First it all started with jokes. “Coronavirus will never affect a Bengali. In Bengal, they always say eta koro na, ota kora na and so they are quite used to Corona!” Second joke doing round was “ Coronavirus will not last long; after all which made in product China lasts long?” Third was a bit of self deprecation. It said, “ we Indians, thanks to the street food, unhygienic conditions in our cities and our overcrowded public transport, have a natural immunity against any such virus!
Slowly the reality started biting. Europe came under the impact of this virus and last heard, Italy has shut down for good. But real issue emerged when the virus started showing its virulence near home and Dubai, the travel hub for Indians started reporting cases. It was matter of time before it reached India from there and expectedly, Kerala reported the first of India cases. It’s continuously spreading its wings with the Indian tally now crossing three digits, with first of the cases now being reported from Aamchi Mumbai!
Economy, that was already in the throes of deep recession is going to go down further. Relatively untouched sectors such as aviation, travel and tourism, hotel industry etc are in for a long period of uncertainty. Worst, the Government has decided to cut off India by refusing to issue visas and even OCIs, not requiring VISAS, will have to quarantine themselves for 14 days on arrival in India.
Well, it’s a real threat and there’s no point in downplaying it, especially when WHO had declared it to be pandemic! But being an eternal optimist, I hope that with the onset of summers, the virus will start getting destroyed, though it’s not confirmed by the medical authorities. Also, may be there’s learning for us Indians to improve our awareness about hygiene (spitting, urinating, shopkeepers selling foodstuff with flies all around, coughing and sneezing without covering mouth and nose etc) and realise the fragility and uncertainty of life and to live life king size rather than indulging in petty stuff. Who knows when Coronavirus virus or even more dangerous stains in future will end or seriously impede our lives!
گو کرونا کی لہر ہے منھ زور
کیا کرے عرض ہم اس آفت پر
پاکے رہتا ہے آدمی قابو
ہر بلا اور ہر مُصیبت پر
Beautiful and an optimistic take on currently raging Corona virus read in an Urdu daily, which is loosely translatable as:
Though Corona is in all its fury,
What can we say about this crisis?
Such is the resilience of man,
He overcomes all the problems and all the crises!
Life will move on and this is at best be a temporary blip that will soon go into oblivion. Let’s be cautious but not stop celebrating life!