Quarantine Quandary #A-ZChallenge2020

Quarantine used to be a lesser-known word for many of us before the outbreak of Covid19. It was relevant only for patients of highly contagious disease. The general rule was that if any person contracted a contagious disease he or she would be quarantined from the others. They would live separately without infecting others. However, with Covid19 all of us are forced to quarantine ourselves. The infected and uninfected alike and thus new terms like self-quarantine or self-isolation are entering the English dictionary.


Image by Nandukumar@Pixabay.com

Post covid19 outbreak anybody who traveled abroad were made to stay in quarantine for 14 days. Then reports started coming about people who were escaping from quarantine facilities. Those who were asked to self-quarantine at home also started taking it lightly and started roaming around freely. Then airports started stamping the hands of travelers coming to India from abroad with a quarantine stamp. Irrespective of the stamp many started evading the quarantine. Once few people with the quarantine stamp were caught traveling on train by fellow passengers and they were badly heckled. One woman escaped the quarantine facility in Bangalore and went all the way to Agra. When Police went to her Agra house they were heckled by the woman’s father. The District Magistrate had to personally go and control the situation.

Many reports came that the quarantine facilities were dirty, unhygienic and unliveable. Even now the facilities where migrants labours have been kept in UP and Bihar are quite abysmal. Nevertheless many well educated foreign returned people also showed carelessness when it came to self-quarantine. However, there were also many who diligently followed. I have a few friends who were very careful and in my neighbourhood a girl returned from the UK. Her entire family went into quarantine. They didn’t step out at all. Groceries and other emergency items were dropped at their doorstep.

This whole quarantine situation reminded me of a few situations from the past. When I was around seven years old, I got chickenpox. That time my mom self- quarantined herself with me in an abandoned kitchen of my paternal grandmother’s (thakuma) house. My grandmother and Aunts used to leave food for us on banana leaves at the doorstep. I was made to sleep on a bed of neem leaves. Within a couple of days my youngest uncle also contracted the disease. He joined us and he was also made to sleep on a bed of neem leaves. Within a week apart from my grandmother and Ma everyone in the family got chickenpox. There was no more space in the abandoned kitchen. Maids stopped coming and my poor Ma and Thakuma had to take care of so many patients alone. Later in life, when my son got chickenpox, I did the same as my Ma. I quarantined myself with him. Thankfully, he had a mild one and got better faster without infecting anyone else.

Conjunctivitis was another infectious disease that used to bother us every summer. It is also known as ‘Joy Bangla’ in Bengal. I used to get it almost every alternate year and that time I used to stay quarantined in my room.

However, this is the first time that I am in quarantine without any infection. And I am not alone, almost three fourth of all the countries have joined me. Sigh!!!


14 thoughts on “Quarantine Quandary #A-ZChallenge2020

  1. Meena says:

    Don’t mention conjunctivitis! It is called madras eye, though I don’t know why! My daughter brought it home with her from school and then promptly gave it her akka and me. I was affected most. Oh the pain. I could not open my eyes, but I had to put medicine in both their eyes. I can never forget the torture!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dashy says:

    There are many people who fail to understand the gravity of the disease and defy isolation orders. What’s more, in Kerala positive reports are coming from people who may have had contact with the virus almost a month ago. Two weeks of quarantine may not be enough. We need to be as careful as possible in these times.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. soniadogra says:

    Oh yes even I have several memories of such quarantines. Initially the quarantine used to be a forty day process. What with the forty day period we follow after child birth for both mother and child. So many examples!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Balaka says:

      Yes, I think I should have mentioned about the post delivery quarantine. In villages they used to have a separate room for that where the mother and baby stayed. Even, there is a soft-quarantine after death in a family, and how we wash ourselves after coming from the house where someone died.


  4. Anagha Yatin says:

    This post from you was like my own story with a little difference! My son too had contacted Chickenpox, a mild one and we were in UAE. He was barely six. As per the laws of the land, he was supposed to be home quarantined for three weeks. So along with him, I had to quarantine myself. Husband had to manage the show for the three weeks with my friends helping us with food.
    Growing up, each summer we used to visit my maternal grandparents who stayed in Mumbai. Every year, my brother and me along with one cousin used to get conjunctivitis! Apart from severe irritation, I loved conjunctivitis for I got to use the sunglasses!
    Corona quarantine, however, has altogether a different dimension.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Balaka says:

      Oh ya..conjunctivitis and sunglasses had a connection. I once had it during my cousin’s wedding and all the photos has me in those glares..even the evening photos.


  5. Shilpa Garg says:

    I think, being at home with family, food and fun (entertainment) and being totally fit and fine, should not be a problem for anyone. I dont know why people are not understanding the gravity of this pandemic!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Corinne Rodrigues says:

    It’s nice to hear about the responsible people who’ve been careful, especially when the media is flooded with stories about people who haven’t cared! Your chicken pox story brought back a few memories. I’m going to blog about them with due credit to you!

    Liked by 1 person

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