We were in a hurry preparing for the final examination of school, due to the outbreak of COVID-19. I was sure that there will be a lockdown again like last year because the initial symptom of COVID-19 was dangerous. Everyday more than 40 thousands people were suffering from COVID-19 in India. On the other hand, the government of Nepal was neither taking it seriously nor making effective plans to resolve the pandemic. So, obviously Nepal could fall into a serious problem and later it happened.
In order to control COVID-19, in the very initial days the government of Nepal has proclaimed a week-long lockdown in some major cities only, where many people gathered in a massive crowd unnecessarily. However, the number of COVID-19 positive patients has increased all over Nepal. As a result, our school was compelled to stop the pre- scheduled examination, which was scheduled to be administered with the collaboration of the rural municipality.
I made a plan to go home but it was not easy, there was no vehicle like a normal time. I made a phone call with my family. They suggested to me not to come home and stay safe where l was. My home is not near to school, it can take 5 to 7 days to reach on foot. Similarly, it was the rainy season, which made it almost impossible to reach there on foot. So, l decided not to go home and stay safe there. I was staying in the school’s hostel. In the initial days, I felt bored because l was new there. Some colleagues and roommates had gone to their own home. Similarly, all the students of the hostel had also already left. Hostel was almost vacant and without students the hostel was quiet- no sound, no noise like a graveyard.
I was already acquainted with lockdown. In the previous year, l was in Kathmandu, where l had spent a very pathetic life up to six month without visiting kith and kin, beloved buddy and so on. But this year I was a little bit more intuitive than Kathmandu. My current place had enough open space to visit, greenery, beautiful scenes and amazing natural beauties. In fact, l like to stay alone because l love literature and music. So, I was enjoying this lockdown by learning music and composing beautiful poems, making YouTube videos, TikTok and talking with beloved buddies and kith and kin through virtual chatting. This is the golden time to fulfil our interior desire. We have sufficient time to learn and do what we want during busy times.
We didn’t get leisure due to our busy schedule to think about our lives. We have forgotten who we are, what is our life and what is our destination. So, this is the right time to evaluate ourselves and to look back and move forward carefully by correcting our mistakes. However, bitter reality and fact is out of imagination. Pandemic is miserable for poor people and workers. This pandemic creates very difficult circumstances to fulfill their basic needs. Many students of our school belong to this sort of family background and they are very far from the access of online classes and the internet facilities. Most of the schools and colleges are running online classes in passable areas. Despite that the students who belong to middle and low class families are deprived of their education. As a result, this will not only create learning gap but also serious psychological problems to them. So, all the conscious people and the government have to pay attention immediately to save and protect their life from anxiety and depression.
Finally, so many youths and even small children are busy playing PUBG and Free Fire. I think this type of game must be banned and parents should be aware about it. Besides playing such games, parents should encourage their children to learn useful life skills like socialization in community, helping needy people etc. Children should not feel they are inside a cage in the lockdown. We should make them busy with productive tasks by engaging them in simple domestic work, reading books, drawing art, composing children’s songs, poems and stories. Most importantly, we have to teach the importance of learning, self- care, accountability, responsibility, culture, discipline and so on.
Gyandip Rai, Khotang
Mahendra Jyoti Secondary School,