Whether I speak to my grandparents in India, or my friends in Canada or even some of my older friends in Africa, the story is the same everywhere.
What has happened to the world? Why is all this happening? I ask Mom and she gives me a hug, reassuring me that I will go back to school one day and I will meet my friends again one day.
Until then, here’s what an average day looks like:
I wake up in the morning and don’t have to get ready for school. I get to have a leisurely breakfast with Mom and Dad (I love this bit).
Morning is free play for me because Mom and Dad work then. They have an office in the basement and we all head there after changing out of our pyjamas (don’t know why Mom insists we change!) The carpet in their office is now my zone. My toys, books, crayons and me can be found sprawled here in the first half. I get my snack right here too.
If they have a video call or some other important thing to attend, I get my tab and can play some games on it. I like to pop balloons in alphabetical order and match numbers with objects. Sometimes, I watch a video about animals or about space. If I am very bored, I go to Mom with a blank paper and she draws something on it for me so that I can colour it.
We head back up around 12 for lunch and I feel happy to be back in my playroom. Dad and I play after lunch or Mom does some fun activities with me. Sometimes we identify animals on a world map and sometimes, we learn to read words or I get to paint with a brush, my fingers or even a potato! On weekdays, my teacher posts a video about my classmates doing fun learning activities in their homes and I get to see that. It is nice to at least be able to see my friends this way.
Evening means it is time to head outdoors. I love this part. We go for long walks, but every time we see someone coming towards us, we have to step off the sidewalk and wait at a distance.
I get to wave at my neighbour – best friend from afar and we once even went on our bikes with our Dads escorting us, but we had to stay some distance away from each other. On coming back home, we have to wash hands right away. There’s even a new Baby Shark song that says , “Wash your hands, doo doo doo doo!” I love it!
After dinner, I get some more play time before taking a bath and going to bed. Reading books cuddled with my Mom or Dad is one of my favourite times of the day. Earlier, Mom and I used to get new books from the library every week. Now, I hear even the library is closed.
Weekends are a little different. Mom and Dad don’t work so much, but they cook and clean a lot! This weekend I helped Dad rake all the leaves from the backyard and pack them into big paper bags. I also got to meet a few friends over video calls. When Mom went grocery shopping on her laptop, I helped her find popcorn, strawberries and raspberry jam for me. She says we will get these things after two weeks. That sounds like a long time to wait for popcorn!
I wonder when will I go back to school? When will I go to Walmart again? When can I go to play places and parks? When can I meet my friends and play with them in reality, not just over video.
Is there anything you miss being able to do?
Piyushi Dhir is the author of 'In Search of Love', 'I'm Yours, The Next Time', 'Silent Promises' and 'Enmeshed Evermore'. She is a contributor in 'Nineteen Tales of COVID-19', a collection of short stories. A voracious reader, a keen traveler, a businesswoman and a mom, Piyushi currently resides in Canada. A nomad at heart, she loves to discover new places and capture the hues of life with her pen.