No, it is not fun anymore. Binge-watching only makes sense when I’m under academic pressure. And while I’m not a fan of social gatherings, I’d prefer to have an option. Online Ludo is not the same as the real thing and I am not going to play it till I can feel the dice in my hand. Baking a cake is fancy, for sure, but I’m running out of Cocoa powder now. Also, sleeping when the sun rises and waking up for lunch is not a healthy lifestyle. We might have had a good start, but now I want you to go.
Summer 2020 was supposed to be fun. Sipping coconut water on a beach and waiting for the waves to hit your feet. Running around the street you grew up in, gobbling your favourite chaat. Interning at an office, experiencing the highs and lows of the corporate world. Rewatching your favourite Netflix series with your friends (and no, I don’t mean in the manner I’m doing it right now). Making popcorn and cheering for your favourite team while watching them play. Stuck between those four walls, staring at your laptop screen till you feel sleepy isn’t what I was expecting.
The numbers keep increasing, and the graph keeps getting steeper and steeper. “3000 new people tested positive in India.” “A hundred people lost to COVID-19.” “A sudden increase in new cases in Gujarat.” Watching the news was always distressing, but somehow, you’ve made it worse. A lot of things have changed, and most of them not for the better. Fear, uncertainty and panic have annihilated the entire world. At the same time, “quarantine”, “pandemic”, “social distancing” are just a few words that have slowly crept in our everyday conversation.
You’ve managed to make the world a scary place. People fighting in the malls for stockpiling toilet papers, something that isn’t even an urgent need. Students are uncertain of their future as their education comes to a standstill. People are stuck in cities away from their families with no idea when they’ll see them again. Coronavirus, COVID-19 or whatever it is you like being called; it is high time now— you should leave. You have caused enough havoc and instilled enough agitation.
Amidst this distress, we have people who are risking their lives daily— the doctors, nurses, grocery store owners, and civil servants. There is utter chaos, but we have faith. We shall persevere. Coronavirus, we are not scared of you. We know you’re here, we’ve felt the pain and hysteria you have infected. But you have helped us change. We now know to fight a foe as formidable as you will require a group effort. We have become better humans not just for ourselves, but for our family members and people around us.
Thanks to you, I have become more aware of the hygiene conditions around me, and I know how to take better care of myself. I have spent a lot of quality time with my parents and I know they’re good listeners as well. I know now that sometimes I have to step out of my comfort zone and prioritise other’s necessities over mine. I have realised that it’s okay not to do anything productive, sometimes existing and just staring aimlessly at the ceiling is fine. You’ve helped me become stronger mentally as well as physically. And you should know that we won’t give up, not until you’re gone.
Not so lovingly,
Another human who’s not scared of you anymore.
Written by Aakanksha Mantri for MTTN
Featured Image by Sara Dharmik for MTTN