Locked in during the lockdown?

When this Corona Virus was playing out in China and we here in India were reading news reports about the same, I had shared a meme with my family about which my daughter reminded me a few days back. The meme said ‘Don’t be so afraid of the corona virus. It won’t last long because it is ‘made in China’. How wrong we were with our optimism that things will get better and soon! I had even in the passing told some friends that we must all experience PTSD in its mildest form. Reams worth of articles have been written about what to do if you are feeling down and empty or simply bored. So what am I going to say that is any different? Well, we as a family managed to get out and that too responsibly. So I want to share my experience with you all.

1) Go for a walk. Being cooped up is not at all a good idea. A little bit of sun, a little bit of rain, a little bit of greenery is soothing for the soul and your wellbeing. Walk at a pace that you like, it could be a leisurely stroll or a brisk walk.

2) Do you own a bicycle? Time to give it some TLC and go out for a cool ride. With the streets mostly empty (they are filling up again!) feel like the badshah of the roads for a change!

3) Go on a drive. It will do the car some good and charge up its batteries as much as the outing will charge you up 🙂

4) Go on a picnic. Convert that drive into a special trip. Pack a picnic basket, find a lovely tree to sit under and as you munch on the food, watch the ‘world’ go by – those little hovering insects and their transparent wings, little drops of water on that blade of grass, the algae, the different types of fern, the odd shaped stones at your feet. Unknowingly these little things will make you happy! 

5) Go on an overnight trip: Book yourself into a resort. Remember, weekends are when people can easily get out, so chances that you will find others around you is higher than if you took this trip on weekdays. We spent time (Monday-Wednesday) in a resort where we were the only guests 🙂 The staff told us that they have 50% occupancy on weekends. 

6) Go on a day trip: Visit some of the sites of the Archaeological Society of India that are open again post the third unlockdown. If you have been there many years ago, go again, revisit! Be prepared to encounter others like you who also thought the weekend was a good time to get out. If you see a lack of social distancing, please give the place a miss. Carry your Aadhaar Card with you. Some places that you can visit from Bangalore are Savandurga, Devanahalli Fort, Chikkajala Fort, Manjarabad Fort, Belur, Halebid and Somnathpur.
In Belur, Halebid and Somnathpur they checked our temperatures and took note of our names, phone numbers and Adhaar Card numbers.

Forts are a good place to visit because it is easy to be socially distanced from other visitors. When we visited Halebid and Somnathpur, we were the only visitors. In Manjarabad Fort there were a few others but since it is a vast area, none of us at any time were close to each other. Belur was different – when we saw people queuing up (without any concern for social distancing) at the entrance for registering their details, we turned around and drove off. We went back another time and this time there were people with whom we could pace out. 

Restaurants on the highway are open. Some of them service only out in their open courtyard (no dining-in) and some others with dine-in facility offer drive-in food service too. We took advantage of the drive-in service on our drive back from the resort when we stopped for lunch and found the dining area crowded. We were served just as efficiently as we would have been if we ate inside 🙂

REMEMBERWear your mask at all times, unless you are eating! It is as important as insisting that the staff at the resort, servers at the restaurant, the tour guides and vendors that will chase after you also wear their masks as it should be worn and not on their chins or below the nose or like a neck-piece.

So step out now and go get some fresh air and be RESPONSIBLE at all times!

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