Corona Virus with an official name COVID-19 hopped across China, Korea, Iran, skipped to Italy and finally jumped to India. When WHO declared it a pandemic, I had to google the word since my vocabulary on contagion began with outbreak and ended with epidemic.
Social distancing physically continues to be propped up like Captain America’s shield to shield us all in this endgame.
Nameless folks, rich people, famous and powerful, all have fallen like dominos.
While we watched the drama unfold across the world via the news papers, news channels and on social media, the corona bubble floated into my hometown. There was the usual hue and cry that heralds the arrival of a conqueror.
Schools shut till March 31 for all students.
My phone exploded with messages; social distancing from social network is not the best time now. After sifting through tens of opinions, forwards, screenshots, that elusive official announcement for the kids to remain at home was found. The teachers had to be present regardless for a staff meeting.
Indispensable and indestructible, right?
Later, a message came for a short meeting and by evening that too was cancelled. I guess, when schools close unexpectedly and even the teachers are told to stay at home, the pandemic is serious.
Within a day, the first corona positive patient surfaced in the town and the local newspapers went into a frenzy. Overnight there were reports of suspected carriers- foreign as well as Indians who had gone in hiding, locked themselves away and self treating, running away from hospitals.
Hame pareshaan mat corona!
Sanitiser and masks (paper, dust, cloth, surgical, with number N95, scarves) were all the topic of discussion although ironically the traffic on the road lumbered on resolutely.
My buddy in Toronto enlivened my mornings with snippets of how the western world was tackling this crisis- in her words ,“It is a Doomsday grocery shopping madness.” In India, not so much but then as a rule we Indians love hoarding and more so when the PM wishes to address the nation.
The young Knight and Ms Fiery’s colleges are in a state worst hit by this crisis. Anyway, they were already social distancing for a while so we were at ease, till the bubble pricked.
The Knight’s college closed down with immediate effect and instructions to vacate the premises within 48 hours. From nahi closing, kabhi closing to abhi closing, it was a mad scramble for the tickets. Whispers flew thick and fast of interstate borders sealing, flights cancellations, traffic restrictions; the kind of half baked news that swirl uninterestedly and suddenly intensify in moments like these.
After much conferencing, weak internet connections, short tempers, Mission Airlift was accomplished!
Ms Fiery on the other hand had her tickets booked for the end of March long ago as per her original academic calendar.
Shortly she dropped the bombshell.
“Guess what, we have the first corona case in our city. Our college faculty is patient zero, she tested positive today, the same who took our exam last week. Yes, she was battling a horrendous cold then.”
Ever since then, it has been a pandemonium.
Book tickets now, college is closed.
Hang on, going for student meeting .
Ok! Cancel tickets. Can’t leave until screened.
New untouchables, those who sniff or cough. Everyone is scared to even clear their throats.
Check message .
Lockdown! I hate my life.
I’m tired of virtual interactions, I want to see my friends in flesh.
I want you to hold my hand .
Another faculty tested positive!
Quarantine period extended for another week. Don’t book tickets.
Faculty not positive but in hospital! Some kids are going for additional tests, their parents are insisting. Why?
I’m sleeping, I’m playing video game, I’m bored. You don’t love me!
Ma, I’ve news to share- I’ve tested positive! (DEATHLY SILENCE!)
Hahaha! I’m joking. You’ve been pranked.
Sigh! Cabin fever is on in full swing and we’ve got another week of quarantine to get through.
PS: PM addressed the nation and announced a janta curfew on Sunday, March 22 from 7am to 9pm.
We like the rest of the world, wait and watch and wonder!
Chaos: When the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future.
– Edward N Lorenz