Due to fear from the coronavirus and people’s safety, the government has been shutting down many everyday processes. People become worried and run to the store to stock groceries and it has reminded me of what I experienced growing up in Karachi, Pakistan. I remember my Amee (mother) had a booklet that looked like a passport called a ration card. There were many times when Amee took me to the grocery store with her. We were only allowed to get what we needed, nothing more and nothing less, for as long as I remember. I know our expenses were tight but somehow our basic needs got met and Amee managed very well.

We all know kids learn from their soundings by watching. At an early age we sisters learned the value of food and the difference between need and want. We learned to appreciate and not to waste. Amee cooked every day and we all ate together at home. I learned how to cook too. You don’t have to know fancy cooking but I believe everyone should know the basics. I never ate out in a restaurant until I moved to the United States.

When I grew up and started shopping for my own home and family I always remembered to keep the basics. Dry groceries such as flour, rice, beans, oil, sugar, salt and spices. I am in shock and disappointed right now with how people are going crazy and buying as much as they can. Instead of only buying what they need. Think about others. Why so much focus on groceries and only on ourselves?

Growing up we didn’t have the privilege of hand sanitizers or even paper towels. We simply washed our hands with soap and water and then dried with a fabric towel. Isn’t that what all the doctors are saying now too? Each month we are paying for water and compared to many other countries we are very lucky that we get good quality water. Why don’t we simply wash our hands with soap and water? Instead of depending only on hand sanitizer and wasting money. I don’t get it.

Cleanliness is another issue. Being clean should be a part of our daily lifestyle. I am not a doctor but I use common sense. Right now, not just in the States, but all around the world people are going crazy about cleaning everything. Cleanliness should be part of life. I am looking at this as our world has gotten so dirty that it’s pushed us to the limit where we all have to remember what it means to be clean. If we all do our part we keep our ownself, surroundings and our beautiful world healthy. It’s simple and basic but important.

I really hope this is a wake-up call to many people. So many are used to always having their own way, and can’t stand it when they’re denied anything. The virus doesn’t see skin color or religion. We are all in this together. This is also a great opportunity to change the wrong lifestyle to the right lifestyle. It’s pretty clear that money can’t buy health. But our own positive thinking, love and care for others can help us to have a healthy life. None of us know what’s in the future, what we have is now. Please try to make it better so we don’t have regrets in the future. I truly believe it’s time to go back to the basics, remember that less is more and should be a part of our daily life always. Life is beautiful!