Ever Changing Realities

Author’s Note - This post was part of imagining how the author would recollect the Covid 19 pandemic 10 years from now. Hence the post is written as a remembrance.

I never thought that this would turn out this big of an event in world history. News about Ebola, SARS and all sorts of virus lead contagious diseases flashed on the news channels every year from all around the world and especially from China. But this was different, different from anything I encountered up till now.

Academically for me, third year of college was on. About November-December 2019, I first heard about the outbreak of Covid-19 in Wuhan, China. Not concerned much by this news, life continued. In February, full lockdown in Wuhan and nearby cities was enforced. First time in my living memory, images of how dystopian cities would look started surfacing on the net. Empty streets, shut shops, closed malls and factories were the only sights visible in these. No one here was paying much attention. March came, the usual hustle-bustle of life continued. All of a sudden Covid-19 news splashed across the news cycle. Every country started preparing for prevention and containment of the disease in their territory.

I returned from my native place, expecting my college load to burden me once again; college was called off and the domino started falling. First a single day “janta” curfew and then within days a full lockdown was declared nationwide. To give more context about the situation, Covid-19 numbers were spiraling around the world. Though China, the origin place of the virus was more or less “officially” able to stop the spread, European countries and the US were experiencing a general uptick in the numbers. Fearing a similar situation here, the Government took the extreme step of complete lockdown, instructing people to stay put.

For more than a month nothing other than the coronavirus and Covid-19 featured on the news streams. Death tolls were rising hundreds. General panic prevailed. Complete lockdown did initially bring the numbers in control but as soon as general restrictions were started to lift, the cases hit 6 figures here. The poor were hit with a dual fold. On one hand the fear of disease and other job loss and no economic safety net. They were forced to leave for their home states due to non-availability of work. Migrants flocked the railways stations, bus stands, highways in numbers to return to their natives homes. Too little support from the government, migrants were left to walk thousands of miles to reach their destinations. Reports of migrants deaths due to road accidents, heat, exhaustion became an everyday affair. Finally, the lockdown was released by that wasn’t on the account of less infected numbers, on the contrary numbers rose by thousands but after 3 months of lockdowns and curfew nothing helped. Though social distancing, sanitizations, masks and other procedures were made common essentials into the day-to-day affairs.

And the world learned to live with Covid-19 until the vaccine arrived a few months too late to save the more than a million humans who died. It affected everyone in one way or the other, people lost their livelihood, students missed classes and exams, lives were lost and what not. Valuing life over material possession becomes something of a common place.

Initially speaking, I was mentally aloft with the rising numbers and all the mess it had created around the world. I had the habit of enjoying it whenever I was home with a good amount of procrastination. Browsing the net, read whatever interested me and do stuff. I usually leave home less often on my off days so the whole being locked up in the house didn’t bother me much. But as times become graver, seeing my mum and others around me did pull me towards the harsh realities. Looking back all through these years, I can say life goes on. The year of 2020 was immortally engraved in the pages of history as something the world changed forever. It was for better or worse, i can’t tell. A decade is a long time but the memories are still fresh. I’m sure most of the folks would say the same. Do value your life and enjoy the moments.