My Building Has Multiple Positive Coronavirus Cases. There’s Extreme Fear And I Am Very Scared Right Now

Do you know how for the last few months the government, all other governments, all news channels and every single person in the world has been screaming on top of their lungs that this pandemic is a huge issue? Yeah, you don’t realise just how huge until it happens either to you or your neighbour. And I am afraid, for me, the realisation is just setting in. No, don’t worry I am okay and so is my family (thank God for that) but I can’t say the same for a lot of people living in my building. 

Let me start from the beginning, so you’ll understand just why my situation is such a nail-biter. When this lockdown was implemented, I was excited. Yes, I know it’s an unpopular feeling. But what most people saw confinement, I saw as a break from life. Boy, was I wrong because now, almost 5 months in, all I want to do is get away. Anyway, back then everything was all fun and games, the panic started setting in when a man living in the building at the end of my lane tested positive. The thing to remember is that back then, we had no knowledge of what really happens when coronavirus seeps in. All we knew was that cases were rising and we had to tread very, very lightly. I was in full-blown panic mode.  

Then slowly everyone, begrudgingly, adjusted to life in lockdown and the panic started to fade. I was very lucky to have access to two of my childhood best friends with whom I would meet up occasionally, all safety norms in place. It kept me sane. During this phase of my lockdown experience, I should mention that there were corona cases all around me. One was in the building opposite mine, one in the building right next to mine and one in the building next to the building with the OG case. Of course, all three of these did not occur simultaneously. And we didn’t bother that much because by then, we were used to living with all precautions. I mean, in the last 5 months I have left my building like 5 times. No, I am not exaggerating. Fear will immobilise you and in this case, it’s for the best. 

Little did we know that the safe haven we had built for ourselves was going to be massively compromised. We were living our lives, finally comfortable with the situation. A day of work, family meals, walks on the terrace, board game nights and of course weekly drinking sessions. Because, if there is ever a right time to get drunk, it’s now. And then the worst happened, it was like the universe had pulled the rug from underneath us. 

A family of four people on the top floor of my building tested positive. We were in a panic frenzy. No one expected this, we were so careful for 4 months. To make matters worse, my friend pointed out that we had just used the lift up to the terrace the previous night. Of course, the whole building came together to help them out with groceries and food. But, have you ever felt a sudden burst of crushing fear and anxiety? Double it. That’s how I felt all through the day. The worst of it hit when people from the BMC came to check every person in the building. My hands were shaking. I remember looking at them and just picturing myself all alone in some hospital ward somewhere. It was terrifying. 

This happened earlier this week and it’s been a horrible time. Because let’s face it, we might know more about the virus now then we did when this whole nightmare began but still don’t know a whole lot. I was always scared of leaving my building but now I am scared of leaving my house. What’s worse is that I can’t meet my friends and they stay less than 5 steps away from me (literally!). Does that sound like a petty problem? Compared to what’s happening to our world as we know it, yeah. But they were my escape. The reason we got through this lockdown was because of each other.  

Also Read: I Met My Boyfriend For The First Time After The Lockdown Was Lifted And Even Seeing Him Was Enough To Lift My Spirit

You know it’s funny, I remember thinking last night “okay, the worst has happened and now it’s going to get over sooner than we know”. And guess what I found out this morning. One more person has tested positive in my building *laughs dryly*. 

That’s still fine, we know the protocols now. What’s scaring me is that they suspect the domestic help in the house is infected as well. And that man has been about everywhere in the building and even worked at other people’s houses. So yeah, we have no confirmation but maybe the wait is scarier than thinking about what happens after the results come. 

Over these last few months, I have read multiple accounts of super brave people describing their personal battle with corona. But, today, I understand that living in the fear of infection is extremely frightening as well. I can’t take one step outside the threshold of my house without thinking about the grave consequences. Was I a little reckless in the middle? Yes. Did I flout my fair share of lockdown rules? I am not proud of it but yes. Now, I know just how stupid the “hoga toh dekha jayega” attitude of mine (like so many others) was.  

India has an amazing recovery rate (yay immunity) but at the same time, we have a very ignorant outlook. I mean, come on, we are not as atmanirbhar as PM Modi wanted us to be. 

I don’t know what’s going to happen when the BMC people come back tomorrow to check us again and as much as the uncertainty of this situation is killing me, I find solace in the fact that nothing lasts forever.

Mitali Shah

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