Thursday, April 14, 2022

L for Lockdown

At first when it started, precisely on March 22, 2020 - it was all fun. "Staying at home and working! Is this happening for real?" I wondered. "A virus outbreak - so what? It cant spread that quickly as the patients would be quarantined!" - is what I thought. When lockdown was announced, I felt glad that there won't be run of the mill activities at home. I can be at home, avoid travel, and work at my own pace. Little did I know the gravity of Corona life or impact of lockdown then. 

When my 3+ year old daughter threw the acrylic paint on the bed and started making many modern arts on the walls - I realised that the "LOCKDOWN" is for everyone and every thing and I need to be equipped to deal with it all. In a desperate attempt to shoo the corona away, I too banged the thali (we banged plates, lit the lamps and performed many other tricks)…but Corona was not a sneaky cat to be shooed. It is a stealthy parasite that was as monstrous as the dementor, sucking the happiness out of us! As the monstrosity exponentially increased every day and complete lockdown was announced - the first and foremost mind numbing thought was  -"The maids" not visiting the houses anymore. I always had complaints on maid, that she doesn't sweep the corners properly or leaves the coffee marks in cups - and I have to wash them again, but when she completely stopped coming... I started sensing how tough a maid's job is. 

I had a new found respect on my maid however imperfect her job may be! I can live with that stain in the "kadhai (cooking vessel)" and dust speckle at the bed corner but I cannot do what all my maid does - was my first and foremost self-revelation! So in mid of the whirring of washing machine, banging of the kitchenware, whistling of the pressure cooker, electronic beeps of the microwave oven, and pings of the Office communicator, I started working... and doing it all. 
Situation during the first 21 day lockdown felt something like this

The trends followed by Netizens like making Dalgona coffee, or playing online Housie didn't amuse me. I wanted the normalcy to be back. I was in the the first stage of the Acceptance cycle, which is "Denial" and refused to enjoy any bit of the Lockdown. From anger, I moved to bargaining, then depression, and then in a month I slowly moved towards "acceptance". I accepted that this is how life is going to be for a while and we started dividing maid duties between us at home. 

The Famous Lockdown Dalgona Coffee


 Maid Training - Key takeaways:

 The key takeaways from my self-made maid training are as follows: 
  •  A good habit which I inculcated during "self made Maid-Training" is to wash a coffee cup or a tiny spoon which I use immediately, without postponing the activity. That way the most painful task of cleaning the utensils felt much easier! 
  • Teaching the kid few itsy bitsy activities like folding her own bedsheet or clothes and arranging them in cupboard (though the implementation completely depended on kid's mood swings).
  • The less utensils you use, the less you clean. I realized I can use just one plate and one spoon and still manage a whole day. If you don't dirty the home much, you don't have much to clean :) 
            Note: However if you have toddlers at home, be sure that the mess making would be perennial.
  •  As home became school, and home became office - I bought some mini dustbins which would help in avoiding the littering around. 
  •  Last but not the least lesson was to accept my shortcomings as a maid and work towards the betterment :) 

As the lockdown relaxed a bit after 2-3 months and the maids started coming back.. I welcomed my maid with open arms and all my heart. I could actually sit and sip my "hot" tea. I could actually not shout on top of my voice to other "stay at home" members - to wash their own plates and spoons! 

It was a relief - the happy intervention of maid felt jubilant, even if me and my husband discovered that we are completely "Maid for each other"

I am participating in Blogging from A-Z challenge 2022 and this is my L post. I am taking up this challenge after many years as I want to talk about Covid life and the daughter diaries!

27 comments:

  1. My mom used to wash her vessels even when we had a maid coming in.she says that you tend to use more utensils than required when you have someone else to wash them for you. Quite true !

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  2. You rekindled memories of 2020! I like your comparison on the virus to the Dementors!! Yes, we all realised how indispensable house help is to us.. No dishwasher or Washing Machine can be the perfect replacement. Happy to see things limping to normalcy. Good luck to all of us! Thanks for stopping by my blog and your encouraging comments! Happy AtoZ!!!

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  3. Gosh I'd forgotten all about Dalgona coffee :)
    Good reminder. And yes, Corona is not a sneaky cat to be shoo'd away by banging steel plates together.

