Life as we know it; has changed. The streets are empty and the morning wake-up call by the neighborhood milkman is amiss. The distant glimmering lights and honks,from morning dawn to well past midnight are replaced by occasional honks or near silence from the highways. The clicking laughter of kids from the society’s garden or even the annoying neighbor who visited you nevertheless are all missing. The daily hustle riding the crowded locals or even waiting for the clock to strike 5 at office are now just a memory. Well welcome to home quarantine 2020!
Corona-virus disease or COVID-19 that started its spread from a wet market in Wuhan, China in late December 2019 has now taken a toll on the world. It’s just like a scene straight out of an sci-fi apocalyptic movie. People are dying all over the world. China where it had started has contained the virus spread to some extent but all other countries are facing their worst nightmares or preparing for it. Italy, Iran, European countries and now US are among the worst hit.
Our lives have somehow taken a 360-degree turn. It has been difficult to accept the harsh reality. God has pressed the pause button. We are all stuck at home. Flights have been cancelled and borders have been sealed. The ultra-globalized world connected via air, water or road has been closed for operations.
India world’s largest democracy has never in its history conducted a nation-wide lock down. In this moment of crisis the lowest strata of our society are stranded in millions across bus depots of major cities waiting for a ride back home to their village in dearth of food, water and shelter. The social divides of religious disputes have vanished in the face of life and death.
Amidst all the chaos, death, grief and distraught; the earth has been healing itself. With no cars on the streets, the most polluted cities in the world have witnessed a rise in Air Quality Index. In the canals of Italy, dolphins have returned. A stand- still airport in Egypt saw a goose family taking a stroll. Well it’s like Nature is rewinding itself. Mother nature has a way of teaching us the real meaning of life.
Paulo Coelho had rightly said; “How can we be so arrogant? The planet is, was, and always will be stronger than us. We can’t destroy it; if we overstep the mark, the planet will simply erase us from its surface and carry on existing. Why don’t they start talking about not letting the planet destroy us?”
It’s time we rethink how to treat nature or even take our lives for granted. We are all following WHO recommendations of sanitizing and maintaining social distancing. Out of fear people are resorting to vegan foods. Governments are shedding out billions of dollars for humanitarian needs. Doctors and security personnel are standing between us and death. Isn’t it time health and safety of all individuals are always on the A-list of our governments anyway?
On a regular quarantine lock-down day; we are all taking care of our family, our health and trying to smile it through hard times. Isn’t it all that life is about? These days are hard; they are contrary to our normal days. It is time to reflect and be grateful for all the little things that make life beautiful. We have long ignored our well-being and happiness running through mazes of cities; barely making time for family or friends. And now we have all slowed down; our fast-paced lives are a thing of the past.Technology is seeping into our daily lives. We are all far away yet digitally connected. It is a time when we cannot go outside but we can go inside. Taking care of mind and health now have no excuses!
The virus knows no gender, religion, caste, creed or nationality. It has washed away our differences. It’s now all of us humans against the virus. But I hope after all this is over, humanity awakens in each one of us. We stop fighting in the name of religion. We spread love and take care of each other. And we keep hope alive even in darkest hours. We let nature blossom and thank Mother earth for this chance to be alive, a chance to be human.