The Spirit of Goodness During COVID Times

When I was diagnosed with chicken pox, all I wanted was to be home with my family, 1300 kilometers away.

Story by Charu Thukral. Edited by Melaina Dyck
India, Southern Asia
Published on July 11, 2020

Reading time: 4 minutes



The street was ghostly still. It was a Sunday, seven days into my COVID work-from-home-orders, and the day of the ‘Janta Curfew’[1]. I was scared, both the emptiness of the city and an illness welling up in my body. At that moment, on the strangely empty street, I felt time stand still.

At the hospital, I was diagnosed with chicken pox by a doctor, keeping his distance. I shivered with fear, knowing how hard the coming days would be. In that moment, all I wanted was to be home with my family, 1300 kilometers away. I realized that was impossible since my fever would be caught by COVID airport checkpoints and I wouldn’t be allowed to board. The illness precluded what turned out to be my last chance to go home before an indefinite nationwide lockdown, announced two days later[2]. On that day, I bitterly regretted my choice to live alone in the big city of Mumbai. I felt anxious and isolated, losing my grip on reality.

Yet, later in the day, my sanity was restored with a rush of goodness, arriving in the form of my cook, Prema didi. She assured me over the phone, promising to care for me. In the following 15 days, Prema didi was no less than a mother to me, helping me clean up, eat, and stay happy. After two nights of high fever, I decided to visit to the hospital to test for pneumonia.[3] On that day, my belief about goodness in the world deepened. I was struggling to reach the hospital since public transport was halted. A kindly uncle[4] from my building offered to drive me in his autorickshaw[5], despite strong disapproval by his wife. At the hospital, due to the stigma associated with chicken pox, I was mistreated and denied service. No one wanted to come near me, let alone conduct tests. But again, goodness came to the rescue in form of a kind medical staffer[6] who went above and beyond to help me. He not only stood up to the head nurse and agreed to conduct all the tests, but also gave me medical advice and comforted me.

I recovered well. Although 25 days of illness drained all of my energy, I emerged filled with hope and an urge to contribute to the goodness. Throughout my sickness, I watched news about daily wage earners struggling to survive after losing their jobs under the lockdown. Some walked thousands of kilometers, attempting to return to their home villages after the halt of public transit. Many were dying on their journey.[7]

I was moved to help. I joined humanitarian initiatives started by friends and colleagues to provide food aid and transportation to labourers trapped in cities. I worked with an NGO that empowers sex workers and their daughters to provide meals for those most looked down on by society. While the news of people dying is reduced to statistics, while some try to use this crisis for political gain, and while there is widespread fear that this COVID time might never end; there is still hope. I find hope in the acts of goodness people do for one another. I believe that recognizing goodness and hope will enable us to live in the new world to come after all this ends.


Footnotes

[1] March 22nd, 2020, was declared as Janta Curfew (meaning ‘people’s curfew’) by the Prime Minister of India. The day banned any human activity/ movement on the streets except that of the essential services like healthcare services.

[2] On March 24, 2020, the government of Indian declared a nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

[3] Pneumonia is a common complication for adults with chicken pox; I later tested negative. 

[4] In India, unknown male and female strangers, out of respect, are referred to as uncle and aunty respectively

[5] Autorickshaw is a three-wheeler public vehicle for local (intra-city) travel in India.

[6] Diagnostic team member

[7] Two months after the lockdown, this situation hasn’t improved in the country. The migrant labourers are still walking back to their homes in desperate attempt to survive and avoid starving to death in cities.  


How does this story make you feel?

Follow us on Social Media

Talk about this Story

Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter

* indicates required

Charu Thukral

Charu Thukral

Namaste from India.

I am Charu, a 29 years ‘not-so-old' woman from the city of Taj, Agra, living in the city of dreams, Mumbai. I have done my higher studies in economics in a beautiful city called Pune. I will not shy away from calling myself a feminist. Apart from my 9-5 (infinity rather) consulting job in the development sector, I love clicking and exploring new places. I strongly believe in living and eating healthy. I am currently training to be a yoga trainer with an aim to broaden the connection between health and spirituality for me and  spread the knowledge to as many as possible.

Follow me on Instagram: @rushing_thoughts; @journeyofayogini

Topic: Coronavirus

> Netherlands
Corona in Amsterdam - an Experience From a 24-year Old

A story by Joost Backer

I suddenly find myself going on strolls through the park with friends, doing board games at home, or talking to my neighbours almost every morning from our balconies. It’s a weird situation. But thankfully for me, not necessarily a bad situation.

> Read More

> Uganda
Home for Corona: An Afropean View of COVID-19

A story by Anna Adima

As an ‘Afropean’, I see COVID-19 has brought social inequalities to the forefront; I am reminded again of the privileges and disadvantages I experience in my homes.

> Read More

> Germany
COVID-19 And the Discussion it Brings

A story by Mira Kinn

Apparently there are differences in the preferences country-wise of “hamstering”, a verb that has become most prominent these days, describing the built-up stock of commodities, food, and beverages. Rumour has it, that France is now short on condoms and wine for example, whereas in Germany it is definitely pasta and…wait for it…toilet paper. I am not sure what this tells about the different mentalities but let it be open to imagination.

> Read More

Get involved

At Correspondents of the World, we want to contribute to a better understanding of one another in a world that seems to get smaller by the day - but somehow neglects to bring people closer together as well. We think that one of the most frequent reasons for misunderstanding and unnecessarily heated debates is that we don't really understand how each of us is affected differently by global issues.

Our aim is to change that with every personal story we share.

