Pandemic Realizations

This isn’t a “Use all this time pandemic has got you to get productive and become a better version of yourself” kind of blog. More of a “I’ve spent way too much time with myself” sorta thing.

credit @shato_illust

It’s been quite a challenge to ensure that I set out of my spirals in these times. Considering how this particular day has been nice to me, I’ve decided to note down some of the smaller details that I’ve noticed.

I’m sure all of us are in different surroundings during this pandemic. However, one thing we all share could be the extra time we’ve got in hand to deal with ourselves. Being someone who prefers being left alone, this wasn’t a drastic change for me. In fact, I realised that even when my entire family is simply near my line of vision, I need to step out. So my first, very basic realisation – I like my own company.

I’ve been noticing my purchasing habits as well. When you’re stuck in a rural setting with urban needs, cranky becomes a personality and not a mood. The initial months, I must agree, I’ve been super cranky when denied the right to step out (with a mask and sanitiser of course). With time I’ve understood what my primary needs are – Good quality coffee, bananas, rice, a healthy change of vegetables and the ultimate -the pears soap. While that sounds basic, it’s difficult to get given the situation.

Moving on to personal image, or the image of self. I’ve come to terms with the reality that I’m way too harsh on myself. Every time I look into the mirror, something just always disappoints me. However, unlike my teenage self, I’m completely okay with it (except when I’m on my period). I’ve realised that my skincare range includes – innisfree face masks and red wine. I’ve successfully deviated my body dysmorphia with extreme stress around my hair, would it be a stretch to say its working? Here’s something that has helped – working out and eating well. I’ve realised that most things feel sane and okay to me when I know I’m in control.

Trees – a no brainer I know but seriously underrated. If you’re surrounded by plants that maybe have flowers, its easy to realise that they uplift your mood. Trees though, its taken me a while to appreciate each and every one of them. There are plenty surrounding my house and everything about them, be it the change of colour when the light hits them or the random seeds falling on my dog and I, I dig them.

Being a clean freak, its natural that I feel elite during these times. Suddenly people understand why shaking hands with random people is stupid. While I wouldn’t vouch for sanitisers, I sure am glad that it helps me clean things around the house. I’ve had the time to arrange my space and its been left untouched by people, I cannot begin to explain how much I appreciate it.

credit @shato_illust

A very important observation – I do not associate with people who are incapable of controlling their tone of voice. This isn’t massive but I’ve come to terms with just how much it can piss me off to be around people who do no have a control over their actions of something as basic as their tone of voice. Its the biggest red flag in my kingdom.

Much to my annoyance, I’ve realised I miss human interaction. Allow me to rephrase, I miss quality human interaction. I miss the times when I had to order a coffee, I miss the time when I had to listen to peculiarly soothing voices of people who were important to me. Most importantly, I miss hugs.

Having a dog is a rather awkward essential on this list. I’ve had “dog” on my life plan for two years now. However I’ve never been this sure of it until now. The things keeping me from making this choice include the fact that I can’t afford it at the moment and I can’t give it the quality of life I have planned out for it.

With isolation, things have gotten overwhelmingly absurd but the memory of who you are sure is helpful. Knowing that I mattered in my space before some bat eating moron decided to screw that up for me (no hate), helps me stay sane in a space where I don’t.

Nobody has to be supremely productive during a pandemic, these are the chapters in history where we talk about how bread came into being, really, it isn’t a big deal. I only hope we find the strength to accept our own personalities and grow in ways that are possible.

“These mainstream journalists…”

To everyone who is sick and tired of journalists yelling at you with fake reports, hear me out. I’m sorry we have media that fails in doing its fundamental duty – safeguarding democracy. I’m also sorry that you are made to feel anxious after listening to the 9am news bulletin. I apologise that you have to see disturbing images and videos on your TV just because some journalist forgot to take ethics seriously.

Now that we’ve set our apologies right, allow me to state what I’m not sorry for.

We live in 2020. We’ve experienced our bit of the tragedy with pandemic but during this crisis, we cannot help but criticise the media. Its loud, biased, untrue and most importantly, annoying.

Then why do we still switch on our TVs? Why do we endure something we know isn’t factual in the first place? Because living without news, if you aren’t ignorant, is impossible. We feed off of news on a daily basis. Our conversations are based off of prime time news. Our petrol prices, taxes, government mood swings are all told to us by the news. So how does something so fundamental to public get off hand?

It’s as simple as this – The news you receive isn’t functioning for you because it isn’t run by you. You believe you are entitled to good quality and fair news because you pay your cable bills and subscribe to the cheapest available daily, allow me to snap you out of your bubble.

You get a newspaper for as cheap as 5 rupee to a maximum of 15 rupee. There is no way that any organisation can hire journalists, buy equipments, carry out the printing, rent out an office and carry out investigation or even simple daily reports with that tiny sum of money. This is where advertisers come in. Why do you have sheets and sheets of advertisements of digital sales every morning staring at you? Because they help the organisation survive.

When you, as public, are not ready to pay a higher subscription rate to the press, how can you expect them to work in your interest?

Now a possible solution that you may have found is – government subsidies. Good argument. While governments fund the military and take interest in this investment, one can only see a handful of governments doing the same for their press. Now I don’t mean that the governments don’t pay the press to have their preferred narrative. What I mean is, government subsidies work as a functional model only if the model is mandatory to all news organisations with the exception of any government involvement in the news stories. Otherwise, the press turns into what it is now -a mouth piece of the government.

We have our right to speech, or rather, we had. The real problem with the mainstream media today is that it makes the ones who aren’t aware of its financial spine, believe its radical ideas. So when a left wing funded daily presents news to you, you have no access to the other side of the story. This is where caste issues, religious ideas and community conflicts stem. So the next time you expect to see a good journalist, prepare to fund their process. Because writing what is fair, what the government wants to hide from you, keeping the sense of democracy alive, is not possible without money.

Also remember, it is mainstream because you make it. There are smaller independent media organisations who try to bring way less radical reports but it is because you are unwilling to try out and support such organisations that we are stuck in this loop together.

Incase you’re willing to pay for the quality news, here are some sights that can help you understand how impactful a functional media can be –

Side Note : Take some time to understand how they’re funded. If they have a particular ideology. Take time to understand the media and then accept the information. This helps you become aware and not manipulated.