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Life After Pandemic by Manisha Chaudhary (Winner)

This story, character, name all are fictitious. Let’s hear the story of Shiva in his own words. 

It’s everywhere it’s on the radio, in the news. Finally, we have won over the virus. Hello everyone, let me introduce you to myself. I am Shiva, just an ordinary day laborer who has a wife and two   children to feed. After spending 4 months and 3 days home I will be returning back to work tomorrow. Life was not easy before COVID-19 too. 

Early morning While boarding the bus to the nearby town with my wife and children a chill ran down my spine. Though the risk of catching COVID-19 has lowered but the fear of getting it hasn’t gone yet. After 3 hours journey, we reached the nearby town. We took the longer route which has less people walking by to reach our rented place. 

On the second day my wife joined her job back as a domestic help for a young couple living in the big building in the town’s most expensive place. I was still searching for job. In the afternoon while taking my daughter to the hospital for vaccination I saw people still maintaining social distancing. People waited in a queue for their turn. Everyone had a face mask or a face shield. Even the risk of catching it has lowered, its likely all these measures will be taken into account. After returning home after the doctor’s visit my wife was home. She had so much to say. She told things have changed so much at her work place, her employers now don’t go outside to work. During the pandemic they worked online from home and even after the pandemic is over, they opted to work from home only.  I wonder if people start working from home there will be less pollution, no time will be wasted travelling to office and back home and even some bucks could be saved. On the contrary we humans are social animals how can we live in isolation. My wife also said they won’t travelling abroad this year. 

On the third day, I got job at a nearby construction site. My employee was strict and told me to put on mask while working and all of the workers were given strict warnings regarding gatherings. I carried bricks to the top of the building. I can’t tell all of you how beautiful the city was looking from the top all greenery even the mountains could be seen. Before the fumes from the cars and factories take it away let me have a picture of this beautiful city in my memory. While returning home from work I saw most people of my working-class using bicycle instead of using the public transport. And I thought it’s just not me all of us have a fear of the evil which made us live indoors for months. 

Early morning on the fourth day, my land lady knocked our door and asked for the rent. I told her my condition and asked her for few days extra to pay it. During noon I was hungry, I went to a nearby restaurant I saw strict rules while eating out too. Partitions were made, shields were placed to separate customers. Most restaurants have been shut as people tend to eat at a home only. There are very few gatherings and outings. 

Few months after the end of pandemic life has returned to normal but our pays have reduced. We still are afraid going in the crowd. People still are afraid travelling. Whenever we get out of house, a face shield and a mask are put on. Daily 9 to 5 work has been changed to online work. Less people dine in restaurants. School and colleges have opened up but we still fear sending our children. Most people I know have shown curiosity in agriculture and farm. Life is not easy but we as a family are happy to survive and will work harder to get things right. Till then Namaste.