the lack of activities available to them. The vague term ‘quality time’ is being twisted and turned by families across the globe, all looking for ways to make the best of what is a difficult situation.
Many people have resorted to traditional games due to closed public parks, gyms and pools. From in-house badminton to the ever-loved ‘tag’ – people are looking for ways to stay fit during these difficult circumstances. This has brought great change in perception, with everyone realizing the value of such facilities and how often we take them for granted. Adjusting to this new normal has not been easy and life has definitely taken a difficult turn. However, it is heartwarming to see the world standing united, for once, to counter this issue.
Cooking is an activity often thrust upon one member of the family. However, many are realising that cooking together is an excellent way to take a break from screens and work together, constructively. It not only helps to build a healthy working relationship, but also allows people to explore their creative sides during a rather dark time. In situations like this, it is easy to feel confined and suffocated and cooking is a great way to release this stress. Furthermore, recipes are aplenty over the internet and many restaurants have even provided ways people can enjoy their foods within current constraints. This time has truly provided us an opportunity to reflect upon how greatly we misinterpret the meaning of life to be constant movement and action, whereas in reality, it is a simplistic, slow-paced journey, with about-turns, twists and turns galore.
Tangible objects have also found value over superficial images and utopias on screen. Time seems to be travelling in reverse chronology, with old-fashioned, team games back in the picture. Scrabble, Taboo, Ludo and others have had dust rubbed off them and are seeing daylight after years, helping people cope with the lockdown. Thus, games in a way are bringing a sense of unity and joy back to the family, reiterating that all hope is not lost yet.
Furthermore, youngsters across the world have begun to take up new opportunities remotely. I, for one, have just launched a new website aiming to promote Pakistan. The site, ‘landofthepure.net’, is an ode to Pakistan’s rich culture, landscape and immense potential. It also aims to encourage young Pakistani writers and provides them with a platform to proudly showcase their work.
Above all these changes, however, is the revolutionary effect the pandemic has had on relationships. The lockdown has helped us realise how often we take people for granted; whether those are school friends now available via video calls or grandparents who you often ignored – their value has come to light. At this stage, the most we can do is try our best to communicate with those most important to us, making sure to keep those struggling with the lockdown at the pinnacle of our attention.
It is important to remember that while the lockdown is hard to cope with, many of us are in a much better situation than others. We must support the less fortunate during this difficult time and also continue to cooperate with healthcare workers. We have the choice to stay home, many others don’t.
Stay home, stay safe!