Used to lockdowns, sitting home, this time Kashmiri’s are fighting a ‘a different battle’

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By KNO on 28/03/2020.

Used to lockdowns, sitting home, this time Kashmiri’s are fighting a ‘a different battle’

Traditional habit of stocking rice, essential items, helping Valleyites stay home at ease, but fear looms large


Srinagar, Mar 28: Today the human race lives in and for the moment, with everything available at its beck and call, striding the earth in all its glory, having upgraded from the primeval survival instinct which urges us to prepare in advance for the unknown nature throws our way.

Now with the nature reminding the humans of its brute force, in the shape of Pandemic CoVid-19, most of world is finding itself helpless in the face of this crisis. Not used to lock downs or stocking up essentials the lives of people around the globe is falling apart. But not the people of Kashmir who are yet to part way with this primal survival instinct and thus have been stocking up essentials, strengthening their psyche since forever for battles be it against the brute nature or the never ending turmoil, which has left them somewhat immune to the egregious effects of this pandemic.

Despite the lull in Kashmir courtesy- the lock down and social distancing, life still finds the audacity to flow like fluid. Stealing such moments of life, a local of Chanapora Fayaz Ahmad told wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), “The lock down is very strict these days but I am able to get the vegetables and other items as some shops are open in the morning. Rest of essentials I have stocked at home”.

Howsoever acclimatized the people may be, fear and anxiety always find a way to creep into their psyche. This is made worse by the rumour mongering, non-cooperation shown by suspected people towards quarantine, suspects fleeing from quarantine centers, surge in number of positive cases, anticipation of death and death itself. One out of many such cases is of Jan Sahib, a local vegetable vendor of Pamposh Colony who told KNO- “I prefer to stay at home as you never know who is carrying the virus. My work involves public dealing which leads to frequent hand contact”. He further went on to say that life is much more important than work.”

Despite the stringent scenario which has shrouded the valley, with very little movement seen on the street and people mostly confined to their homes for the fear of their lives, no death due to hunger has yet been reported even though Kashmir is well on its way to 11th day of lockdown. This tenacity may be well attributed to the age long custom of stocking up essentials like rice, oil and other groceries which is a common feature found in all sorts of households in the valley. It’s this quality that singles out our valley from the rest of India or for that matter the rest of the world.

Howsoever, prepared the Kashmiris may be in terms of having stock piled essentials, being acquainted with months long lockdown or surviving with bare minimum sources of entertaining themselves there’s always a loophole. And that loophole for Kashmiris is the effect of this pandemic and the events that follow on their mental health which is already being plagued by the perpetual strife going on for past three decades. As per the statements by health officials, Covid-19 has immensely leveled up the stress among people and may lead to a phenomenal increase in psychiatric morbidity. Whereas Covid-19 can be curbed through physical isolation, its lasting effects on the human psyche can be successfully battled through emotions of love and empathy and prayers for wellbeing of infected and suspected which is the need of the hour

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