Season Two

Life At Season Two

The only time I am reminded of the pandemic is when my son calls me. He has this mask that almost rips his ears out, he says. ‘Rather have no ears than contract the virus’, he would joke often. Our video calls are all about loud laughter and a lot of ‘see you soon’. While people my age live each day in fear and anxiety, I live an easy, happy, normal life. In the past few months, we have realized how underrated ‘normal’ was.

Until a couple of months before the pandemic, I was staying at my home, sailing through the never- ending drudgery in the kitchen, grocery shopping and regular hospital visits among other chores. My only son lives in the Netherlands with family. The thing about staying alone is that you never grow used to the silence and the few nights when the silence is too loud. I always had the option of flying to my son or him coming down to me, which we did, more often than not.

However, I found it pragmatic to live in a place where help is available. My health is going to deteriorate, and I might need constant assistance and expert care. In a society where children living away from parents itself is frowned upon, to have my son understand my wish to live a relaxed, customized life, is itself a blessing. Though I was not struggling at home, I could very well make use of a better option to ease myself out a little bit. Even with a full-time help, I could not be peaceful due to anxiety and worries that found its way to my mind on days I didn’t fall asleep as soon as I hit the bed. When I met an old friend at a family function, I was pleasantly surprised that she was planning to move into a retirement home in Virginia. My quest for one such place in my hometown ended when I came to know about ASHA Senior Living.

It is about ten months since I moved in and it is so far the best decision I have ever made. At ASHA, I am planning for a secure future– the facility, my room and all the common areas are mindfully designed for seniors. The apartments here have anti-skid tiles, the bathrooms are wheelchair- friendly and there are handy emergency switches. Though I miss the bustle of the city, it is not for long— we always have an activity or a cause for celebration for those who need some distraction, apart from the monthly programme “Nithyavasantham”. The comfort of being a part of a community, that too, one which I easily connect with, has lessened my worries and make me feel welcome.

Considering the pandemic situation, I am happy that things fell in place at the perfect time. When I moved in to ASHA, I rented out my own home and went over to my ancestral home during the weekend. After the pandemic struck, I have refrained from stepping out. But the good thing is it is nothing like restraining myself to the confines of my home. The exponential rise in Covid cases bother me, but not as much as it would have had I been at my home. My son often tells me how peaceful he is, knowing that I am safe and have all my needs taken care of.

Having to run a house by myself and the necessity of stepping out to buy essentials would have been a nightmare in this situation. It is something I would rather not think of; not to mention the endless worries of suspecting even the slightest discomfort to be the most dreaded virus.

My life has not changed much after the Covid. I have a lot of friends here whom I hang out with. I undergo regular health check-ups among other residents owing to the age- related illnesses we have. Visits to the supermarket or the pharmacy is completely done away with. I still take evening walks and morning jogs inside the facility, which is a risky affair for those my age in this situation. All common amenities are sanitized in regular intervals and our caregivers have been residing with us ever since the first confirmed case of Covid-19. I read a lot and play indoor games with friends. I look forward to each day with a fresh mind, and most importantly, living a blissful life.

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