From travel adventures to career moves to appreciating time spent with loved ones, the people of Goa share their post-pandemic hopes and plans with NT BUZZ
ANNA FERNANDES | NT BUZZ
A few months ago, nobody knew that a new strain of the coronavirus would crash economies, empty streets, and bring the world as we know it to a halt. Today, as we linger in the throes of enforced isolation counting the days of an unknown sentence, we can’t help but look past the lockdown at the days ahead, whether it is the freedom to go where our legs take us or to find some semblance of structure in our lives.
Miramar-based Sidhant Shrivastava reveals that, once everything goes back to normal, there are just two things he wants to get back to doing: quiet early morning walks and late-night weights at the gym. “These are just two things that I miss most. They used to be what anchored my start and end of the day. Physical activities that were connected with nature and connected with me,” he says. And while being homebound is imperative to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the spiralling COVID-19 outbreak, there is no denying that it has led to a lack of productivity and reduced motivation. “Now my sleep schedule has gone out the door, my sense of time is off. Life feels less purposeful and mentally not as great,”
Teacher-trainee from Moira, Frederica Coelho too, is waiting to get back to her normal routine. “The lockdown has been the opposite of what I have been doing for the last seven months – college from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and extra work after that,” she says. And as social beings, prolonged social distancing for some can equate to a certain level of misery. Yearning for some actual face time with friends, she says: “The thing I’m looking forward to the most is just meeting all my friends and spending some time together – face-to-face not over a phone screen; and just getting out and visiting a whole lot of restaurants and cafes. The cravings have been crazy.”
But resident of Margao, Giselle Figueiredo for one refuses to be cowed down by the current circumstances. She shares that her days under lockdown taught her the true importance of reflection and meditation and gave her a newfound appreciation for life. “Apart from spending time with family and having the conversations you never had time to have before, I’ve read that the Earth is healing. And this is great!” Looking ahead, she says: “When the lockdown is over and the virus is controlled, I’ll work more, better and smarter and towards protecting the environment. I also want to do things I’ve never done before both professionally and personally. Like take a road-trip through India, learn pottery or maybe execute concepts and ideas that are way out of my comfort zone.”
Being under home confinement for Mischka Monserrate from Parra forced her to slow down and take the time to consciously think of her next move. “I believe I took all the free time I had before for granted. I’ve been wanting to work on my makeup portfolio for a while now. This quarantine actually has me sitting down and researching different looks and makeup techniques. I can’t wait to put that all into practice once this is over,” she says.
Because truly, the silver lining that lies amid the clouds of chaos is that being “condemned to confinement is teaching us to take a step back from our always-on-the-go” lifestyle, says John D. “Prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, the average Joe would look forward to the weekend and long for the comfort of his or her bed. It is ironic then that now we miss just the opposite.” The resident of Bambolim adds that he would love to take forward, from the current way of life to his routine, the ability to “slow down, to do things that we otherwise don’t consciously set aside time for – be it reading that book we never got to or taking a break from technology, from routine and really grounding ourselves into the present moment”. And most of all, he adds, the current situation has rekindled compassion. “Despite the hardship we are currently facing, the world is healing in the sense that, we as humans are being reunited, the homeless, few for the first time have some kind of shelter, hunger is being felt, empathised with and we are learning to share. We are learning to care, people are volunteering, helping the elderly and needy in our communities. We are learning what it is to be part of a fragile existence, we are learning to be humane,” he says.
And echoing this sentiment, Warren Viegas from Dona Paula says: “The sense of sacrifice and unity have been especially heartening to witness. The feeling of ‘We will endure this together’; I hope it continues beyond this period. It shows we’re stronger than the forces that divide us.” Finding ourselves in the midst of a pandemic has also given us a hard nudge on the importance of taking care of our health and well-being, he believes. “I’ve had time to reflect and noticed that we take so much for granted when a hectic work life is in full swing. In particular, the importance of taking care of ourselves and maintaining the best habits to keep our immunity high.” And perhaps, when this is finally over, we will start to appreciate these things more. “I’ve enjoyed spending every waking moment with my family; it’s the best thing in the world. The biggest takeaway for me has been that health and time are precious, so value it, and make every moment of your life count,” he says.