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Pandemic Bonanza

I just wanted to preface this piece by saying in no way do I mean to be insensitive to the people who have lost their precious lives to this dreaded pandemic or be dismissive of the sentiments of people who have lost loved ones. This story highlights hope in the presence of lingering uncertainty and turmoil. My sincere hope is that it brings a semblance of positivity in all the negativity surrounding us.

The title is an oxymoron. How can one say the two words in the same breath. One with a negative connotation and the other incredibly positive. But opposite values are complementary.

Let me explain, when the lockdown first started Kunal was confined to the home and did not have a specific routine or structure in place. So together we carved out a routine that worked magic. I am not going to lie It took a lot of work. More importantly after a lot of trial and error we were able to create structure that Kunal craved and needed as an outlet for his creativity.

We had an exercise regimen that he diligently followed and with his perseverance and determination he lost close to 20 lbs. He watched movies while on the treadmill and stationary bike. He also continued to dance to his favorite music and meditated almost every day. He rode his bike to his aunts house whenever the weather was good and played basketball. Another highlight of his week was baking gluten and dairy free pizza every Wednesday night with his aunt come rain or shine.

A few other things that he really enjoyed doing was taking long walks on the beach and in the woods and that’s where his love affair with photography began. He started taking pictures

at our nature walks and I noticed a theme. He liked capturing water, sand, sunsets and seasons. Some of his creations are there to see on his website

There were a few other breakthroughs too. Kunal’s daily meditation practice and chanting definitely alleviated some of his overwhelming anxiety. Prior to the pandemic Kunal developed several coping behaviors that were not serving him well. For instance, he obsessed about buying magazines at cvs pharmacy.

However, during the pandemic partly owing to the fact that he could not visit stores and mostly because of my husband Ravi’s consistent efforts Kunal stopped his obsession with magazines. Instead he devised a creative outlet to meet his needs. He started taking pictures of magazines and other items at stores. In addition we found a practical substitute for the magazines. An occasional Almond latte did the trick.

Most of all, during the pandemic when we expected Kunal’s anxiety to escalate he surprised us yet again. His flexibility increased, his anxiety reduced and his emotional

lability significantly reduced in intensity and frequency.

I marvel at his strength and resolve to make the most of every opportunity that comes his way

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Wow! What a journey all of you have had along with Kunal! He has grown into this fine young man all thanks to you Sandhya and Ravi And the family. Reading this blog and seeing the videos made me feel I was a part of his life though I am so many miles away! Wishing him all the very best, always! You are in my prayers! God bless

Kunal Sharma
Kunal Sharma
Nov 16, 2023
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