The 21-day nationwide lockdown due to coronavirus has led to people working from home and thus, spending more time with their families and partners. But India is seeing a rise in cases of domestic abuse and more people in China are filing for divorce. Timetables on how to spend the day with the family are also doing rounds on social media, with RSS purportedly urging people to learn about Indian culture and history from elders.
ThePrint asks: Is India’s coronavirus lockdown leading to stress in families or strengthening relationships?
Loving family is a privilege, Covid-19 lockdown dangerous for those facing abuse at home
Families are complicated and therefore, there is no simple answer to whether the coronavirus lockdown is actually leading to strengthening of relationships or not. First, it is important to acknowledge that families are also not the same across the board. For some people, families are the primary triggers of their mental health issues while some others are part of deeply abusive families. Thus, this lockdown becomes extremely dangerous for such individuals.
Personally, while it is a welcome change to stay at home and not travel everyday, it is also hard to sometimes constantly be surrounded by people, especially if you’re working. But the comfort and safety that your house and your parents provide is second to none and comfort that only the privileged are enjoying.
There is a reason why so many migrant workers are choosing to walk back home, because in times of crisis you rely on your family. This is an unprecedented situation, which makes you think about a lot of all that is important in life and if your family is that for you; one should make good use of the time we’re getting with them.
21-day lockdown, coupled with work from home, has certainly bridged gap between work and family
Saif Ullah Khan
Senior assistant editor, ThePrint
Working professionals often find it hard to spend enough time with their families. The current 21-day lockdown due to coronavirus, coupled with work from home, has certainly bridged the gap.
Although stressful at times, given the constant proximity, it does provide a great opportunity for quality time together with the family. What better than to have three piping hot meals together, or for that matter cook for your family. The food may not be that palatable, but what matters is the thought.
While work from home is strenuous at times, especially with a toddler around, the time not spent in commuting is the saving grace. There is no need for video calls now, you can actually watch your child play during the day, help with his homework and read him to sleep every night. The conversations with your partner are face-to-face, not voice calls that you are both accustomed to. You can call out to each other as much as possible, without the trouble of calls going unanswered.
Binge watching My Self Reliance to disagreements over whether to watch Gold Rush or not, it all boils down to conversations and time spent together, something we rarely do nowadays.
And finally, your partner can actually discuss financial contagion and volatility spillover research papers with you, without your thought process trailing off and with you providing some intelligent, coherent, positive inputs, for once.
And yes, oil on canvas is the greatest stress-buster of all, lockdown or not.
Covid-19 lockdown has strengthened familial ties, loved ones needed to ease anxiety
The nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus has strengthened relationships. Since I live and work far away from home and both my parents have jobs that consume most of their time, the three of us would hardly get time to catch up on phone calls or frequently update each other on what’s happening in our lives.
Earlier, conversations were mostly limited to WhatsApp chats — a quick “hi how are you” or otherwise. However, due to the lockdown now, my parents are at home and have ample amount of time to ring me up. Despite being extremely occupied like all other journalists during the Covid-19 outbreak, I still manage to figure out a slotted time in the day to talk to them, usually at the end of a very hectic day.
It must be stressful for people who are working from home and staying with their families because they have to give up tiny bits of freedom, but I feel at peace knowing that my parents don’t have to go to work during Covid-19 outbreak and that they are safe. The world is definitely going to change after this pandemic. The anxiety we face in self-isolation can only be eased out by the company (even if it is virtual) of our loved ones.
Don’t be resentful about living with your loved ones; Covid-19 lockdown has lessons for us
Senior assistant editor, ThePrint
Within my circle, I have seen the lockdown manifest in both ways, but while some find it hard to deal with enforced family time, most are grateful for what they see as a chance to spend more time with their loved ones.
With few distractions, people are watching movies and programmes together, participating in cooking experiments, and establishing better understanding through something as mundane as shared chores. Even if you’re working from home, a 10-minute break means a shared cup of coffee/tea with your loved ones.
It’s precious time that’s helping a lot of people realise what they miss out in the usual rush of the rat race.
There are plenty of lessons to be learnt from coronavirus lockdown. And they are not going to come to us if we spend this time complaining.
Since the lockdown kicked in, I have often found myself thinking about the distant lovers and family members who had a reunion planned for these days, but found their plans shattered at the last moment. What was a certainty until days ago now hangs like a big question mark.
With the coronavirus pandemic still looming large over the world, no one knows when these plans will actually fructify. In this light, I have a word of advice for those who are locked in with their loved ones but feel resentful. Take a moment to place yourself in the shoes of people who are holed up oceans away from home, and acknowledge your privilege. Because that’s exactly what any extra time with your near and dear ones is. A privilege.
Staying home during lockdown not easy for all, constant risk of treading on each other’s toes
The Covid-19 lockdown might be celebrated by some of us as a time to slow down and contemplate life, but for those working from home it has been far from a cakewalk.
People aren’t just working from home; they are under lockdown and trying to work during a crisis that is taking a toll on us mentally. In such a stressful environment, it’s not easy to be suddenly around your family members or flatmates 24×7. Not everyone has the luxury of big homes and being at home now, rather than a workplace, school or college, means you run the risk of constantly treading over each other’s toes.
Furthermore, for the middle class who are suddenly bereft of their house help, the lockdown also poses logistical challenges of how to run the house smoothly — a responsibility that more often than not ends up falling on the women of the house. The impact of the coronavirus outbreak is also starting to put a strain on the economy and this affects individual households too. Some have been asked to take a pay cut for this month, while others are anxiously anticipating potential layoffs. This adds another financial stress to an already difficult time.
By Pia Krishnankutty, journalist at ThePrint