Siblings Vishnu Vardhan and Adya Katyayani are “too bored” at their home in Panchkula and want the lockdown to end soon. With not being able to go to school or the playground, children like everyone are stuck at their homes and much to their dislike, happen to be under the constant gaze of their families.
“I am very bored and want to go back to school and meet my friends. There is nothing to do,” says Adya, a student of class five. Comparing the coronavirus to Marvel’s fictional character Thanos, her brother Vishnu, a class VII student, adds, “Coronavirus is killing people like Thanos. I want it to end now.”
Due to the restrictions on public movement all over and little resources of recreation left, children are glued to television sets, gadgets inside the four walls of their homes, as they break to attend video classes or complete home assignments.
UNICEF too has started a special page offering parenting tips. “The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has upended family life around the world. School closures, working remote, physical distancing – it’s a lot to navigate for anyone, but especially for parents,” said the global organization.
Suruchi Sharma, mother of Vishnu and Adya, says she has been trying to keep them engaged in skill learning but cannot restrict them too much. “They want to watch too much television, but we have to balance things too. I can’t be too strict,” she says.
The WHO, in its guidelines for helping children during the COVID-19 outbreak situation, has recommended that they need to be given clear information about how to reduce the risk, and their reactions need to be listened in a supportive way with extra love and attention. “Remember to listen to your children, speak kindly and reassure them,” said the WHO in one such recommendation.
St John School’s Class VI student, Samar Pratap Singh Sandhu, is an ardent golfer and has made a name for himself at very young age. He has been unable to play at the Chandigarh Golf Club or the Mohali Golf Range since the beginning of lockdown.
“I feel a little bit bored but I am focusing on other sports like indoor games. I miss my friends too. I feel the lockdown should end early, but then I think people should also remain safe,” says Sandhu.
Punjab government law officer Arun Kaundal’s daughter, Acaira, is six and a half years old and has recently been promoted to the first standard. “She keeps playing with gadgets and watching television but she misses going outside too,” says Kaundal, a resident of Mohali.
But, sitting inside the home with persistent questions, she also has safety advice for her father. “Don’t go outside. Wahan dande pade ghe,” she warns him.
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