Saturday May 21, 2022
Saturday May 21, 2022

Gen Z of Nepal takes on the pandemic

Learning to adapt to the ‘new normal’


Nepalnews
2021 May 17, 7:38, Kathmandu
Gen Zs take on pandemic. Photo: creativecommon.org

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world, our lives turned upside down and we were impelled to adapt to a ‘new normal’. Things that we had so often taken for granted are, at present, not within our reach. We have been forced to stay within the confines of our homes for quite some time now and be it office meetings or classes or celebrations, everything is being done virtually.

The impact of the coronavirus has been felt especially by the Gen Z youngsters who are still in their teens or early 20s. The entire system has been uprooted with virtual classes being conducted for students and work-from-home system being adopted for office-goers. The emerging generation, which continuously seeks new adventures and wants to establish their name in the workplace, has been severely affected with mobility curtailed.

Gen Z is that segment of the population born between 1997 and 2010 and is commonly referred to as ‘identity shifters’. It is the group that is hyper connected to the world with access to a gamut of information on their fingertips. Those who fall in this category are also more pragmatic and analytical.

To find out what exactly is going on in the minds of the Gen Z population, NepalNews spoke to a few who talked about their challenges and struggles.

ParinLimbu, 24 years, Balkhu

A student of IT(Information Technology), Limbu is in his final year but his exams have been postponed due to the unstable situation in the country. “I was planning on a start-up with a few friends and then the first lockdown was imposed and we had to shelve the idea,” he says.

He mentions that he was about to start a digital marketing company but due to the nationwide lockdown he decided against it.

“All the preparations that we had made went to waste and we missed out on an opportunity,” says Limbu. When the government did lift the lockdown there was some hope, he mentions. “Things were getting back to normal and we registered our company and rented a place to start operations but again the government has imposed a prohibitory order,” he laments.

The prohibitory order is necessary to curb the spread of the coronavirus but the contagion has really affected our dreams. “By now our company would have been operating smoothly if things were normal, however I guess we have to again wait and see how things pan out,” he adds.

SadekshaKhadgi, 22 years, Dharan

“The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent restrictions imposed by the government to curb its spread have impacted me economically, socially and academically,” says Khadgi, who had just completed her graduation and preparing for the IELTSexamination.

Khadgi was in the capital for her IELTS preparations but as soon as the government decided to impose the prohibitory order she packed up and left for her hometown just a day before the order was implemented.

She was planning to go to the United Kingdom in September for further studies but her plans have been affected by the prohibitory order. “After the previous lockdown was lifted I had thought I would now be able to realise my dream but my hopes have been dashed,” she rues. “I am stuck now and feel hopeless.”

Khadgi mentions that there is so much uncertainty at the moment that you cannot even plan two months ahead. “The whole situation could change overnight so I have been taking it one day at a time and once things settle down then I will think of what to do next,” she shares.

Life has become all about compromises and making adjustments due to the COVID-19, she adds.

Sakshi Pant, 16 years, Kirtipur

Pant has had a very traumatic experience due to the pandemic. A 12th grader of Kathmandu Model College, she says that the first lockdown was a very disturbing time as everything came to a halt. “No classes, not being able to go out, not being able to meet friends. It was very stressful,” she shares.

The second wave has been even more distressing, she says. “My mother got infected with COVID-19 and panic struck my family,” adds Pant. “Luckily she has recovered from the infection but the entire time that she was down with the virus there was so much insecurity in the family,” she shares.

What was even worse is that my father was in Kailali due to some work and the entire responsibility of looking after the family fell on my shoulders, she says. “All of a sudden from going to school and watching movies and surfing the internet I had to take care of all the nitty-gritty at home,” adds Pant.

She shares that the most difficult part when her mother was infected with the coronavirus was keeping her eight-year-old sister away from her mother. “The whole episode was mentally taking a toll on me and it was actually my mother who despite the ordeal she was going through managed to spread positive vibes during the entire episode,” adds Pant.

ParthBaniya, 14 years, Nakkhu

Baniya, who studies in Class 8 in Little Angels’ School, says that the pandemic and the consequent lockdowns have affected his studies a lot. “Online classes are very hectic and tiring as we need to stay stationary in one place for about five hours,”he mentions.

He adds that it is quite a draining experience and he has not been able to concentrate on his studies. “What is even worse is that when we have to continuously stare at the computer screen for such long hours then my eyes start getting strained and I have headaches,” he shares.

“All physical activities have been curtailed and how I miss goingouit and playing football with my friends,” says Baniya. He also mentions that he feels very lonely at times with no physical presence of friends. “My family members are there at home but when we are with friends then it is a totally different experience,” he adds.

Baniya wishes for the pandemic to get over soon so that he can go out and rejuvenate himself. “I have never missed school so much,” he adds.


Gen Z identity shifters pandemic covid-19
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