There was no time in history when humankind was more connected and disconnected.
COVID opened our minds and exposed our bodies. When it ‘crossed the Atlantic’, Canadians and Americans took notice. The hunt for N95 masks and hand sanitizers drove up profits and blood pressure. Sanitizers did a better job of cleaning one’s wallet.
There was a run on food items. Friends and family passed on well-intentioned messages to stock up. We panicked. When Spring set in, standing in line [queue] for groceries was tolerable. But wiping or washing each item, washing hands for 20 secs, having a bath soon after, and washing clothes gave way to ’’To hell with it!’’ within a month.
I must have stood in line more at the liquor store! There was always a rush for the elixir of choice.
The US elections were a welcome distraction. For the obsessed, it became a nightmare. Even if you did not live in the country. Trump defeated COVID by denying its existence. Till ‘they say’ it got to him. I think it was a ploy to ramp up attention.
Gallery: Click image for larger picture. All Images by Jaya Madhav.
2020 was more about us. In a few days, we may blame 2020 on everything and everyone else. Now no one can use time as an excuse for not doing something. One can always make time even otherwise. I had the time to think. And concluded that it’s been an eventful year. A turning point both mentally and physically.
I read more. I wrote more. Listened to more audiobooks and podcasts than ever before. Talked to more people than any year before. Helped people, non-profits, and businesses. Wasted hours on end watching TV. Snacked more.
And set about a few goals. You may be making new resolutions in the new year. Statistics show that by the end of January, they will be forgotten. The trick is to write it down, read it first thing every morning, and work on it in bits and pieces every day. Make it a habit. I intend to.
One good outcome of this pandemic was that I lost weight. From end-May, I walked every day for an hour. Every Friday, my wife Jaya would haul my protesting pounds of flesh all over the countryside, over rocks, streams, roots, in between trees, and up and down treacherous paths.
We started our hikes at six in the morning. The parks were devoid of people at that time. In those two hours, we met other die-hards – runners, bikers, bird-watchers, and dog-walkers. When we got lost, one dog-walker took us back to civilization. Maps did not work in those remote places. Other times, common sense steered us clear.
I stopped walking outside daily when Winter set the thermometer to below zero. That did not stop Jaya. She had walked for an hour at -170C. That prompted me to dip my foot in ice. One gets used to it. The body is an incredible mechanism.
Nature is spectacular. The images that you see here are taken by Jaya on various outings together and by herself. Let the images speak to you. Each image has a different story.
A few years back, a well-intentioned politician came up with the idea of saying ‘Happy Holidays’ instead of ‘Merry Christmas.’ If only they spent their time debating real issues for real people. The world would be a better place.
The country goes into a holiday mood soon after Thanksgiving. People are more relaxed; nothing gets done. This build-up to the new year will be no different.
For the selfish, laws are meant for others. They will be making merry and infecting the rest. Hospitals are bursting with patients. A large percentage of healthcare workers have been taken ill themselves.
My wife and I will be spending our time at home. We hope to talk to everyone and wish all of your the best of health.
Jaya & Madhav
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