Friday, June 5, 2020


Fiction Short Story


In end January 2020 – the dreaded “Corona Virus” entered India.

Officially – the name for “Corona Virus” was COVID-19.

Corona Virus (COVID-19) did not exist in India – but was “imported” via travelers from foreign countries.

At that point of time – if they had realized how contagious and dangerous COVID-19 could be – they would have stopped all international flights to prevent COVID-19 from entering India.

But – they remained complacent – and travelers from foreign countries kept “importing” COVID-19 from abroad – and spreading the virus in India.

So – COVID-19 started spreading all over India – many people started getting infected by Corona Virus – and soon – it became an epidemic – or rather – a “Pandemic”.

It seemed that they had woken up to the threat of COVID-19 – but – by the time they actually took action – it was too late.

One expected that the first thing they would do was to prevent further import of Corona Virus by stopping all incoming air travel by suspending international flights.

But – surprisingly – the first thing they did was to announce a “Janata Curfew” on the 22nd of March 2020 – which included a 5 minute clapping and utensil banging session at 5 PM – by all citizens standing in the balcony.

On the 24th of March 2020 – they announced a 21 day “Lockdown” from the 25th of March 2020 to the 14th of April 2020. This was called “Phase1” of the Lockdown – or – Lockdown1.

Then they kept extending the Lockdown – Phase 2 (Lockdown2) from 15 April 2020 to 3 May 2020 (19 days) – Phase 3 (Lockdown3) from 4 May 2020 to 17 May 2020 (14 days) – Phase 4 (Lockdown4) from 18 May 2020 to 31 May 2020.

The Lockdown was very severe and strictly implemented – with citizens confined to their homes

Then – they started slowly “unclocking” the Lockdown – they called it “unlockdown” aka “Unlock1”.

By the time this story happened – the “Unlockdown” was almost complete – and – things were back to normal – except for a few COVID precautions like social distancing, wearing mask and maintaining hygiene.


There was a “Senior Citizen” couple – both Husband and Wife in their early 60’s.

The husband was a retired “Veteran” – a gregarious “outdoors” type person.

The wife was a “Career Woman” – presently “working from home” due to Lockdown.

The wife kept busy during the Lockdown – working from home all day – and then – doing the housework in the mornings and evenings – and the husband too helped out in the housework – since there was no house-help (maids/cooks) during the lockdown period – due to the strict curfew enforced outside – and – also because their residential society had banned outsiders from entering the society complex.

For the “Veteran” husband – the lockdown was a terrible time.

His wife had strictly forbidden him to go outside – once she saw an “advisory” on TV that “Senior Citizens” were more vulnerable to “Corona Virus” and should avoid going outside – especially to crowded places, shops and markets.

The wife made arrangements with the local grocery shop to home deliver milk, vegetables and essential foodstuffs twice a week.

When the husband broke his tooth – she did not allow him to go to the dentist – and when he had eye infection – she didn’t allow him to go to the ophthalmologist.

She had gone paranoid – and she had ensured that both of them were strictly “locked-in” during the “lockdown”.

After more than two months of strict lockdown – the “unlocking” of the lockdown began – lockdown restrictions were gradually relaxed – and – at the time of the conversation below – “lockdown” had been substantially relaxed - the “unlockdown” was almost complete – and – things were practically back to normal – Offices, Malls, Markets, Shops, Restaurants – everything was open – and –  public transport was running normally.

It was at this time that the wife called up her school classmate – a renowned psychiatrist.

Wife (W): “Are you free…? Is it a good time to talk…?”

Psychiatrist (P): “Yes. Yes. I am absolutely free. Go ahead…”

W: “It’s about my husband…”

P: “Your husband…? What’s wrong with him…?”

W: “I don’t know – this two months lockdown seems to have affected him badly…”

P: “What happened…?”

W: “He is refusing to go out of the house even though lockdown has been relaxed…”

P: “That’s surprising. I remember you complaining that your husband hates to stay inside the house – and – he is always roaming outside…”

W: “Yes. I had a tough time making him stay inside when lockdown was imposed – and now – he is just refusing to go outside. I told him to get some stuff from the shop below – but – he refused to go…”

P: “That must be because he didn’t want to do the chore. Tell him to go out for something he likes to do. Like walking – eating out…?”

W: “I tried all that – but he says he doesn’t want to go for a walk – or eat out – he says that he is quite happy to stay at home…”

P: “What about golf…? He is addicted to golf – isn’t he…?”

W: “His golfing friends had called him to play in the morning – but – he refused to go…”

P: “That’s really surprising. I thought golf was his first love. Maybe he is not feeling well. Is he well…? Did he have any health issues during the lockdown…?”

W: “He seems to be fit and fine. A few weeks ago – he wanted to see the “eye doctor” – but I didn’t let him go because of the lockdown – and then – he broke his tooth – he had called the dentist – but the dentist told him to come after the dental clinic opens after the lockdown was over…”

P: “I am sure the dental clinic has opened now. Ask him to go to the dentist and get his tooth fixed…”

W: “I told my husband to go to the dentist – and since he didn’t do anything – I called the dentist and fixed up an appointment – but – my husband refused to go…”

P: “He seems to be depressed. Did you ask him the reason why he doesn’t want to go outside…?”

W: “I asked him a few minutes ago. He said that he was not going to leave the house till he died – he was going to remain inside the house till his death – death due to Corona – or death due to natural causes – whichever was earlier…”

P: “What…? He is talking of death…?”

W: “I felt extremely scared after hearing this – so – I called you immediately…”

P: “Bring him to my clinic – I will see him…”

W: “I told you that he is refusing to leave the house. How can I bring him to the clinic…?”

P: “I think he is suffering from “Corona Phobia” – fear of getting infected by Corona Virus…”

W: “I think it is something worse than that. I haven’t got Corona. But he doesn’t want to be near me – he has stopped talking to me – he locks himself in his study room most of the time – and he has started sleeping there too. He wants to be alone all the time…”

P: “Oh. That’s strange. Let him be as he wants. Maybe – he will get over it. Meanwhile – I will talk to my colleagues – whether they have seen similar cases. I will call you back in a day or two…”

W: “Thank you – I will wait for your call…”


The psychiatrist “P” discusses the case (of the “Veteran” who is refusing to go out of his house) with a colleague.

The colleague says: “As you suspect – it may be a case of “Corona Phobia” – but – I feel that this one may be a case of “Hikikomori”…”

“Hikikomori…? What’s that…?”

“Hikikomori means “social recluse”…”

“Social Recluse…? How is that possible…? He was an extrovert – a gregarious sociable man – an “outdoors” type who loved going out and mixing with people…”

“That’s what happens sometimes – first – they imposed a lockdown – and they forced him to live inside his house – in social isolation – and now – he has got used to living in his house in social isolation – in fact – he has started enjoying living like a “social recluse” – so he wants to live a solitary life away from society – he has become a “Hikikomori” – a modern day “hermit” – he has withdrawn from society…”

“Hikikomori – a sort of “social phobia”…?”

“Yes – you can say that. Hikikomori may be an unintended effect of lockdown – you “lock” a person into social isolation for a long time – and then – he gets so used to social isolation – that he doesn’t want get back into society once you “unlock” him from his isolation – and be becomes a “social recluse” – a “Hikikomori”…”


Dear Reader:

You have heard of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) – haven’t you…?

Well now – thanks to “Corona Virus” aka COVID – and the consequent Lockdown – you better be ready for PLSD (Post Lockdown Stress Disorder) – or – in general – PCSD (Post Corona Stress Disorders)

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1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
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