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(OPINION) Coronavirus: The other side of the coin

Coronavirus has been claiming thousands of lives. Half of the world’s population has been put under lockdown to help slow down the spread of the virus. 

For months, we have been practicing social distancing, keeping at least two meters away from each other and stifling coughs and sneezes. We have  changed our habits of shaking hands when we greet people. Coronavirus has taken away our freedom and forced us to remain indoors. Due to the exceptional circumstances, we set off to buy groceries or medications at the pharmacy and return back as soon as possible.

Before the outbreak of the pandemic, most of us used to buy impulsively. We bought anything which caught our fancy from electric appliances to clothes, cosmetic products, gadgets and other accessories which were often left unused and discarded. Sometimes, we even threw away some items like foodstuffs or cooking ingredients that have passed their expiry dates. Now that our freedom is being restricted, we are mostly buying essential products and we realize that we can do without the things we once deemed necessary.

Impulsive buying is not only a waste of money but it has also a huge impact on our environment. Overconsumption creates increased pollution and waste and the very essentials for life, air, land and water get more and more polluted and toxic.

Confined within the four walls of our home, consuming homemade food has become a daily habit. Previously,  when we were busy maintaining a balance between housework and our job, we found it difficult to prepare and pack our  lunch box. Often, we would buy fast food at lunch time without bearing in mind the impact it had on our health. Now that we have much time on our hands and all food outlets are closed, we are taking time to prepare our meals and we are eating healthy. After the lockdown when we shall get back to work, we must make it a habit to prepare our lunch as far as possible. After all, it’s a question of time management and good planning. Besides, good eating habits help us to stay healthy and in good shape.

The Muslim community is presently fasting during this holy month of Ramadan. At sunset, people break their fast by eating dates and some cakes before dinner. Previously, cakes were ordered and  they were  easily available everywhere.  Due to lockdown, cakes are being prepared at home and women are picking up their recipe books from bookshelves and going on youtube to search for new recipes to keep their families happy and satisfied. Many women are wonderstruck as they are being given the opportunity to develop their culinary skills and prepare palatable and time consuming dishes which they thought they were incapable of doing before.

After two months of lockdown, we are all looking forward to go back to normal life.  We are impatient to be in the open air, meet our colleagues, share our experiences and catch up with our work. Let’s use the lockdown period as an important chapter in our life to change our old habits! It’s worth it. 

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