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It’s hard to believe that we’re already at the mid-way mark through this year’s A to Z Challenge. In some ways the time has flown, and in others it’s creeping along impossibly slowly. Today I just haven’t felt the desire to write. Not one word. But, I never quit a challenge unless I absolutely have to and so I’m going to be creative, if slightly rambl-y, in today’s post.

Last week, the newspapers reported that three members of a family from Delhi’s Defence Colony tested positive for Covid-19, and checked into Max Hospital in Saket. Today, the elderly gentleman lost his life to the disease, and though his wife has recovered and returned home, their middle-aged son is still battling it out in the ICU. This family is distantly related to my father, and though I didn’t know them well, it’s the closest I’ve come to the facing the ultimate truth of this virus.

It feels more real and scary so close to home, but I strongly believe we have to wade through this feeling. There is a lot of distance to cover between now and the end of coronavirus. Till then, I request you to join me in sending a silent prayer for all affected families.

In case you’ve noticed, I’ve been expending a ton of energy in phrasing alliterative titles corresponding to each letter of the alphabet, for the posts in my A to Z series. Quite a tough task because none of my posts are pre-planned, forcing me to be creative with the subject matter at hand. However, the alliterative title for the letter N was the easiest to come up with.

The term ‘New Normal’ is being brandished almost as much the term ‘corona’ itself. What is the new normal? It’s the altered state of reality and circumstances brought on by the virus taking over the world. We don’t know what the future holds for us, but we know it’s going to be different from everything we have known and accepted so far.

I believe the mid-way mark of this daily blogging challenge, is the best time to recap what I’ve discovered so far, as constituting the new normal:

  1. The best way to stay productive and safe is to work from home. For bloggers, the ideal route is to sign up for an international blogging challenge, where they write and publish posts on a daily basis, earning tons of traffic and community engagement in return.
  2. Books are everlasting companions in times of need. Even if you don’t have access to a bookshop or personal library, you can enjoy reading ebooks.
  3. Prayer unites us all, but now prayers must be done in the confines of our homes.
  4. Connecting with strangers online, through various ‘meet-and-greets’, workshops and talks, is the new way to socialise and network.
  5. Digital content creators must churn out content consistently and rapidly, because it’s being lapped up by a willing audience.
  6. Finances are worrisome for all, but this is the best time to educate yourself on managing your money once the crisis ends.
  7. The travel industry has taken the hardest hit, and one worries that zipping around the world at will is not going to be as easy as it previously was.
  8. Home-schooling is necessary and encouraged to minimise the disruption to your child’s education.
  9. Entertainment through TV and online streaming services has taken on immense importance, to help everyone sail through these tough times.
  10. Frustrations abound across the board, as people are stuck at home. These often lead to online fights and bullying.
  11. Children are affected by these changes too, but are the fastest to adapt to the situation as long as their parents actively engage with them.
  12. Festivals that are usually celebrated with the larger community, now become opportunities to reflect on our historic past, as we all stay home.
  13. Anxiety, stress and depression are unfortunate side effects of coronavirus, but we can beat these mental health issues by staying positive and connected to our friends and family.

If you’d like to read about any of these issues more in-depth, you can click on the highlighted blue links that will take you to the corresponding post.

Ultimately, there’s nothing we can do except stay positive and healthy to the best of our ability. This too shall pass, and one day, we may even make light of the situation.

My tip to beat the lockdown blues today is:

Write down 5 things that you consider miracles in your life, and pin that paper in a prominent position in your room. This will be a healthy reminder of things you should be thankful for.

I sadly haven’t seen any TV shows that begin with the letter N- not even popular ones like ‘Narcos’ and ‘New Girl’, hence I’ll refrain from recommending them just yet. But here’s a movie recommendation for you instead:

“Newton” on Amazon Prime Video is about a young election officer who is asked to enlist the names of the eligible constituents from a prominent Naxalite area, before national elections. Rajkummar Rao does a brilliant job in this quirky and difficult role.

A book that I absolutely loved reading is:

“Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro. A dystopian novel about cloned children growing up in an orphanage. Fascinating plot and beautiful writing.

A blogger whose writing I really admire is:

Namratha Vardarajan of www.namysaysso.com, who is exploring different forms of poetry through this year’s A to Z Challenge. Do visit her site.

That’s it for today folks!

Do check out my daily update videos on Instagram Stories for #LockdownWithTheLadyLawyer and follow me there to stay better connected. Also tell me your favourite TV Shows/ movies/ books/ bloggers with the letter N?

Namaste till tomorrow!

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This post has been written for the #AtoZChallenge 2020. My theme this year is #LockdownWithTheLadyLawyer, where I’m journaling my thoughts during the coronavirus lockdown, and sharing numerous recommendations that will help keep your spirits up. Read my other posts here:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M

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*This is not a sponsored post.

**Copyright in pictures and content belongs to nooranandchawla.com and cannot be republished or repurposed without express permission of the author. As I am a copyright lawyer by profession, infringement of any kind will invite strict legal action. 

