A few days into the lockdown period, I started to feel like I am in la-la land. The daily cacophony around my home is absent. I am a senior citizen but do not live a happy retired life. This is because my home is 30 odd years old, and at that time our area was an isolated place but now we are a buzzing intersection. Today is Easter. I need somebody to remind me that it is Sunday. For want of live action, TV channels are churning out old episodes except news of course. The hum of daily life outside is conspicuously absent. I read somewhere that even seismometers are registering fewer vibrations on the ground produced by humans. Animals and birds too are registering this quietness to venture out more freely while people shut themselves in.
Jokes are out how some men are trying their hand at cooking for the first time. Today, while washing hands under the kitchen tap I wondered why I sang ‘‘happy birthday'' ten times. To my surprise, all the vessels in the sink began sparkling clean and fresh. I realised I washed my hands with vessels still in hand. My wife thanked me for the good job when we excused our domestic help in the wake of lockdown. Also, my wife and I quarantined ourselves voluntarily on the safe side. After my above new job of washing vessels unwittingly in the name of hand hygiene, she might entertain a vain thought that my generous act would last forever.
Thanks to the current disaster, many paradigm shifts are on the anvil that included people getting widely spiritual and philosophical. Maybe prayers definitely work in health emergencies. God only knows about the new Coronavirus completely as we the mortals became more and more mortal and even moral as of now. All the money saved by the world seems to be a waste of time and sweat. Civilisation is not merely fashion and comfort but also improvements in public health and primary and preventive healthcare and anticipation of this kind of pandemics due to viruses. Barbarism needs to be checked especially in the eating habits. Education and health demand more budgetary allocations at least to the extent of half of the allocation made for defence. Who do you guard us against when the enemy is unseen and microscopic to the extent of not being a full organism feasting on us. Better engage more undertakers and increase facilities for mass burials with proper provisions for acknowledgment in obituaries. Politics is slowly stepping back as humanitarianism is getting into the front seat. Many such home truths are coming out by the minute.
By the way, I watch on the TV many celebrities taking time out from whatever they are doing or rather not doing, to advise viewers on the imminent need to wash hands with soap and use masks in public, especially when asymptotic people thereabouts could infect them with the virus and vice versa. But it is regrettable that this majority of celebrities do not wear masks themselves while holding mike in front of the cameras. After they finish doing their precious bit of new social responsibility, the same mike passes on to the next celebrity to let others like them do their bit in similar fashion but in different words. In fact, all these celebrities are unwittingly infecting one other and the TV studio staff with the deadly corona from their droplets. Pity, what with journalists reaching all corners, the much feared community spread will be a reality sooner than expected. Maybe this promotes herd immunity that way and no one can say it is the need of the hour yet.
Human saga now divides itself into pre-Corona and post-Corona times. The new normal is a touch—me-not society, and soon evolution may see us even hands free after some generations with successive invasions of corona, thus allowing us only to bow before viruses. Humour apart, we need to rise as one and make our world equipped with all kinds of defences, treatments and new adjustments to fight crises like this, more quietly and quite efficiently too.