The Viral ’20

“And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently. And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal. And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.”

“And The People Stayed Home” by Kitty O’Meara (2020)
Palliative care giver & writer
Madison, Winkinson, United States 
The deceiving viruses. As I have seen them under the microscopes. They always remind me of the flower, Kadamba (Neolamarckia cadamba), blossoms in our garden every monsoon. The deadliest organisms, yet the most beautiful creations of nature. They are the part of the nature, just like us. Yet we, the humans, are vulnerable despite the natural term – symbiosis. Because we broke the rule of the nature. For the power and greed.
The pandemic clouded my mind. The virus seems to knock on my door. The atmosphere was fear mongering. I was sitting in the centre stage. Trying to see the world through the holes in my door. A nightmare that I witnessed.
The whole ambience was psychedelic. My synapses became numb. As if I was under the effect of LSD. With full of hallucinations.
The suspicion and mistrust filled the air. The misnomer ‘Social Distancing’ did the rest. In the history of mankind, we truly became unsocial for the first time. The door becomes shut for everyone, even for the most beloved ones. The politics got its ‘Pawn’ – the virus with rumours. And made the move. Checkmate!
The aggression and violence were settled in the minds. Even my city’s famed ‘intellectual’ space. The community, who has grown as a part of city’s cultural icons for last hundred years, became the target. In the public spaces, they used to call as ‘virus’ or ‘corona’. They are my neighbours. They are gradually leaving my city. One after another. Creating further cultural vacuum in the city of reminiscence.
The masks and money were probably the most discussed topics. The global economy drowned in the deep like never before. And local economy sporadically boomed. Thanks to the masks and hand sanitizers. In the name of virus vs. 60% ethyl alcohol, the corruption continued. People lost the jobs. Lost their shelters in the cities that they believed to be their home. Yet I tagged them as ‘migrant’ despite of the citizens of the same land. They tried hard to swim back to the shore. Many survived, lucky enough. And few others died on the way to return to the place where their heart belong to. The home.
Children went to the solitude. Schools and parks were closed. Devoid of friends. Terrace became their world. Work from home became the new normal among working parents. The behavioural change among the children of the entire world was shocking. Irritation and aggression were growing to sky high. They want the virus to ‘GO’. But when? No-one knows when!
The world lost its citizens. The families lost their beloved ones. In millions, every day. Not just for COVID. But its simultaneous effect on the healthcare system, that broke like house of cards. That was disastrous, especially for the geriatrics. Like my father. A paralysed retired physician suffered from urinary sepsis. Did not get any place in the hospital. Hence, departed. At 76. On August 10, 2020. Just after we celebrated his seventy-sixth, six days ago.
The darkness was everywhere, even during the broad daylight. The dusk is settling slowly. The prayer is on. The tinge of vermilion is gradually fading away from the dark cloud. The vaccine is on its way. The science is waiting for its triumph, once again. But in this tough hour, the world is needed more jabs of ‘humanity’. The dawn is not far away. Peace.