Lockdown: inside story - Anky Guchait
Anky Guchait has found herself stuck in New York during the Covid-19 pandemic. But she has found strength in coping by reflecting on a time, pre-surgery, when frequent seizures meant she self-isolated at home most of the time.
How has Covid-19 and the need to social distance/self isolate affected your life?
The pandemic has significantly impacted me as I travel overseas quite frequently and I am currently stuck in New York with friends and will be unable to see family due to the travel ban. However, checking in with close ones has definitely helped whilst being away from family.
How are you coping with being at home all the time?
I had surgery in 2010 and I remain seizure-free since then. This crisis made me reflect back to the time when I got frequent seizures and I stayed home most of my childhood. Relating my social isolation experience as a kid makes it easier for me to cope with this situation.
What are the challenges posed by Covid-19 for you?
Being in a foreign country stranded due to travel bans and being afraid of how healthcare would work for you. I keep myself occupied with different projects at home which gets me less worried about the situation and helps me stay positive. I have been using Whatsapp and Skype to stay connected with people. In a way, social distancing could be therapeutic and I tend to see it as a scope to recharge ourselves from our hectic life.
Are you still able to work?
I am still able to work from home, and in a way, I am enjoying this experience. For instance, I noticed that having virtual meetings makes one more punctual and makes sure meetings end and start in a timely manner. At times this experience could be challenging because of internet traffic. Overall, my experience has been positive so far.
How you found ways to cope with always being indoors?
I begin by having a planner and write down a list of things I need to accomplish like work projects and personal projects such as working on a portfolio or doctoral application. I also enjoy being active and at home, we do a group workout with my flatmates daily. This lockdown made me realize my potential in cooking, painting and playing guitar. My most favorite activity is writing through the journal to help process my thoughts and look back to reflect on it in the future.
What are the main challenges you face coping with family life in these difficult times?
Geographical distance is one of the major challenges that I have been currently facing. My family has been more worried for me than myself, but assuring them frequently about my safety and wellbeing through technology has been very helpful.
Are there any positives experiences or lessons you have learned from this experience?
I see this as an opportunity for educating our public because disabilities like epilepsy are not contagious but the severity of seizures often makes people like us isolate ourselves from the real world due to stigma, and lack of understanding, and the condition itself.
What is the most recent thing that made you laugh or smile?
Just being silly with my friends and bringing a bit of humor in everyone’s lives.
Tell us your story
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