Life in times of Corona

We are at War. It’s Us vs It.

It’s crazy what a virus can do to our lives. Just a few days back we were going around freely, doing things that we needed to and didn’t need to. And then ‘you know who’ struck, and we all started running for a place to hide. When the first incidents started getting reported we were in our daily bubbles, feeling safe in geographical boundaries set by us mortals. Little did we realize that these may be mere trivialities for an entity who just had to latch on to a living human body- which in a world of 7.3 billion people, shouldn’t be an issue.

So, the inevitable started happening- scenes out of an apocalyptic sci-fi horror movie started playing out. Little had we realized so long that all the things we take for granted each day of our lives is a blessing – that morning cup of coffee, newspapers (with pretty much the same stories) on our desks or mobiles, buffet lunches, ride back home on the pool, hitting the gym to shed the extra calories gained during the day and then drive down to the pub to celebrate the day’s achievements, or lack thereof. In a bid to keep our friends close and enemies closer we had been so used to these stuff that we couldn’t imagine a world without them.

We had so far been called a generation that hadn’t seen any major wars, calamities or a global crisis. We were fortunate enough to be born in an era they said would be an era of abundance. That had added to our resilient self-belief that we were invincible. AI, Block chain, and all those fancy robotic designs had put a million barriers in place to prevent our minds from realizing how frail our existences are- and how rapidly can the world come crashing down.

Armed with our bloated egos we had overlooked all the signs that came our way- bush fires, tsunamis, earthquakes. We had been far too consumed in our daily consumption of resources to pause and think even for a second the burning trail that we had been leaving behind us. We had not paused to stir our martinis till our world got shaken.

And then by the novel turn of events our juggernaut has come to a rude halt. To our utmost horror our freedom is rapidly being redefined from a list of things we can’t do to a list of things that we can. That list includes very few items other than staring out of our windows at home at the deserted world outside, going to the loo to take a shit, and washing our hands till our skins revolt.

The list of options to keep our minds off this calamity is also shrinking fast. Ordering food means having to think about how to burn those calories in absence of the regular hourly sessions at the gym. Logging into Netflix inevitably throws up the apocalyptic movies we are desperately trying to avoid (no wonder critics cringe at their predictive algorithms). Even movies are now getting postponed- no one wants to look at how Bond is saving the world- we have realized it can’t be saved.

And for those of us who have kids at home? The situation gets murkier. How to keep those young hands and feet from climbing on over us? That’s a riddle all of us are struggling to solve right now. Even the latest of paper shredders would get embarrassed at the speed our little bugs are shredding up each one of the coloring books and puzzles thrown at them. Giving them extended screen times has also become a non-viable option- they are no longer look interested in those smart tabs.

What this virus now has done to our system is before venturing out on any new activity we now pause to think- do we really need to do this? The answer to many of those questions is a firm no.

But for people who are in professions like healthcare the answer will depend. There is no work from home and there is no option to turn your faces from the usual suspects. Pictures of health personal having tattoo marks on their faces from prolonged wear of masks are doing the rounds. They have been deprived of sleep for days at and end and are almost on the verge of collapse. We can just pray that may God help them to help us.

May be in a few months, all this will be beyond us, when we will have the time to sit back and reflect what all of us went through. That hour can only be brought about by what we do, and what we do not do today. To quote a famous line from another sci-fi flick, “There is no Fate. But what we make.”

It’s like nature’s own way of rebooting a system that is on the brink of a crash. We need to carefully choose which Gates we pass through so that nature gives us a chance to login into our lives again.

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