The new BC : Before Corona… Lock Down Jitters

I sat near the window sipping my favourite cuppa looking out at the deserted streets on a scorching summer afternoon, my heart soared thinking of the evening outing I was soon to have in a few hours. It has been 4 months since the Coronavirus struck wreaking havoc over everyone in the world. Cooped up at home, and the social distancing has made me look a shadow of my pre-coronavirus self, the social butterfly that I was. I yearned to fly again, soar, flit about from person to person, breathe in the fresh air. And today, that’s just what I intended to do just in two hours from now. The lockdown has been lifted and I guess it should be fine to just peep out for a while. I have a couple of appointments, joyously made yesterday as soon as the much-awaited news was out.



As I gingerly stepped out, I could hear my mother reminding me, for maybe the hundredth time, to wear the mask, carry the sanitizer and to get back at the earliest. Mom, she does not understand how it is to flaunt my shimmering red lipstick after such a big gap and not get it smudged over by a mask…But Sigh!! I have to comply or risk being grounded. So there I don the mask, ruminating whether I should invest more in eye makeup now that lip makeup would be of no use what with the formidable mask covering it up.



Well, I did remember to wear a matching mask, (something I had painstakingly thought about a few days back) not by making a new mask but by matching the surgical green colour of it with a matching top. Guess, I may need to buy some fabric to match all the outfits I have. Should I change my profession into a mask fashion designer???. Well, all that for once I am back from my outing. Let me just zoom and have fun.



I check the time, its 4:00 and I am to meet my favourite niece and sister in a café a few blocks down. I chose not to take the bike since I am in no hurry to reach. Let me savour every minute outdoors. I walk down the streets, much to the chagrin of the dogs who find intruders in their undisturbed territory for the last few months. But they know better and concede defeat by slinking away, disappointment in their eyes. They thought they could take over – eh? High hopes. We are back folks…



As I stroll down, I feel kind of short of breath. Wasn’t that a symptom of CoviD 19? Well, I did not have it till ten minutes ago. I perspire at the thought. O God..Not me…I have been a good responsible citizen and followed all the rules during the lockdown. Have mercy on me Lord. And then struck by a ray of the setting sun, I realise that it was the mask which was giving me such a feel. Sigh..No choice but to move on slowly.



There is a pretty bird cheeping away as I edge closer to the tree. I think it has been a while since I posted a nature-rich photograph on my Facebook, Instagram account. My followers and Instafans have been inundated with photographs of my newly developed culinary skills, and new make-up sessions, self-done hair cuts and eye brow trims, and my toothy ear-to-ear grinning selfies. Time to pose with the little birdie for a change. As I set my mobile to selfie mode and turn around, it struck me – Urggghhh!!! What sort of selfie is this with the mask covering half my face…well no choice, atleast the bird does not have to wear one..Here you go…I update the wall on my Instagram with this latest selfie and see a lot of hearts and thumbs flying up….The rewards of digitalization much akin to the endorphins released after a bar of chocolate or a hug by a loved one.



I move on closer to the café, waiting eagerly to pick up my little niece. Everytime we meet, she runs into my arms as soon as she sees me and I swirl around with her hugging and kissing her and then reaching out into my bag for a lollipop which I treat her to. It’s been ages since this happened and I wonder whether she would remember the same. Like all kids her age, she is averse to phone or video calls so I just get a glimpse of her silhouette or a shadow running about on the side, as I speak to my sister on the phone.



There she is, I recognize her as she stands with her cute pigtails, holding her mother’s hands tightly. I rush to them in eager anticipation with outstretched arms. She has not moved but hides behind her mother as I run to pick her up. ‘What happened to my moonpie?’ I ask my sister. She mumbles to me saying “Coronavirus fear” and guffaws through the mask.



I wonder what have we reduced the world to – no hugs, no kisses, no smiling selfies..

I eagerly hope we have a life with the same zest as pre-COVID time very soon. Till then hugging my moonpie would be a distant dream only, I think as I move into the café sanitizing my hands as we enter.


Tables may turn soon Coronavirus…Tables would turn.!!!…

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