The last two years have taught all of us many things and changed us in some way or the other, forever. Some are positive experiences, some not-so-good ones, and some have left us scarred for life. With life slowly limping back to normalcy, I wanted to document some of the experiences that left a mark on me so that one day I can look back on them, smile, and say – “Yes, these added to who I am today”.
In March 2020, with the first wave of COVID-19 spiraling, an unprecedented lockdown was announced and brought with it many woes – concerns about health, job, and money being primary of these. Many people in the support workers categories were the worst affected.
My husband and I are COVID warriors. While he is a registered volunteer with BBMP-Govt. Of Karnataka and was on the field, I mostly took care of coordination in the backend and helped out the people in the community in which we live.
We, along with some fellow residents, took various initiatives to help support staff and others with the help of voluntary contributions. We supplied food & water to migrant workers waiting to go home, gave groceries and redeemable vouchers to all the support staff of the apartment to tide them over the tough times, organized for free testing camps, created a helpdesk for COVID positive patients, and delivered essentials to senior citizens living alone so that they don’t step out.
As in any large community, soon naysayers started criticizing, some even launching personal attacks questioning the intention behind these initiatives. With many fears of putting our own health at risk while stepping out to help others, we started doubting if what we were doing was worthwhile. Demotivated as we were, we started wondering if we were really making any difference in people’s lives and if we should just carry on with our business like many.
Then, on 5th May 2020, I answered the door to find a lady from housekeeping standing with a gunny sack. She had brought us a jackfruit from her garden to say THANK YOU for all the help to her and the rest of the support staff. She told me how the groceries helped her family during a tough time and how many of them felt that they could walk to our door for any support during this rough time. They all wanted to do something for us to show their appreciation.
I, who normally don’t show emotions, teared up and thanked her for her gesture and told her it for completely unnecessary. I told her that in fact it was we who needed to appreciate her and the others for being kind enough to continue to come to work in tough conditions even during the lockdown, and care for the community to keep it hygienic.
This jackfruit by far is one of my most cherished gifts – it was humbling to be so wholeheartedly and unexpectedly appreciated. It also came at the right time to motivate us to keep going and gifted us 2 important life lessons
- It takes people of all kinds to make the world go around. So keep calm, ignore and continue the work if you feel what you are doing is right, even if you have to work alone.
- Love and gratitude can come from unexpected places and they can touch you in a way that changes your life forever.
Have you had any such COIVD experiences? Do connect with me through the comments on this post. I would love to hear your story.