Lockdown taking an emotional toll on senior citizens

Lockdown taking an emotional toll on senior citizens

Kolkata: A Kolkata street bears a deserted look on Day 4 of the lockdown imposed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, on March 28, 2020. (Photo: Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS)

New Delhi/Kolkata/Dehradun, March 28 (IANS) Much before the 21-days nationwide lockdown came into force, Manju Saha, 73, had locked herself in at her up-scale Lake Gardens apartment in Kolkata to avoid the coronavirus infection. To pass time, she plays online Ludo with her grandson. Saha isn't alone. Many above 65 years of age are finding it tough to deal with the lockdown. "What do you expect me to do? They (her family) have put me inside the apartment. All I do is play online Ludo with my grandson. But how long can I do that?," says Saha. Asked on what does she miss the most, she replied with a smirk, "gossip with my friends." The situation is more grim for Anju Arora, 67, a resident of the high-rises in Noida. Her son is in Mumbai and she lives with the daughter-in-law who work from home. "I try my hand at making parathas, sometime. But she (daughter-in-law) doesn't let me work in kitchen. She is apprehensive. All I have been doing is watching television. But after a point, my eyes start to hurt," she said. Though many residents stroll in the society gardens, her daughter-in-law doesn't allow her to do so. "She says, elders are at the greater risk of catching this virus. How will I survive like this, till mid-April," she exclaimed However the Ratans in Dehradun are a happy lot. With their son back from Delhi, both parents are having a famjam of sorts. "He doesn't get to stay so long at home. Now that he is here, we cook food of his choice and watch Netflix with him. It's nice," said Prakash Ratan, a retired bureaucrat. "The weather is also nice. Since we have a house of our own, I sometimes take a stroll in the small garden in front. Honestly, I don't mind this lockdown," said his 64-year-old wife. While testing the water with the 'janata curfew' for a day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said, "I also appeal that the elderly, senior citizens and those above 65 years in our families, not leave homes for the next few weeks." But Anjana Kapoor of Noida sector 19 doesn't find a sense of romanticism in the lockdown. This widow in her late sixties stays alone in a two-storey apartment with a caretaker. Ask her what's she frustrated about and quick comes the answer, "kitty parties". She is unpretentious about it. "It was my turn. The vegetable and chicken balls were bought. I knew there was a sense of fear due to the coronavirus outbreak. But didn't realise its seriousness. And now, I am eating all the cheese and chicken balls, alone," she said with a grumpy face. There's no respite for one but to stay indoors till April 14, if the lockdown isn't extended. But it's taking an emotional toll for the senior citizens. "Had Kapoor saab (her husband) been around, at least we could have talked to each other in this time of quarantine," remarked Kapoor.

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