‘When freedom calls for discipline’

With the entire country under the 21-day lockdown owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, students and faculty of the Rajiv Gandhi University’s Department of Mass Communication share their experiences and thoughts as they deal with this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

1. Being quarantined and social distancing is definitely not easy. I am trying to spend my days doing something productive although there isn’t much to do, really. I sleep early and wake up late. It’s getting harder day after day. I’m pretty much bored to death at this point. But I also know this lockdown is important and necessary. I would rather lock myself in my room for days than die or potentially infect anyone. I think we should try to be responsible and to try to understand the situation and not defy the lockdown.
(Chukhu Tania )

2. The Covid-19 has drastically changed normal life. It is sad to know that the heroes of the society who risk their lives to wage a war against the Covid-19 were seen humiliated and excommunicated from their colonies.
But generous & philanthropist people still exist and many waived off their tenancy fees and lessened the burden of tenants.
(Jumge Pale)

3. The Covid-19 made the whole world come to a halt, reminding us how fragile humans are with our fancy lifestyles. The 21 days national lockdown did not even reach half way and we see chaos among poor migrants, walking hundreds of miles to get to their destinations. It is only a matter of time that the virus leads to community spread. (Thupten Sange Mento)

4. The 21 days national lockdown has turned out to be a time to feel privileged for the life I live. My parents are in my native place, surrounded by greenery and available resources and I need not worry about them much.
Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter are not so interesting now. They are pushing me back to novels and books. Started sketching and painting that I had ceased doing years back.
With a little over a week left, I hope my perspectives on life won’t change. ( Chujai Chingsaham )

5. We must strictly follow the directions given by medical authorities and should maintain social distancing to stop the spread of the virus. The 21 days lock down is causing economic breakdown in the country. Daily wage labours are starving and they are on the verge of dying, while students are losing their daily learning process. ( Samson Techi )

6.Past few days changed everything,
It once used to be a sweet picture,
Now the world just got so damn meaner.

No more hugging and kissing,
To be away from your homies,
Social distancing pushing us away.

It kinda serves us right.
We fully deserve it,
It’s god’s way to notify,
And it’s truly justified
The more you hurt mother earth,
The more the human race dies.

We totally saw it coming,
We were all ignorant,
It’s not the end of the world though.
Adapt, overcome, improvise -three different words,
It’s about time we put them into action ( Nyato Mosing )

7. This lockdown is a preventive measure, but we are facing budget/ finance problems as many shops are closed down. Prices of daily essential items are touching the sky and it has become very hard to decide what commodities we should buy. If we outlook this, I think everything else is fine. Air and noise pollution have reduced in our sector and we are enjoying the company of our family members. ( Bamang Momika )

8. In the past few days of the lockdown, I have learnt that some shopkeepers of our state are very selfish and are selling goods at higher than usual rates. I am also witnessing that some uncivilized forces are beating our poor people heartlessly in the name of lockdown. Another common experience right now is boredom. But I am happy obeying the government’s order of defeating the corona virus by maintaining social distancing. Only thing left to do is pray. I hope I will meet my friends, teachers and family with good health soon. ( Taming Pakak )

9. I realized how important human life is. Everything makes me scared of the corona virus infection. We are trying our best to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus by staying at home, but our life is difficult due to the lack of daily needs. But I have also come to understand the importance of spending time with family and friends. ( Sampa Chege )

10. It was a sudden announcement and there was a rush in my house for essential household stuff. The police officers are deployed for the safety of the people, but people are roaming unnecessarily in the streets.
The lockdown is for our safety and we can’t ignore the steps the government is taking, but they should have announced earlier with proper methods. ( Amrit Thapa )

11. The Covid-19 news is an obsession now. Some even romanticize this pandemic. I am receiving messages from people who I haven’t heard from since 2010. Taking care of one’s mental health is proving futile when locked within the premises of one’s own house. (Bombie Gadi )

12. Being quarantined with family members has made me realize how family plays a prime role in life and how vulnerable we could be in front of Nature. It also helped me understand Nature and healthcare better. Honestly, watching TV and browsing internet are my most frequent activities during the lockdown. ( Bekky Haji )

13. It has only been a few days of self-quarantine and we are all already getting anxious. The news on the TV keeps us updated about the ways government is trying to save the country from falling into chaos. At times like these, our faith starts to shake. I see the concern on the faces of my parents. They are worried about whether we can make it to the other of side of this epidemic. But I have chosen faith over fear and have turned it into an opportunity to really appreciate the small things in life. ( Yaram Thadang )

14. Though the human race is troubled by the novel coronavirus, Mother Earth seems to be healing due to the inaction in lockdown period.
I have been spending time with family and other elderly members of my village. Staying in an area with no network and no television has taught me to take out a little time from my daily routine to look at the beauty of nature and the importance of spending quality time with family and listening to old folktales from the villagers. Apart from small difficulties, I am enjoying the period of self-reflection and self-quarantine.
( Radhe Bam Sunya )

15. Couldn’t agree more when someone said lockdown is giving people time to spend with their families. However, it wasn’t the same for rent dwelling students like me. Apart from the boredom, cash being in no use was a hit back. ( Tanuel Nonang )

16. When I heard about this lockdown I was little bit worried, thinking about how I’m going to manage and what I’m going to do during these 21-long days. But I am spending my time doing some productive stuff. Crafting, singing and indulging in some DIY are helping me relive my life meaningfully even though I’m bound inside four walls. ( Chera Esther )

