Umang Dhingra

Delhi, India

As I write this, Google tells me 2.4 million loved ones have passed away due to the pandemic.
But you already knew that. Like me, you spent 2020 refreshing the statistics, spraying sanitizer
everywhere, and watching too much Netflix.

Every single morning, we were plagued: what do I do? From bad coffee to sorting spices and
hacks to evade zoom classes, we’ve done everything under the sun. But what we fail to realize is
our privilege. As thousands are laid off and savings disappear, the worst thing happening to us
is… boredom?

They say that every dark cloud has a silver lining. And even though the times are terrifying, if
you have someone who will pick up the phone when you call them, you have a silver lining you
might be underestimating the worth of. This lockdown, I learnt to appreciate people. I learnt to
appreciate the parents who are still handling the household with meagre means, the teachers who
wake up early, siblings, friends… I learnt to be grateful for the things I took for granted.

The economy may be crumbling, and the prospect of tomorrow is extremely uncertain. But if
you can celebrate the small things and applaud diminutive victories, you won’t just emerge out
of the lockdown happier, but appreciate the person in the mirror a tad bit more. Celebrate that
every morning, you let sunlight play with your hair. Revel in the fact that a father might just get
to witness his daughter’s first steps because he is home. Chuckle at funny cat videos. Laugh with
a baby. Make a lonely senior citizen guffaw. Find hope in yourself, and the people around you.

As I write this, Google tells me that 61 million people have beaten the virus. Even if you don’t
see it yet, in the grand scheme of things, there is a plan for you. In our mayhem of horrifying
thoughts and monotony, some days will be worse than others, but it will get better. I promise.

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