SALALAH: Staying at home has emerged as an opportunity for families and friends to connect and re-connect, as Covid-19 has set new standards of working, living, eating and even meeting. They are confined in four walls of houses locally to maintain the best of social distancing, at the same time they are exploring ways to re-connect globally with their near and dear ones through various Internet platforms.
Rejin Thomas, a senior hotel executive, had almost forgotten that he belongs to a large family and a larger extended family, in pre-pandemic humdrums of life.
“Since office has shifted in my living room and I am trying my level best to maintain social distancing, a thought came in to connect to family and friends who are spread in many parts of the world. I made a list of my extended family with whom I grew up, played and finally settled in different professions. They eagerly accepted my request to connect as everyone was sailing in the same boat.”
It was one of the most joyful experiences of Thomas’s life when he saw childhood ‘family buddies’ on one Internet platform. “It was sense of joy as well as flow of emotions as there were some 75-80 people joined in one session and for almost for 30 minutes everyone was silent watching each other trying to recognise old faces and new members – who came in course of time as children, wives and husbands – quite long after they got separated to fulfil life’s responsibilities.”
Similarly he was able to connect with school and college friends after 25 to 30 years. “It was amazing and I call Covid-19 an opportunity to be able to connect with my loved ones. We were in touch but due to circumstances like office, time difference and most importantly our own selfish way of life, didn’t allow us to connect earlier.”
Similar is the case with Dennis D’Costa who is able to connect with his family and friends as far as Canada, UAE and India.
“More importantly this is the time when I am able to understand my children in a better way. I used to spare quality time for my children earlier also, but now I realise, that was not enough. I had my own excuses of office workload, meetings etc and my family was convinced with my situation,” he said.
D’Costa admits that he is happy to engage with his children and elderly family members. “I tell bedtime stories, they are coming up with new skills of cooking, painting and singing etc and of course it is great time watching them grow.”
For D’Costa connecting with friends and families is a great stress buster, “at a time when you are advised to stay home and stay safe.”