The pandemic has swept through much of the world and it feels like we all are now living in an altered reality. None of us expected 2020 to be this dystopian.
Human contact has become pariah. One of my friend’s child had a birthday last month. They live in our condo. We took some gifts in a bag, passed it on to the mother and sang the birthday song standing outside their home. The four year old waved back with the six feet distance maintained. So near, yet so far.
People are using everything from knuckles to elbows to feet (yeah, you read that right) to press elevator buttons. With masks becoming ubiquitous, we will soon be able to identify people only with their eyes. Slowly, we will forget how people looked like with their noses and chins.
People are dying – some due to the virus, some due to the lockdown. Many are losing their jobs. Governments world over are clueless. Society’s innate biases and fault lines are amplified and out in the open. Some days, it feels like the world is about to end. It can get into your head. The fear is contagious too. At the same time, it helps to remember that people are resilient. Humans adapt. We all find ways to cope with the change.
Some people are going crazy with cooking. Social media is flooded with fancy home cooked food-porn pictures. Some are thinking of the lockdown as an opportunity to take up old hobbies. Some, like me, are vacillating between an aggressive productivity chase and pessimistic paralysis.
Much of the world has gone through “This won’t affect me” to “The world is going to end soon” in a span of less than 4 months. Slowly we are coming to terms with the fact that this is going to stay.
The silver lining to this very dystopian cloud is the breather that the planet is getting from the corrosive virus of human activity. There is no doubt that we are the ultimate parasite.
P.S : I am acutely aware of my own privilege to be able to sit in the comfort of my home and ponder over such things while many are directly affected by the virus, hunger and unemployment. I hope and wish for each one of us to stay safe and find the necessary support they need to come out of this.
This too shall pass!