When the first news of COVID-19 was heard, the citizens went about doing their business as usual. Slowly but indefinitely, the fear of community transmission was setting in and it was all made real when Bhutan got its first positive case in early March 2020.

The first lockdown took place so suddenly, it left the citizens confused, helpless, and unprepared. Being a god-fearing country and law-abiding citizens, we followed the protocols that were cast by the government without any protest. The initial days of lockdown went by trying to figure out how to manage the household with the limited stock that were being supplied but as I gradually began to understand the system that was set to ease the mass hysteria amongst the public, it was understood that all that was needed from us was to stay inside and follow set protocols.

With all the free time left to think of all the things that could go wrong, such trying times can be depressing, hence it was time for me to resort to mental exercises. After 21 days of the lockdown, the restrictions were eased and people tried to go back to living life normally, which felt odd, given the fact that the whole world was suffering. Just as things were going back to normal, the most dreaded thing happened, a community transmission! The nation went into another lockdown effective immediately. This time the lockdown lasted for more than a month.

Now, having realized how precious our time is, I viewed life from a different angle. I devoted most of my time to self-improvement. I planted seeds and cooking skills were discovered and I’ve had many interactive sessions with the family.

All in all, I’ve come to accept the fact that the universe moves at its own pace and concept. All we need to do is respect and be mindful of our actions. Choose kindness over hate. Peace over war.