56 hours ago, in a televised nation to the address, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi requested all countrymen to follow a जनता कर्फ्यू (Janta Curfew), which is nothing but a Hindi term for Social Distancing. All we have to do is STAY AT HOME for 14 hours between 7:00 am and 9:00 pm today (Sunday 22 March).
It appears to me that 14 hours was not all that Modi thought of. As it is unlikely that most people would be out of their homes post 1:00 am, it adds up to 20 hours. And for most people in cities where bars and restaurants have been closed, it means more than 24 hours. Very Clever!
Anyways, whether you would have been home for 14 hours by 9:00 pm tonight, or 20 hours, or 24 hours, here are 14 things you can do in the 14 hours, which you have been probably postponing for some time, or a long time:
- Read a book. Of course, as an Author, this is my first suggestion. But it is also because we Indians read much less than our counterparts in most countries. I have maintained social distancing for the past nine days and have read four books during this time.
- Write a short story on today – the day you were forced to be confined at home. Who knows? You might discover quite the writer in yourself.
- Watch a TV series on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video or Hotstar or Zee 5 or whatever platform you have. If you like American or British TV Series, I can recommend quite a few. Amongst some of my favourites are Game of Thrones, Sherlock, Band of Brothers, The West Wing, The Wire, Breaking Bad, Homeland, Peaky Blinders, Madam Secretary, Rome and House of Cards.
- If you have never cooked in your life, today is a good day to learn how to cook at least one of your favourite dishes.
- Make a 6-egg omelette for yourself and have it with some toast and orange juice. You may want to do the same for your family members also, so that you spend more than 30 minutes in doing this. If you don’t eat eggs, well then… you can try aloo parathas, or idlis, or whatever else meets your fancy. I’m going to go for a 6-egg cheese masala omelette. After all, how often do we have to follow a Janta Curfew.
- Clean your mobile phone, your laptop/desktop and your other precious belongings. How often do you do this?
- Clean your room thoroughly. Arrange things in order.
- Go through your wardrobe and take out clothes or shoes you don’t wear any more. Put these aside to donate them to the needy once the Coronavirus has gone away.
- Spend time with your family or flatmates and crack jokes or recollect amusing incidents from the past, so that everyone can laugh loudly. Laughter is a very good medicine.
- Read the guidelines and articles on Coronavirus prevention and cure from trustworthy sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, the U.S. Government, the Government of India, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, etc. Trust me, they are much more reliable than the hundreds of WhatsApp forwards you have been getting and continue to get. \
- Speak to your older relatives (senior citizens) and make them understand the summary of what you have learned. Reassure them that they are safe (and will continue to be safe) if they follow guidelines.
- Do the same with children. If you don’t have children, explain what you have learned to your friends of relatives who do have children.
- At 5:00 pm today, come out on your balcony or window, and clap (as loudly as you can) for the thousands of healthcare professionals who continue to work as usual, to help millions of others who may have the disease, or are being tested for the same. You can also use metallix vessels or Puja bells. According to several well established healing modalities (acupressure, acupuncture, reflexology, and various adaptations of the above), the hands and palms have numerous reflex points that, when stimulated, engage the body’s healing response and prompt a gradual (sometimes near immediate) improvement in any type of ailment. Don’t laugh at the suggestion just because you don’t like Modi. Italy and Spain have already done it, and now UK, Israel and several other countries are going to do the same.
- Prepare for more Janta Curfews – or even compulsory ones enforced by the authorities. I have a feeling this is just the beginning.