Lockdown Conversation Topics That Have Nothing To Do With Coronavirus
It seems almost impossible to have a conversation these days that doesn’t involve some mention of COVID. It’s ironic, if you really think about it, because even while in quarantine, we’re not actively thinking about coronavirus all the time. We’ve been locked down long enough now for it to become at least a temporary normal. We might have figured out a new routine, or modified the old one, identified the new challenges that come with this way of living, and found solutions to it, or at least we are trying. Whatever week we’re in now, does not feel anything like week one, for good or bad. In fact, for some of us, this is becoming a habit. I was speaking to a colleague last evening, who said that she fears that she will get used to this before our office reopens. So, how is it that our conversations still centre around COVID?
I can think of many reasons. Perhaps coronavirus is the only thing that feels certain right now. Perhaps we feel that our life bound within four walls is not interesting enough. Perhaps we are sick of complaining about how much we miss stepping out. Perhaps all of it. Perhaps none of it. Perhaps, we feel that we are alone in the way we are feeling at the moment - peaceful, anxious, bored, restless, more productive, more lethargic - whatever that may be.
But, there’s a lot going on that may be a result of the quarantine life, but isn’t directly related to it. Here are a few lockdown conversation topics that don’t involve counting the number of coronavirus cases, or speculating about how long the lockdown will last:
New recipes we are trying or want to try
Okay, personally, I’ve not been doing this. But, my mother has. Yesterday, she made Thai curry. My mother-in-law has been, too. Last week, we had some beetroot cutlets with Spanish omelettes. If I was interested in cooking, I’d be having long conversations with them about the recipes. But, I still had those conversations about what they had been cooking. Now is a great time to exchange recipes and meal ideas, whether you love to cook or not.
What you are currently watching
Netflix offered the world a psychological balm in these times of crisis, when they promoted Tiger King. That show, for about a week, became all the rage, and all that people talked about. It was so bizarre that it made no sense to talk about the king of tigers, and a global pandemic in the same breath. That’s the power of TV. Use it.
What you are currently reading
I am currently reading Yuval Harari’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. The other day, I had a long chat with my best friend about AI, which is something Harari talks about a lot in the book. She lives in Sweden. During the course of the conversation, she told me that people there, and in Stockholm, commonly, and voluntarily, get bio-chipped. They can do all their financial transactions with a chip installed in their arm. I freaked out, and realised that coronavirus is not the only f&*ked up thing happening in the world.
How little money we actually need to survive
The global economy has taken a huge dent because of the lockdown, and we don’t know what it’s going to look like in the future. We are all preparing for the worst, and for a lot of people, it is already a reality, as companies have started doing layoffs, employers have held salaries, so on and so forth. It’s a terrible situation. But, there is a lesson in all of this. We actually don’t need a lot of money to survive. We’ve always known that if we eat home-cooked meals, we save money, but just how much is really hitting home now. Similarly, working from home, equates to not commuting, which in turn equates to saving money. We are saving on beauty treatments, and beauty products. We’re being judicious when it comes to buying groceries, and realising that a ripe desi avocado can be just as good as the imported variety. It’s eye-opening.
That we should all start growing vegetables and fruits at home
Because why not? Recently, there was news that we need to be careful about consuming vegetables because we don’t know if they’ve been handled by someone who’s COVID positive. For years, we’ve been talking about how people put pesticides and whatnot, and how even the one food group we thought was healthy isn’t really. Now, we have time to act upon it, and start a vegetable garden. We may not be able to grow everything, but we can have at least the basics, even if we have a small space.