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Apprehensions Of A Working Woman During This Pandemic

Posted: June 14, 2020

This virus, I feel as a working woman, has posed several challenges especially for those with little kids.Though India’s fatality rate is shown at 2.82%, we never know who is going to be in that 2.82%. Many people say that it cannot be controlled and we can’t stop it.

In these uncertain times of Covid and lock down, there has been lot of changes in everyone’s lifestyle.

Those who want to be clean and hygienic by cleaning their hands and legs immediately after coming from outside were made fun of as OCD or over cleanliness.
Using sanitizers when away from home was considered as posh and luxurious though they are essential. Those who used to wear a mask or protect themselves from pollution or allergens by using a cloth or kerchief were often criticized with comments like “as if he/she is going to get infected between us” or that “they are behaving as if they have come from heaven” etc. All such comments, criticism, sarcasm and making fun of them was pretty normal until this pandemic started.

Once orthodox is now followed by almost everyone. In older days water was kept outside with some turmeric powder in it to wash and disinfect hands and legs before entering the house. Even guests were offered water and towel which was regarded as a way of respecting them. With changing lifestyles that was considered obsolete and absurd. But at present similar measures are being suggested by the health care professionals  like washing with Dettol mixed water before entering the house. The footwear which gradually entered into our homes with many modern and attractive shoe racks being marketed, are now again kept outside like we used to do back in the day.

The elderly people in the family often used to strictly instruct others coming from outside to change their clothes immediately to ward off any negativity that might have attached itself to the clothes. The numerous viruses, bacteria and alike are those negativity. They were often considered and criticized as orthodox people. In the present pandemic age, that has become necessary . Though our grand parents and their elders may not be able to convince us or explain the old customs or practices being followed by them scientifically or logically, they are very much relevant and very much applicable even now. From the days when eating outside is a taboo, we have come to an age where it has become normal practice for everyone to consider eating in hotels/restaurants or any fast food centers and then finally ended up with uncertainty what infections they may contract from eating outside. Likewise there are many such old practices which became essential to follow in present day.

Some people are being very much cautious and trying to stay at home making alternatives like getting the groceries, vegetables and fruits delivered to home. It might seem over cautious to others, but the same thing they might suggest their family members staying else where. No one is right or wrong in this present situation. Everyone has their own reasoning and difficulties. We can’t point out someone being over cautious as scared or coward. Staying over cautious is much better than being careless and becoming a carrier or community spreader. Also since no one knows who is going to be in that unfortunate percentage of fatality rate, it’s better to be cautious than sorry.

There are many challenges being faced by everyone. There are many apprehensions when going out. We are not sure if the place where we’re going to work is safe for us and we are not sure if we are becoming the infection carriers for our family members. No one knows how long this pandemic will continue and how is it going to affect us. Though India’s fatality rate is shown at 2.82%, we never know who is going to be in that 2.82%. Many people say that it cannot be controlled and we can’t stop it. But following certain precautions and being very careful is in our hands through which we may be able to contain the spread of this virus.

This virus, I feel as a working woman, has posed several challenges especially for those with little kids. Working women who are having the option of work from home, to some extent are lucky enough that they need not leave their kids at some day care center or creche or with any baby sitter. For those who do not have such work from home options, not having the option of depending on either of their parents or in-laws to look after their kids at home and have no other option other than relying on a baby sitter, the decision making is quite difficult. Someone might suggest to take leave from work saying kids are more important than salary. It’s very true but how long will they have to be on leave, after all job security and financial security also equally important for sustaining the expenses later? Some may suggest the fatality rate is very low, so just like everyone else why not just accept the situation and take the risk, leaving the kids (infants and toddlers) with a baby sitter and go back to work. The only question that comes to my mind is that when the same people are hesitating to even allow domestic help into our homes, how can a mother leave her infant or toddler with a baby sitter.
This issue cannot be left on mothers who are already stressed out managing their little ones and overburden them. It should be a collective decision and collective responsibility of all the family members and both husband and wife in particular.

Image Credit: Pixabay

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