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  4. I'm not so sure it was Corona that sucked the life out of us so much as inept governments around the world that mismanaged the pandemic. I can't help but feel it could have been done so much more effectively than it was, especially here in South Africa.

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  5. Nobody could have ever imagined the impact of corona then. Initially we were all glad to be working from home. But with so many issues to deal with, we started appreciating all the things we took for granted earlier, the maids work being one of them. I think many of us also learnt to adopt a minimalistic life style!

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  6. Enjoyed this phase of life too. Nicely written.

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  7. Lockdown and all the necessary accomodations we all had to make certainly proved how adaptable humans can be. I had to look up Dalgona coffee as I'd never heard of it. But you can bet I'll be trying it - it looks delicious.

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  8. What an interesting - and somewhat painful - journey. And to think of that these were "only" first world problems. Some families have lost loved ones and jobs = income, some even their home.
    So how are you enjoying and appreciating post pandemic times?

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  9. I panicked upon hearing the word "lockdown" two years ago! It meant not going anywhere except the grocery, store, bank, post office or anywhere else that as essential. Boredom soon kicked in.

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  10. Here in USA, there is no maid. You do your household chores yourself.

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  11. The lockdown was a horrible phase on all fronts. Just like you I didn't get amused by online gimmicks. Even now the moment I read news about rising cases I become anxious.

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  12. The pandemic has given me a newfound respect for so many people in the service industry. It's not easy work, but we depend on it so much.

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  13. This may be the truest thing written about the coronavirus: "but Corona was not a sneaky cat to be shooed. It is a stealthy parasite that was as monstrous as the dementor, sucking the happiness out of us!"

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  14. Lacking in logic, the lockdowns were cruel and unnecessary for most of the population. Even those who didn't get sick suffered from isolation. Glad to have somehow survived.
    I'm enjoying your daughter diaries ;-)

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  15. I never accepted the lockdown but I did get used to it. I missed seeing family and they missed seeing us so 6 weeks into it we decided to get together and if we got sick, we got sick (we all remained healthy). I took a job outside the house 6 weeks into the lockdown. It was an essential job. I enjoyed getting out of the house :) My husband is retired and cleans the house when I work so that was an added benefit :) (I cleaned for years when he was working and I was also working full time :)

    Let us hope we never have to experience another lockdown again.

    betty

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  16. A very relatable post from maids to dolgona coffee and might I add washing every vegetable including Dhaniya as we bought them. What time, we'll have such amazing stories to tell our grandchildren. Lovely

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  17. Such a time that we all experienced. I'm tired of waiting for the other shoe to drop with some new variant that will terrorize us.

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  18. Awesome tips. When my children were little I think I needed 3 house maids.
    Im glad things have eazed up.

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  19. L for Lockdown and Learnings during Lockdown. Well said, Afshan. In our case, we were a joint family and the elders complain if we don't clean the house everyday. Though few months into that, they were like clean it alternatively and then three days in a week. I lost about 10-12 kgs during lockdown. And this was with the office work as well.

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  20. I started off happier about the lockdown, but started to fall apart within a few weeks. I think it might have been easier if my husband had been working from home, too, but his job is essential so they were never sent home.

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  21. Maid for each other haha :D OTTs introduced watch party I am not sure whether viewers are using it..

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  22. Could connect to so much in this!

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  23. My parents are used to washing their own cups, spoons and plates since years regardless of having a maid or not and during Corona I realized how important a practice it is. I also liked the mini dustbin concept. True, little tips and tricks for making our life more manageable. And now with cases on the rise again, hopefully we are better prepared in case a lockdown like situation arises again! Hopefully not though! On the positive side, if only we do so much physical labour, maybe we will automatically come into shape and no extra gymming required! :D LOL, though it's easier said than done!

    Check out my 2022 A-Z at FictionPies

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  24. I was on lockdown for almost two months, but my husband still hasn't gone back to an office. Since he is the one home all the time, he is doing more of the household chores, but he is not the best maid in the world! At least he does the laundry and a lot of the cooking, but he doesn't vacuum or dust or clean bathrooms!

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Thanks for your time :)