Covid-19 Lockdown Diary : Lock, Unlock and a Blast
On 24th March,2020 , the Modi Government of India issued an order to lockdown the entire nation for 21 days with limited movement. The entire population ( 1.3 billion and counting ) had officially begun its fight against the Covid 19 pandemic in India.
I told Zavi that I would be home for the next couple of weeks and he was like so you don't have to go anywhere. I said, "No, let's play..!!". He wanted me to sit with him and play with his favourite toys, his animal collection including jungle animals and dinosaur sets. That was just the beginning and then we moved on to next and to next. It was just fun, he loved it. And I did enjoy being around him.
However this was just the beginning. Zavi was happy that he no longer had to go to school and could play all day with his friends. He loved to zoom past on his balance cycle with his friends and loved playing at the park at our villa. He was introduced to different new games along with rules which the elder kids taught him. He loved spending time with them. He started teaching us new games, and shared stories with fun filled fantasies.
But soon monotony set in. My work was getting increasingly frustrating and sitting within the four walls of my home was driving me crazy. I was waiting for the 21 days to get over. But boom, the lockdown got extended for another 2 weeks. Zavi demanded more time with me, he knew I was home and started complaining that I am not spending enough time with him. He even wanted his school to reopen, to meet his friends and teachers. He started enquiring when his class would begin. Little did we know then that it was not going to start anytime soon. Soon he started out with his online classes every day in the morning.
As months passed by, and our lockdown got extended to a few more weeks, the only exciting event I started looking forward to was my baby's birthday. I knew I had to keep it small with just my immediate family members but I wanted to ensure that Zavi had a wonderful day.
As time passed, I began to notice the change in his behaviour. He became moody occasionally and wanted to know when we would go on an outing. Zavi wanted to visit his Grandpa and Grandma. We did see them online but he totally missed their physical presence, especially his cousins, Sana and Aadhi.
I looked out for options to keep him engaged throughout the day. I started downloading a few good books for him, like “Ginger the Giraffe” by T. Albert , “Monkey Stuff” by Rebecca Bielawski and the like. This helped him to get started, he loved listening to stories. Especially the naughty ones like Monkey Stuff. These were very well illustrated stories and so he got quickly glued to these stories. Everyday we had a new story, news, and other new things. He started getting back on track.
Slowly by mid June, we started the unlock process ( Lockdown 5.0 or Unlock 1.0 ), with each sector opening up with restrictions. There were a lot of questions being raised. How safe are we ? What is the current situation, are we in containment zones ? Was the permission given for the non essential shops to start working ? Will restaurants start working ? However the most important thing was to keep social distancing, face covered and not to end up in crowded areas.
By now, I was accompsted to my four walls and the only source of enjoyment was the laughter and innumerable stories of Zavi. We were still wary of going out with Zavi and preferred to stay within our villa compound. However, he insisted going out for drives around the city and off to some mountains. I was also getting frustrated sitting at home, so we decided to roll out. We went to nearby bridges, boat jetty, railway garage and a few off road places. This helped us to be fresh and felt like we got freedom. All of these were by strictly following the Unlock regulations like Social distancing, face covering, and staying away from crowds.
Onam at Villa
Onam fever slowly began to set in by mid-August. Onam is the regional festival of Kerala and every year the celebrations are grand. But this time around, it was Onam at home with just our family. We decided against travelling to our natives and it was going to be our first Onam at our Villa. We wanted to make sure that Zavi had a good time. On the day of Onam, Zavi and his friends, dressed in traditional attire, had a lot of fun putting a small floral carpet on our porch. It was complete playtime for the kids. Since it was difficult for Laya to prepare the Onam feast by herself with Zavi pestering her around, we decided to get a parcel. Unfortunately, it was a working day for me and I had to get back to work soon after lunch.
As the Onam feel started to wear off, it was now time to gear up for Zavi's birthday. As the covid protocol became the new way of life, we decided to have a small celebration at our home with just our parents and siblings. We decided to give away customized snack packs to all his friends in the villa for his birthday and just a small dinner for the family.
In the meantime, Zavi had some plans for his birthday. We gave him few clues about the birthday and was trying to understand his ideas. He wanted an Avengers themed party. So with limited time and resources we decided to go ahead with his plan. We decided to have an Avengers themed cake and just basic decorations.
For our themed cake, the first person who came to my mind was my friend ,Haifa and her Theos Bakes ( Instagram handle @theos.bakes ). Haifa bakes customised cakes, cupcakes, desserts and does a lot more. We had a discussion with her, and wanted to include the avengers team in the cake. After a lot of discussions and planning we decided to go with the member symbols around the cake. We decided to stick to basic chocolate cake with buttercream, although Theos had a lot of other options to choose from. Haifa was also excited to do this project.
In the meantime, Zavi had begun counting days since it was the beginning of the month of September. Finally, when the day arrived, I guess more than Zavi, I was excited, to give him his gifts, to see his reactions and to hear his thoughts on his gifts. After more than 6 months our parents also visited us at our home. Zavi was overjoyed to have his grandparents, uncle, aunt and cousin come home to celebrate his birthday and was overwhelmed to see his Avengers cake. He totally loved it, it tasted yummy and we all had a blast after a very long time.
Slowly we have now started going back to normalcy with a lot of caution. In between, to break away from the monotony of my routine, I started a new blogging website ' www.nerdyclan.com ', revolving around tech and toys of my little Zavi. We are now eagerly waiting for the vaccination and the days when we can be back to normal, with Zavi going back to school and me back to office.
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