“I was free to roam around without fear and without a mask. I was able to breathe and that too for free”
Up to March 2020, the world was in high spirits. Everyone left in the morning, be that for a job, business, or a school. That boring schedule was really nice and I know everyone feels the same today, no? Nobody had a clue that something is going to freeze this world, leaving millions of people dead. Everyone was free to move around, go for picnics, shop freely and most importantly, breathe freely. No one feared that if I go out, I might get infected, or if I shake hands, I might get infected, or if I don’t wear a mask, I might get infected. There was no such concept. No one was bound to wear the clothes of plastic, the PPE kits. No one was bound to wear protective gear before going out. No one was bound to sanitise everything he bought. The world then was a very different thing. Not a single thing of that world persists. We all have witnessed the change and we all live with that change.
The pandemic marked its arrival from Wuhan, China in November 2019 and till date it hasn’t left a single spot in the world. It has created an ambience of fear in the world and in the minds and perceptions of people. It has brought the world to a place that lies in the middle of the term called ‘chaos’. The bedlam caused by it is lucidly discernible from the ‘death rate’, ‘full hospitals’, ‘vaccine shortage’, ‘financial crunch’ and what not. Every single atom of the world has witnessed the pandemonium caused by the virus and testifies to the same by projecting the aforementioned things on to the screen of the world. The ongoing pandemic has engraved some rules which are as follows: Put on a mask when you go out, don’t shake hands with anyone, don’t assemble im social gatherings, stay home, stay safe. We have to follow everything grudgingly as everyone wants to be safe, don’t we?
From March, 2020, to November, 2020, the first wave of COVID jolted the world and the healthcare fraternity, not only of the underdeveloped or the developing nations. The developed nations were, in fact, frailer in dealing with the disease. After quaffing millions of lives, the first wave became passive and almost disappeared. Everyone thought that the battle between COVID and World has come to an end and the world has secured victory after a year-long time. The fear started disappearing and people got the derailed train of life back on track. Hustle and bustle was restored in the markets and life came back to what it was.
Everything was going fine when the second wave started infiltrating slowly from the UK. One ironical thing that we witness is that the fear that people had at the time of first wave is absent during the second, despite the fact that it has higher transmission and mortality rates than the former. Ignorance and negligence have again brought us to the same condition and even worse than that. The daily graphs of cases and deaths are increasing at a high rate but still no one cares. The beautiful world where the people were either busy with their happiness or grief, and that was fine and was part of life, os gone. This pandemic has created such unrest in the world that people even fear to breathe and some have to pay in order to breathe and live.
—The writer is a student at IIIT BBSR. [email protected]