17. As the world grapples with this insidious virus, there is a sense of uncertainty and instability that surrounds us. The complete lockdown across the nation is disrupting lives in unimaginable ways. With Self isolation and social distancing becoming the norm, life feels nothing less than a dystopian movie but let us not forget that we have brave heroes – the government, doctors, nurses, paramedics, police and volunteers in every service sectors fighting each day for a better tomorrow. ( Landi Onya Alisha )

18. The word ‘Quarantine’ till now was applicable and heard of only in western sci-fi and zombie apocalypse movies. But now every person knows what quarantine means because of the Covid-19 virus which has taken over the world indiscriminately.
The streets are empty and everything has come to a halt like those apocalypse movies. My family and I have cleaned almost every part of our house and we sit together more often now. We talk, discuss and have been focusing more on our similarities rather than our differences. For all we know- maybe -all we have is now. ( Khoda Yapi )

19. I personally have a lot of work which needs to be done so that’s my top priority and apart from doing it, regular life has been disrupted. Missing classes and friends. Also really miss playing basketball.

Lucky that my friends, relatives and most people from Arunachal and the North East are safe. Prayers to all the other people and a quick recovery to who all got affected in the entire world. ( Yumba Taipodia )

20. I never thought working from home would mean having to work all day long. The first and last thing I see are reports related to the Covid19. Living alone is also not easy during such times. One could go insane with the silence, lack of help in household chores and lack of companionship. Also, I will always remember that I ran for a loaf of bread for the first time in my life. ( NN Manpoong )

21. More than the virus the stigma to it was far more dangerous. Many locals took the law into their hands, which didn’t go very well. For a period everything we took for granted was at stake. I hope after all this is over, people will come out changed; more grateful towards life. ( Bamin Sumpi )

22. In my locality, I have seen that during this critical time instead of staying at home safely, some people are going here and there with silly excuses. However, police officers are taking strict action against those people. Though the lockdown has become the only way to escape from this fatal disease, what about those daily wage workers? They will suffer whether they decide to remain inside or go outside. ( Anupam Saikia )

23. Staying quarantined at home as the nation undergoes 21 days lockdown. While I’ve been able to get all the necessities to survive, the hike in prices is what concerns me the most. I had to pay Rs 10 just for an egg the other day. Justifiable? Not sure if it is. ( Senwarn Sun Goyary )

24. The Coronavirus alert started when we were at our Rajiv Gandhi University hostel campus. I panicked for a while due to the seriousness of the viral disease and its ability to cause widespread collateral damage. After the declaration of the lockdown, I packed all my necessary items and went to my hometown.
You and me both want to survive the present scenario, right? We all want to fulfil most of our desires, like finding the one, making a career, travelling to places we always wanted to visit. But such and unexpected epidemic has become a serious threat to all of us- physically and emotionally.
This pandemic is a test for all of humankind. ( Choku Bagang )

25. The fact that the pandemic has taken thousands of lives is sadly depressing. This plague has dis-balanced the entire world. The 21 days lockdown is a wise decision, but this has drastically changed my daily routine. On the bright side, now I know what peace really feels like after a long time. The empty roads with no pollution is making me realise why nature is a blessing which should not be misused. Since this epidemic plague is Nature’s curse upon us, let us ponder upon our mistakes and not destroy our only source of existence. ( Yaminah Singhi )

26. I have been afraid since the day the lockdown started because never in my life had I witnessed a disease that could take human life so easily. I am afraid for myself, for my mom, family and friends. I do follow quarantine and do every possible thing to maintain my hygiene. I know it is hard but I respect the government’s decision for the lockdown. May almighty God protect us all! ( Nengker Tagia )

27. It’s been more than a week of nation’s lockdown and I haven’t stepped outside. But if not this, what else could be the safest way for us?
Now, my home is short on necessary food items and cash too, but we are scared to go outside. On the other hand, things have gone pricey too.
Hope to see the good days again soon. ( Topi Ette )

28. Lockdown has got me into thinking – Death indeed is a great leveller. Corona overlooked all man-made barriers, making us all feel yet again how miniscule we are. It makes me wonder how we have mastered on playing the game of ‘‘unpredictability’’ everyday in our lives. ( Tanu Bulo )

29. Since the lockdown, there is nothing much to do besides staying at home, watching television, playing PUBG, eating junk food, Netflix, every other active on social media and playing badminton and sometimes working out in the evening. Slowly running out of groceries and only potato and dal for meals.
This lockdown is essential to ensure and prevent mass spread of disease, so I totally support the lockdown. ( Fetoo sono )

30. I consider this period as a blessing in disguise as pollution levels have hugely dropped, nature is healing and wildlife is reclaiming its space. I have been able to contribute more time to my hobbies and self-care. Family bond has strengthened and it definitely will result in change of priorities in life for many of us. ( Jeuti Brahma )

31. This lockdown has taught me the essence of what freedom really means. It has also taught me to value home sweet home; there is no place on earth as safe as home. No doubt, it is so saddening to see the migrant workers walking hundreds of miles on foot to reach their home and some of them even lost their lives in the journey. It is the poor who are always the victim. I wish the government could have done something to prevent such human tragedy from happening. But next time we will be better prepared.
( Kh Kabi, HoD )