Share Your Story

Community Worldwide

Correspondents of the World is not just this website, but also a great community of people from all over the world. While face-to-face meetings are difficult at the moment, our Facebook Community Group is THE place to be to meet other people invested in Correspondents of the World. We are currently running a series of online-tea talks to get to know each other better.

Join Our Community

EXPLORE TOPIC Coronavirus

> South Korea
Corona Tidings from Seoul

A story by Veronica Burgstaller

South Korean wear masks because of the high-pollution levels, when they have a cold, or for the simple vain reason to hide their swollen faces after a beauty surgery. Then one day came the news of a novel virus breaking out in Wuhan, China. The unexpected seriousness of this virus only hit me, when I looked for a mask but none could be found.

> Read More

Or read it in it

> Netherlands
Corona in Amsterdam - an Experience From a 24-year Old

A story by Joost Backer

I suddenly find myself going on strolls through the park with friends, doing board games at home, or talking to my neighbours almost every morning from our balconies. It’s a weird situation. But thankfully for me, not necessarily a bad situation.

> Read More

Or read it in it

> Italy
Corona in Italy - A Dystopia?

A story by Sati Nunziati

I’m conscious that not every person is responding in the same way, fear is a side symptom of this virus, and locking down a whole country will contribute to exposing its weakness. Hearing the news from all over the world now, makes me believe that we really and truly are a global community and society facing up the same difficulties.

> Read More

Or read it in br

> Germany
COVID-19 And the Discussion it Brings

A story by Mira Kinn

Apparently there are differences in the preferences country-wise of “hamstering”, a verb that has become most prominent these days, describing the built-up stock of commodities, food, and beverages. Rumour has it, that France is now short on condoms and wine for example, whereas in Germany it is definitely pasta and…wait for it…toilet paper. I am not sure what this tells about the different mentalities but let it be open to imagination.

> Read More

Or read it in tr

> Hong Kong
To Wear a Mask or Not

A story by Kate Tang

If your country does not promote wearing masks as a public safety protocol, I feel okay about it and respect that. But why the choice of wearing one is not respected? We are now in the fourth month dealing with the virus. More and more people are starting to understand that Coronavirus is not just common flu.

> Read More

> Austria
Same Same but Different

A story by Julia Schmidbaur

My generation of Austrians has never experienced truly „rough times“. Of course, we heard from our grandparents about the Second World War, about a time when Austria had to build itself up from scratch. But those were stories.

> Read More

Global Issues Through Local Eyes

We are Correspondents of the World, an online platform where people from all over the world share their personal stories in relation to global development. We try to collect stories from people of all ages and genders, people with different social and religious backgrounds and people with all kinds of political opinions in order to get a fuller picture of what is going on behind the big news.

Our Correspondents

At Correspondents of the World we invite everyone to share their own story. This means we don't have professional writers or skilled interviewers. We believe that this approach offers a whole new perspective on topics we normally only read about in the news - if at all. And in case you wondered: Everyone includes you as well. Do you have a story to share? Reach out to us and let us know!

Share Your Story

Our Community

Although we just started a few months ago, we already have a great community of people from all over the world. While face-to-face meetings are difficult at the moment, our Facebook Community Group is THE place to be to meet other people invested in Correspondents of the World. We are currently running a series of online-tea talks to get to know each other better.

Join Our Community

Vision

At Correspondents of the World, we want to contribute to a better understanding of one another in a world that seems to get smaller by the day - but somehow neglects to bring people closer together as well. We think that one of the most frequent reasons for misunderstanding and unnecessarily heated debates is that we don't really understand how each of us is affected differently by global issues.

Our aim is to change that with every personal story we share.

Topics

We believe in quality over quantity. To start off with, we collect personal stories that relate to our correspondents' experiences with five global topics:

Environment

Discussions about the environment often center on grim, impersonal figures. Among the numbers and warnings, it is easy to forget that all of these statistics actually also affect us - in very different ways. We believe that in order to understand the immensity of environmental topics and global climate change, we need the personal stories of our correspondents.

Gender

Gender is the assumption of a "normal". Unmet expectations of what is normal are a world-wide cause for violence. We hope that the stories of our correspondents will help us to better understand the effects of global developments related to gender and sexuality, and to reveal outdated concepts that have been reinforced for centuries.

Migration

Our correspondents write about migration because it is a deeply personal topic that is often dehumanized. People quickly become foreigners, refugees - a "they". But: we have always been migrating, and we always will. For millions of different reasons. By sharing personal stories about migration, we hope to re-humanize this global topic.

Liberation

We want to support the demand for justice by spotlighting the personal stories of people who seek liberation in all its different forms. Our correspondents share their individual experiences in creating equality. We hope that for some this will be an encouragement to continue their own struggle against inequality and oppression - and for some an encouragement to get involved.

Corona Virus

2020 is a year different from others before - not least because of the Corona pandemic. The worldwide spread of a highly contagious virus is something that affects all of us in very different ways. To get a better picture of how the pandemic's plethora of explicit and implicit consequences influences our everyday life, we share lockdown stories from correspondents all over the world.

Get Involved

We believe that every single personal story contributes to a better understanding of the complex world we live in - and the people we share it with. That includes yours! We would be really happy if you would like to share your story, too, and join our community.

Share Your Story

Growing Fast

Although we started just over a year ago, Correspondents of the World has a quickly growing community of correspondents - and a dedicated team of editors, translators and country managers.

46

Correspondents

51

Stories

34

Countries

92

Translations

Contact

Correspondents of the World is as much a community as an online platform. Please feel free to contact us for whatever reason!

Message Us

Message on WhatsApp

Call Us

Joost: +31 6 30273938