Two weeks into the nationwide holiday due to COVID-19, the streets of Dhaka have taken on the haunting appearance of a post-apocalyptic novel. The previously bustling city teeming with people now seems to have stopped dead in its tracks, with nearly all of its 21 million residents confined to their homes, hoping to abate the spread of this pandemic. In this unprecedented event, while we are all staying at home and waiting out this storm, there are adjustments we can make to our daily lives in order to continue leading functioning lives.
Gathering Supplies: Bikroy Essentials
First things first. Since you can’t go out, make sure you have everything you need in order to stay at home for a considerable amount of time. Medicine and food supplies should be a high priority. Luckily, basic necessities which have become rather difficult to get now, are available on Bikroy’s new category “Essentials”. There are several stores open to meet the country’s daily necessities even during the shutdown, and while they are certainly helping, going to a store physically now entails risks for both buyer and seller. In order to stay safe, we need to practice social distancing and buy these items online. Bikroy’s Essentials now enables store owners and sellers of basic necessities to sell their items to buyers in nearby locations, and buyers to find important items close to home. With more than 3,300 ads and 7 subcategories, Essentials includes grocery items like rice, lentil, and eggs, healthcare items such as masks, gloves, handwash, and sanitizers, household cleaning items, baby milk, formula, diaper under baby products, fresh fruits & vegetables, and fish and meat.
For those working from home, it’s a good practice to discipline yourself and follow the hours that you would if you were in office. Not only does it help to establish some form of continuity to your day job, but it’s also healthy for you to have a fixed routine. Similar to how your body could use some exercise if it has been idle for too long, your mind could use some active work time. This situation is also giving us plenty of spare time outside of working hours since the time spent on commuting or being outside has practically been eliminated from our day. You could use this time to pray, meditate, or listen to music – taking care of the mind as well as the body. And of course, some form of physical exercise. Those who love working out or used to be active in the gym can use this time to start a workout routine at home. Maybe now is the time to build that home gym that you always wanted?
Idle time can also be spent keeping the house clean. Now more than ever, it is imperative that we disinfect all surfaces regularly. Take special care with things that come from outside, such as when ordering to have food or essentials delivered. It’s also good to leave your shoes outside at all times. Perhaps use alcohol-based cleaning material for objects that you are regularly in contact with such as your phone.
Indulging in Hobbies
When was the last time you read a good book? Plenty of avid readers say that there simply isn’t enough time to read anymore. This quarantine is perhaps the perfect opportunity to finally finish that book you’ve been meaning to. Of course, this applies just as well to any other hobby. Writing keeps the imagination active as well, and so does art. Creative hobbies such as painting, drawing or even making music with instruments or singing often requires long hours of practice, and this is a great time to put in those hours. Or maybe try your hand at cooking something you haven’t tried before? Look up recipes online and make something nice for yourself and others in the house.
Other ways to pass the time include watching movies or series on the internet or even playing games online. You could use the time to get really good at computer games. But take care not to spend too much time looking at the screen. Board games or card games are also an excellent way to spend time with people in the house. They provide hours of fun and laughter, and it’s something we all need at this time.
In the age of social media, it’s hard to get bored because of the constant stream of information coming to us from all around the world. Stay in touch with your friends online, check up on them, discuss ways to get through this. Call family or relatives who live abroad, find out about the situation there. If you do share information about the pandemic online, please be sure to fact-check and see if your information comes from authentic and reliable sources. A lot of people are quick to share advice without knowing their credibility. In this dire situation where the wrong advice can harm others, share only advice coming from health authorities such as the World Health Organization. Try to help others through proper awareness and not fear.
You could help others too. Donate food or necessities to people in need. If you don’t know how to go about it, do a quick search on social media for groups or initiatives that are actively helping these vulnerable communities by collecting donations from the privileged.
Of course, one great thing about staying home is being able to spend quality time with your family. If you live with your family, working from home allows you to be around them all the time, an opportunity that you otherwise don’t get. Talking to others is vital to our mental well-being, and having talks with your parents, children or siblings, or sharing fun activities, could be the best way to spend time during this crisis. It might be something that we will miss dearly once we get the opportunity to resume with regular life.
On that note, this home quarantine may perhaps serve as a reminder of the more important things in life. It is making us think about a lot of things we don’t properly appreciate because they have become so normal to us. Borrowing some words from Laura Kelly Fanucci, “Let us never again take for granted a handshake with a stranger, coffee with a friend, full shelves at the store, a crowded theater, a routine checkup.” We hope that you have plenty of things to fill your time with during this home isolation. Stay home, stay safe, use the time to do something that matters.
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