My Life in the Maldives during the Pandemic – Armaan Sharma

I had never imagined facing the tumultuous times of Covid -19 in the remote nation of the Maldives. My home for 2 years was a tiny island, in Baa Atoll. Surrounded by rich biodiversity and abundant marine life, it seemed surreal.
My school was on another island.Getting there by speed boat was a daily routine I loved. Spectacular sunrises greeted me most days. The unique “Dhivehi” culture of the Maldivian people was all around me.
Maldives remained untouched by the raging pandemic , or so it seemed. Almost overnight things changed.My school now had shorter hours, mandatory temperature checks and masking for all. I still went about my days enthusiastically.This however, was short lived. The Government stopped inter island travel which meant that I was the only child in my school who was not physically in class. I had to grapple with distance learning for the very first time. My teachers loaded my lessons and I did them virtually. I missed the energy and sheer joy of being with my friends.They missed me too.
Being confined to my little island, I went snorkeling to explore underwater worlds of shimmering corals and vibrantly coloured fish. While beachcombing, I found coral fossils and shells so beautiful , I couldn’t believe they were real. I viewed the solar eclipse wearing a welding helmet! Clear night skies provided a view of Saturn’s conjunction with Jupiter. Sighting bioluminescence left me speechless. The entire beach glowed a brilliant blue. Some nights I marvelled at constellations sequined against a dark sky.
Waiting for things to improve, I embraced new experiences gratefully.My life in the Maldives during the pandemic, was perhaps made more meaningful,because I appreciated fleeting moments, which otherwise may have passed me by, unnoticed.

Armaan Sharma
Grade IV

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