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Life after Pandemic by Neha Bijukchhe (2nd Runner-Up)

2020 will be my year I thought to myself while it was approaching. After neglecting myself for 2 years due to a little inconvenience in my life, 2020 was the year to recover in shine brighter like the sun. Well, 2020 had other plans. All was going well in my region till March 2020, when the Government of Nepal declared nationwide lockdown due to the global pandemic of COVID-19 caused by coronavirus. It was declared a public health emergency by WHO at the end of January 2020. Originated in Wuhan China, the disease and the virus was spreading more rapidly than the Australian Wildfire all over the world.

People in Nepal felt relieved at first after the lockdown, as they were getting little rest from all the hectic work schedules, school work and were getting to spend time with families. It became frustrating after sometime as the people are now suffering losses, education is in halt, very little movement is possible, businesses are collapsing, daily workers are having hard time to put food in their plates along with the trauma and mental stress of the pandemic.

Nevertheless, people are still finding ways to keep themselves entertained and work and learn from home. Kids are getting the life of their dream, I.e. no school for months, teenagers are getting creative and participating in various online challenges. Some have plenty of time to catch up on their favourite shows, books and also trying out new recipes others are just enjoying being lazy. Looking at the positive side of pandemic, people are coming out being creative.

Alas, everyone is not being able to reap off the positive side of the pandemic. I wish I could have all those positive opportunities from this pandemic. This time have only been positive to the ones who could afford to not work for consecutive weeks in a row. Along with thousands of low income earners and daily wage earner I am having the hardest time surviving this pandemic. I was eagerly waiting for a new year to start fresh but now I wish it never came. While some people are trying new and exotic recipes I am struggling to put two meals a day in my plate. Surely, we all are thinking of what to eat next, but the context of this question is very different to the people who can afford food and those who cannot. That is why I am desperately waiting for the pandemic to end.

Life after pandemic will be much more easier for everybody. People will be free from the disease and its fear. Hopefully, vaccines will be developed to fight and immune against the disease. Simple logic of a lay man view will be; when the pandemic ends, the lockdown will be lifted off and the economy will be set to move forward which will eventually give people access to earn and be back to the normal life. But bouncing back will not be so easy everyone will have a tough time going back to how they were previously. It will certainly be better to be freed than to be restricted.

The aftermath of the pandemic will be bad, but it will also be the biggest motivation to brush of the dust and work towards a brighter future. It will also encourage nations to prepare for this sort of mishaps in future and change the policies that proved to have loopholes during this time.

On a personal level, I will be on my journey to make my life better. On a surface level, the journey will be all about looking for jobs and finding a way to put food in my plate and maintain the roof over my head. On a deeper level, my goal will be to uplift my life get out of my comfort zone and have a progressive viewpoint on life. It will not be all sun and daisy but I will get an umbrella and a strong hut over my head to tackle and seal myself from the rain and snow. The empty deserted streets will be full of people hustling and bustling; some of course, wandering souls drenched with either boredom or enthusiasm. Masks will still be the primary thing to grab before going out. There will be liberation, inspiration and hope after the end of a pandemic; hope for healthy life, hope for better future, hope to work harder and hope to be a better person. Afterall, hope heals us all.