My quarantine story

The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, is impacting everything you can imagine. The virus, that originated from a Wet Market in Wuhan, China, is impacting those infected and not infected, in ways unimagined.

My condition is no different. I am currently in India and was travelling since the start of March. On Mar 02, I went to Mumbai and was already not going out in the city. I had been reading up about COVID spreading in Europe and was sure that it will hit India badly. On Mar 12, I went to New Delhi and then Greater Noida, a satellite town to stay the night. Next day I went to Dehradun, the place I call home. I was watching myself for any symptoms because COVID-19 had reached on Indian shores. Mar 19, I came back to New Delhi for a meeting. The meeting never happened and the nation was put under a 21 day lockdown on Mar 25. So I have been stuck in Greater Noida since Mar 19 and technically been under a lockdown for 10 days, today being Day 11.

Now, I am lucky that I am living with my in-laws who live in a large gated housing society.

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Thanks to reduced traffic, we at least have clear blue skies. The sky has never been this colour. The other good thing about living with my in-laws is that they make all the meals. There is also an in-house help who can make tea as and when needed and also helps out in cleaning and cooking.

The day starts for me with breakfast and then I switch on financial news to see how the stock market is reacting everyday. I also look at global markets and crypto.

I had started an agri business lately, I was busy with sowing seeds and preparing the saplings. The saplings have now grown and have to be planted in farms.

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The above are Zucchini plants. However now that I am stuck, only few farms have been prepared and after breakfast, the rest of my day goes in remotely managing the farmers to plants these small plants as and when they are ready.

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There are 4 odd people that I have to speak with to manage everything and by the time I am done with that and shower, it is lunch time. With ample time at my hand, I go for a nap after lunch, but on most days, I just end up reading scary tweets about COVID spread and its financial impact.

I look forward to most evenings because that is when I break rules and go out for a run! I try and run 4 to 5 day in a week and do about 35 to 45 minutes. A shower, then daily news and dinner is what follows next. After that I talk to my wife for 2 to 3 hours, who is in Mumbai and is working from home during the day. We end up discussing really extreme versions of how this may impact the world. One day we concluded that the world is heading for World War 3. On most days the discussions are much more mild.

The adverse impact of the lockdown and COVID has progressively become worse with time. Sure, I was living in the hills before the lockdown -

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That was where I was and well, now I am stuck indoors. Sure, there will be financial impact from all of this. Managing a remote agri business is tough. The production method is impacted that impacts quality and quantity of produce and I have no way to escape that. My investments have taken a hit and my guess is that we are looking down a much deeper abyss as far as economic impact is concerned. With or without lockdown, there is no escaping that.

I fortunately do not know anyone who has been tested positive and everyday I tell my parents, wife and in-laws about how to stay safe. I also try to keep their thinking positive. With only 4 or 5 day into the lockdown, I am sure that such an extreme measure will impact anyone's thinking.

Even for me, the situation is impacting me. I have reduced reading up on negative news and look less at financial markets. On day 1, I watched the entire market. Today I am a bit indifferent by where it goes, and I am writing this blog. On some days, I really miss eating street food. Yesterday, I did go out to buy some food from a supermarket.

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While my lockdown story is no different from many others, I think what really differentiates each an every person is how they deal with the psychological and economic impact of the virus. I was practicing social distancing from quite early on and it makes sense. I had a mask with me early on and did not care about what people thought. I had hand sanitizers too. Isolating myself is not really tough for me. I am not an extreme extrovert. There are few people I talk to, and they are mostly in different cities, so apart from the topic, not much has changed as far as my social life is concerned. My interest in financial and crypto markets was already there and I am treating what I am seeing as a solid learning experience. I will most likely not see another financial crisis such as this one in my life. I am a big foodie and what I am missing the most is street food, and that is big change in my daily life. This is giving me a chance to read up more, write a few more blogs, and just witness human psychological change on a global scale.

This is an awesome time to OBSERVE. That is what I am truly enjoying about this time. Observe actions taken by leaders, observe how people are changing or reacting around me or in the online world. The times will put to test a lot of theories that people may have read in the past, or would have believed in. I am actually also excited about getting a chance to see the fighting spirit us humans can display.

When a nation of 1.2 billion comes together to clap for those in public service or when big donations start pouring in to help the most needy people in society, that is an overwhelming thing to see. My wife wants to volunteer for an NGO during a time like this. I know it may be risky but I am proud that she wants to do that. There is also a corrupt side to it all, when people are exploiting those most in need for money and there have been cases.

Hopefully, most of us will end up being more compassionate and humane after this crisis is over. The crisis impacts all, background or wealth does not matter. I hope everyone stays safe and remains strong.

I also hope to shed 5 kg from all the running I am doing!

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