Lazying around in the living room through the day, binge-watching our favourite Netflix shows through the night like nocturnal beings, and carelessly daydreaming while sitting in classrooms about what to wear to our next ‘high society’ gathering, all seemed to be a distant dream as we prepared to trudge the long road to board exams.
These exams, we thought, were going to be God’s ultimate test for us students. We were bracing ourselves to dig our social graves and suffer from modern world’s biggest fear, FOMO.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives in unimaginable ways. (Photo: Reuters)
Little did we know that we were the unofficial harbingers of a movement that would soon possess the world: social distancing and isolation.
While we were thinking we had had enough of those ritual catchphrases of “get off the iPad!” and “children, it is time to get serious!”, destiny was making other plans, waiting to pounce at the right moment to remind us that life is but, an obstacle race. The moment we realise that we have successfully crossed one barrier, another hurdle stands in our way, twice as difficult as the former. The coronavirus pandemic is a wake-up call for humanity to reform its ways.
The coronovirus pandemic has come as an ocean of agony to drown the parental peeves of their ‘babies’ not studying, students’ worries of when the D-Day would arrive and exams would be over, and the headaches teachers faced over devising new methods to help the backbenchers pass.
The sources of stress and anxiety now originate from a virus that has invaded the world, ‘the coronavirus’. Children have now cut themselves off from the urgency to finish their syllabus and are faced with the urgency to stock up on the sanitiser supply.
Mothers are no longer worried about us studying every day but washing our hands till they fall off. Our blisters from toilsome hours of writing now scream for mercy from alcohol sanitisers.
Phones that were earlier flooded with mothers posting sample papers and motivational quotes are now swarmed with a barrage of corona-related content. The 'good morning' forwards are now illustrated with huge diagrams of ‘corona-flowers’ to make up for the lack of roses and lilies.
Teachers are not only regularly checking in with mothers to make sure that students are burning the midnight oil, but also to ensure that we are devoting enough time to personal hygiene. We, on the other hand, are convinced that Doomsday could be well within sight.
Frankly speaking, coronavirus and the associated anxiety have become a more enduring part of our journey to the boards.
Though we had been fortunate enough not to witness any of the World Wars, taking an exam during the times of coronavirus was no less than entering a battlefield. We left our homes armed with the strongest weapons of (viral) destruction: sanitisers and masks. Upon reaching the exam centre, we were told to follow a series of safety measures, starting with the washing of hands, being checked for impermissible materials and then another round of alcohol sanitisers to give our blisters the final ‘energy shock’ before we entered our examination rooms.
Our seating arrangement was organised into regiments with only 12 students each to prevent overcrowding. The CBSE’s proactive approach to handling the issue is praiseworthy and admirable. Their efforts deserve immense credit.
The day we finished our exams, the government announced that they were postponing the rest of the papers in view of the pandemic. I’m certain that this news caused tremors to the already overstretched parents and children who were hoping to get done with the ordeal.
As we sit at home amid a crisis most did not see coming, we millennials, for the first time, look beyond Instagram memes to read posts about those in suffering, seek to talk to those who are in need of support rather than gossip, and thank God to be able to sit with all our families under the same roof. The coronavirus, that has killed thousands and brought grief to many, is in fact, a caution to humanity. It reminds us to cherish what we have. It gives us an opportunity to pause and reflect, spend time bonding with family and realise that love, good health and kindness are the greatest gifts.