Source | www-vice-com.cdn.ampproject.org | Shamani Joshi
When India first began recording an alarming rise in its coronavirus cases this year, my first thought wasn’t that I needed to stock up on groceries or go get vaxxed.
It was that I needed to show up at work despite everything.
As the pandemic pulverises any hope or optimism we had for our future, we’re all dealing with the collective trauma that comes with a constant news cycle of death and despair. Most of us in India have either lost someone we cared about, had to scramble to find resources to help a loved one fighting for their life, or been traumatised by apocalyptic scenes from hospitals and crematoriums.
But even as we deal with a daunting death toll, the average Indian white-collar worker is expected to meet their deadlines. Even as we’re flooded with reports of our crumbling healthcare system, we’re supposed to keep it together for client meetings. Even when all we want to do is switch our brains off, we’re heading towards mass burnouts and exhaustion.
And India’s toxic hustle culture — where gruelling work hours and hard work are a norm — is to blame.