Lockdown scenes

Reflecting about the lockdowns while the world is slowly opening up makes many scenes flash by – revealing, distressing and a few bringing some solace.
Scene 1:
A person waiting ahead of me in the queue in front of an ATM kiosk. A woman, perhaps his wife, comes out of the bank nearby after completing her business there. The man promptly gives up his position in the queue expecting her to do the ATM work as well. Later I see him near the grocery shop, again waiting safely outside, keeping distance, while the woman shops inside. Perhaps there is an innocent reason, I try to console myself.
Scene 2:

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A man with two bags full of groceries walking on the road. His face is not very visible with a heavy mask on and a towel thrown around his neck. As I walk behind him, the towel slips and I see a huge bulge behind his neck. What could it be? Is he taking any treatment? Dreading the C word, I wonder where that fits within his current locked-down priorities.
Scene 3:
We carry on with a toned-down version of our lives while under lockdown. Reduce our needs, try to be frugal and to prevent waste. In the process, our priorities get reshuffled. We realise how very similar we all are – in our basic needs and our concerns, aren’t we? The malls, movie houses, party spaces, auditoriums – all these are expressions of human cultural progress which we long to embrace once again. However, we also realise that perhaps there are choices that we can exercise in many areas of our lives – about what we eat and how we play to even what we must do with our lives.
Scene 4:
While we were in isolation, the sense of belonging to a community actually got underscored. We felt at one with the community of humans. We found ourselves identifying the most with our species and not with any race or class or even nationalities. Perhaps it was when locked down at different places that people tried to connect as never before! Making the best use of technology – which of course is the collective achievement of humanity as a whole.
Scene 5:
The realisations are many more. That marriages can well be conducted at home with just 20 or 50 people in attendance. That most of what we require on an everyday basis are available from our local vendors. That many things can be delivered at home – think of the job opportunities opening up! That a lot of work can be done without commuting to offices. That online classes and webinars can bring the world’s expertise right into our living rooms. That the fight against the virus made the presence of the government felt in our everyday life as never before.
Scene 6:
As restrictions get relaxed, we glance around, trying to see how the world has been doing while we humans stayed away. Nothing much seems to have been amiss. And what is the obviously clearer air trying to tell us?
We had gone into the reduced existences with the firm belief that this is only an intermission. Soon the barricades will open and we will be back in our old free lives, won’t we? As we yearn to return to that more complex ‘real’ world and to our ‘real lives’, we may perhaps pause to ask the question – were we really doing anything more ‘real’ and more ‘us’ in that world outside earlier ?