Twenty 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
Palliative care giver & writer
Madison, Winkinson, United States 

The deceiving viruses. As I have seen them under the electron microscope. The deadliest organisms, yet the most beautiful natural creation. Just like the flower, Cadamba (Neolamarckia cadamba). They are the part of our 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 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.
It was psychedelic. The 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 was shut for everyone, even for the most beloved ones. The politics got its ‘Pawn’ – the virus. And made the move.
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 another cultural vacuum in the city of reminiscence.
The masks and money were probably the most discussed topics. The global economy drowned to the deep like never before. And local economy sporadically boomed. Thanks to the masks and hand sanitisers. 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 was growing to sky high. They want the virus to ‘GO’. But when, no-one knows.
The world lost its citizens. The families lost their beloved ones. In millions, everyday. 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. Just like my father. A paralysed retired physician, suffered from urinary sepsis. Did not get any place in the hospital. Hence, departed. At 76.
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 the dark cloud. The vaccine is on its way. The science is waiting for its triumph, once again. But in this difficult hour, the world is needed more shots of ‘humanity’. The dawn is not far away. Peace.

There exists pain, exists death, the ache of separation burns one

And yet reigns peace, prevails happiness in eternity

Flows the ceaseless life–stream, beams the sun, the moon, the stars

Spring arrives in the forest in varied hues

Waves ebb; they rise again

There is no destruction; no trace of misery

My heart desires rest at the feet of that completeness.

Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore
Geetabitan, 1903
Written after the death of Mrinalini Devi (September 17, 1902).