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66 Comments

  1. We all have days when we do not want to write but we need to push ourselves. A lovely recap. I hope the testing times pass soon and we remember the lessons learnt

  2. Yesterday, I was having a similar chat with a friend that we have accepted this new normal and even after all this is over, we will take to accept the altered normal. It so surprising how we adjust to circumstances when we don’t have many options to pick from…

  3. You know Noor, today afternoon, I had felt a sense of severe anxiety for 30 minutes and during that time, I was feeling so stressed out..worried about my girls who had been at home only since more than 1 month. but after sometime i had realized that this is not the right way to deal with the situation..hoping and praying everything gets normal soon..and I have to say so far you had shared really awesome posts for the theme and for the current situation as well. loved them all.

  4. Agreed! Same situation I am facing. Nearby 1km cases have raised. My husband is working. In all of this chaos, I choose to keep my mind calm. That’s why I am doing lots of activity with my kids or alone. Prayers are an essential part of the routine.

  5. We stay at ease as long as there’s no one that we know affected by the virus. There’s going to be a new normal once the lockdown is finally lifted too.
    I admire how you write engaging posts everyday with no preparation. Way to go!

  6. Oh, this New Normal is so daunting in many ways and quite thought-provoking in another. Hope we soon emerge winners from it…retaining the good we realized in the process and learning from the lessons taught. You have written so well, I really love reading your posts.

  7. True Noor, it is a scary situation. Thinking about the present and the times after corona often panics me. I have been praying to the almighty daily !

  8. Ya ,It really shake you when very close one is affected with this virus.
    New country new community new thinking new humanity is building because of this correct situation. It do has a mix feeling of new changes.

  9. I hear you Noor. Last week a friend in London lost his father to coronavirus. A man so full of life. All we can hope and pray that there is a resolution to all this soon.

  10. I can sense your discomfort about the Defence Colony family buddy and it is understandable so u the new normal. What I really like that you are genuinely penning down how you feel, I am doing that too buddy.

  11. Write down 5 things that you consider miracles in your life, and pin that paper in a prominent position in your room. This will be a healthy reminder of things you should be thankful for. This is my take away from here. Very useful post Noor.

  12. I loved the idea about writing down 5 miracles or blessings in our life and pin them, so that we know how lucky we are.
    About being closest to the virus, today a neighbour of my husband’s boss expired due to COVID19 in Mumbai. It is scary than I presumed.

  13. The new normal, yes that’s what we are experiencing.
    Can make out what chaos it gives to mind when you have seen the covid battling people in your circle.
    Loved your tip of pinning miracles of life, sure to give that positive kick.
    Have seen Newton, its a good watch.
    Namysays is very creative blog, and I had always loved her poetry a lot.

  14. Prayers are on their way for the family Noor, I wish them speedy recovery, you are so right , sometime it feels to give up on everything, but ultimately we humans are smart enough to hold the grip against all odds, yes this too shall pass, liked your recap pointers to beat the lockdown blues. n yes Newton is one of my fav movie.Thanks for recommendations,

  15. Online classes and meetings, online parties and video chats with family and friends, learning new things or picking up old hobbies, everybody in the home pitching in to do the chores is the new normal!!
    I have seen quite a few episodes of Narcos. Loved Newton and Never Let me Go.
    N is for Noor too and you are acing this challenge 🙂

  16. Hi Noor.
    I also think that once we are on the other side of this pandemic a number of things will alter, most notable the working from home vs. paying for office space. Education, hopefully, will be more Tech friendly, as all available sources are getting a work out from teachers and families. Book and magazine reading should benefit as more people are turning to books they’ve had around the house or the ease of eBooks.
    I have two hopes:
    1) With shopping, more people will realize the difference between NEED and WANT.
    2) I would love to see a lessening of the ME ME ME attitudes (prevalent here in the US) into finally realizing that the entire globe can become a more humanistic lifestyle. Turn the current attitude into a WE one.

    So, N recommendations:

    Books: Night, by Ellie Wiesel. This book has become an essential read in High Schools (for the most part). With all the genocides and ethnic “cleansing” that have occurred, or are occurring, have death in common for the people. I think Night transcends beyond the Jewish Holocaust into the rest of the world’s cultures and religions.

    Movie: if you like horror, and Zombies, then Night of the Living Dead (1968) is necessary to see the “beginning” transformation of Zombies in media. Not a great movie, but it has its place in film history.

    TV: NCIS, with it’s spin-offs: NCIS: New Orleans and NCIS: LA. Standard CBS procedurals on Federal Agents in the US stopping the bad guys. The original series started in 2003. New Orleans spin off in 2014, and LA spin off since 2009. Lots of seasons and plenty of episodes to choose from. There is humor mixed into the “danger”; sometimes that one joke comes at an inappropriate time, but they have a formula to maintain.

    Stay safe and healthy

    1. Hi Stu, I hope that your two “hopes” expressed here actually come true. I feel largely they will. I also agree on books and written content, whether print or digital.
      I’m not into zombie stuff at all, and though I’m familiar with NCIS, never goy round to watching it! Thanks for the recommendations!

  17. Those are great tips. We never realize the true seriousness of the situation until it hits close to home or somewhat close to home. My prayers are with your distant family. I hope they pull through. Thanks for the recommendations. Never Let Me Go” sounds interesting. Take care.

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