So I guess the biggest news of today is that the RMO is extended for another two more weeks, so it now goes on till 14th of April. I don't think anybody should be surprised - it took China two months to loosen their lockdown and here our cases are not even peaking yet (and nor is our lockdown as stringent). There is still some way to go yet.
Right after I got the notice we organised to go out to the shops immediately, to avoid the crowd of panic buyers who would no doubt come in either this evening or tomorrow. Being that our fresh produce was down to a rapidly deteriorating courgette and five tomatoes, we were going out tomorrow. But the announcement was catalyst enough for us to quickly step out and buy whatever it is that we needed (we were also down to our last sponge), so now we are probably set for the next two weeks.
I talked to my mum on the phone and she seems to be enjoying the staying at home (I believe that she is actually happy that the RMO was extended, partly because of the necessity of it but partly also because she's enjoying herself). She's cooking again and she's following workout Youtube videos to make sure she stays active and fit. My dad is finally organising their store room. My sister is working from home and helping out with the cooking - she made some vinegared pork trotters from a recipe online, which were very well-received by all in the household. They are quite committed to staying at home, and I am receiving a lot of positive vibes from them, something that I am very thankful about :)
I feel that a crisis like this brings out the good in good people, and the bad in bad people. Assuming that we can put people into two general baskets like that. Those who are genuinely kind find a way to reach out to the less fortunate, like my friend Natasha who is putting together care packages for the poor families around where she lives. On the other hand, those who are selfish and opportunistic see this crisis as a "dog-eat-dog" endgame and they're the ones who are panic buying and being smug about their stockpiles, as if they can surround themselves with a fort of facemasks and rice.
A kind person sees a kind world, and a selfish person sees a selfish world. With the lockdown we are seeing clashes of values, and stories that come through from Whatsapp have me marvelling how family members can be so different in their worldviews. The ones who believe that cooperation will get us through this are chastised by their counterparts who believe that resources should be hoarded because others would hoard them anyway. There's no saying who is more right than the other, even though I have my position of course. But what I do know is that I'd rather live in/see a world where 170,000 volunteers sign up within 15 hours to help the vulnerable, than in a world where people go on riots when there is a sale.
Want more unicorns than demons? Don't feed the demons, feed the unicorns.
This morning I went back into one of my balcony gardens after avoiding it for more than a year. For an hour I made friends with it, mourning plants which had died in my absence and celebrating plants that are still alive. The passion fruit plant is still going, even though there was a giant weed in its pot sapping all the nutrients from the already depleted soil. I've removed the weeds, and I'm going to feed it with compost. The mint plant that dried up in its original pot had miraculously propagated itself to another pot. The curry leaf plant is almost dead, I am trying to make cuttings but I don't have high expectations.
From tomorrow I will be fully engaged in a job that needs urgent outputs, and that will be the case for a week or two. I am still going to maintain the daily blogging but it may take another form. I am thinking of keeping a draft open throughout the day and posting compilations of short thoughts and ideas in the evening.