• Ashish Ranjan

21 Days: Day 1

Evening 24th March 2020, PM announced a national lockdown for 21 days, the common public came to the streets as if their homes got filled with water, 120% of the crowd that I saw in a usual day was now found in 20% of the shops that were left open. A vegetable shop that used to have around 5 people were now brimming with over 20, general shops were surrounded by 20-30 citizens with masks on their faces and -3 mm of distance between each other.

By next morning, police took control, every shop other than pharmacies were shut, even the ones that used to send cans of water to homes (Which was pretty stupid). You stop the home delivery services, people will get on the streets to suffice their needs. The crowd was as usual just they were all roaming around unable to find what they wanted, I think it would take a couple of days for things to settle down. These are some terrifying times and the common public is not made of soldiers, firemen and surgeons it's made of shopkeepers, fruitsellers, bankers, and engineers and they are not trained to be great under pressure. I could see the panic on their faces, as almost all of them live paycheck to paycheck. When you have little understanding of what's happening and lesser information about what's going to happen, it's probably the scariest of situations for humans, especially because we are all so accustomed to an easy life. Go for work, do what you're told to do, get food delivered, products delivered to your home, there are even apps to get milk and cigarettes delivered to your doorsteps and then the next day you're told that burgers and beers must stop. For some, it's pretty bad, to them I say imagine if you don't even get water and electricity, what would you do? But I think they are already thinking about it now, that is more dreadful than anything else, we don't even know how bad this can get? and even if it ends soon, what after it's all over? will the world ever be the same again? already we've seen the damage to the economy, this has the potential of creating just as much if not bigger of a recession that we saw in 2008. Well, I didn't experience it properly, I was 14 and all I knew was that my father's salary has stopped and I can't buy video games but this time if it turns out to be similar, I'll know exactly how it came to be, how did the monster look up close and can I survive it or not..... Had just left a central government job to start something on my own, people kept on saying that government job gives you safety and security and I said I have to take this risk now, how bad can it be? well, how about a pandemic followed by an economic meltdown? Do you regret it now? No sir, never! I cherish my freedom, I love to see the steering wheel in my hands and I feel more alive than ever. If that nerd can handle three of the craziest startups in 2008, I can surely deal with this.

I see these people on the streets and I see the gift of my voice and the talent of my thoughts which puts an obligation on me, the responsibility to tell them how to stay calm and united in all this, I tried my best to spread awareness about how this disease spreads and why you need to isolate yourself with others. Made a video on IGTV and reached 4500 people, made two videos, one in English and one in Hindi to let maximum people know about the reason but they reached 4k views each when my "Why I left ISRO" is soon to reach 1.5 lakh views, seems like youtube is suppressing videos by Youtubers on this topic to avoid spreading of rumors but it would have been nice if they just took a look at the content, seemed like they did injustice to the unaware crowd, but anyway, I tried to do my part. I felt like I should educate the common crowed on how to be calm under pressure, surely I am going to make some content about it. These are rough times, and we haven't seen anything like it before but its moments like these that let you understand the value of things that we've started to take for granted, these are moments that remind us of our mortality and how precious life is. This one time where we have 7.8 Billion of us and no one knows how or when is it going to end, this is one time when we have understood that we have to stand together. In a time where Tik Tok stars are more famous and wealthy than NASA scientists, I hope we have enough wisdom left to stand together. But one thing I believe in more than anything else is the survival instinct of human beings. Sure we fuck off every now and then when we get too much comfort but when shit goes down we always find some way out or the other. Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? most certainly! Don't know how but it's going to happen, we'll do whatever it takes, we'll beat this virus and in time we'll all get back to scrolling through tik tok, rappers will continue to spit about their bitches and cars, politicians will get back to robing and fooling the common public, scientists will continue to build rockets, YouTubers will continue to make vlogs, broke people will continue to teach other broke people how to be a millionaire by their online courses, continue all your dumb stuff, just do us one favor... don't forget about this virus like you did in 2012 and invest to find the antidote once it's over.

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