We have never witnessed anything like this in our lifetime. For more than a month now, entire human populations globally have been immobilised by the deadly Coronavirus. Every single government of every single country – rich or poor, developed or developing, first-world or third-world, has had only one single agenda – how best to fight the virus; how to minimise loss of life, and how to look after its people, especially those who have been rendered jobless and are fighting hunger and destitution.
More than 170,000 people have died till date and while the curve may be flattening in many countries, death toll keeps mounting, and nobody knows when things will be normal again. There is no traffic on roads, no crowds in markets or city-streets and no buzz in offices. No flights are operating, no trains are running and no ships are sailing. Hospitals and nursing homes cannot cope with the rising number of sick people, and mass burials is the norm for the dead in countries like the US, Italy and Spain.
There is no drug or vaccination in sight yet to treat the patients afflicted with the virus. In the West, as also in India, scientists are frantically engaged in developing a vaccine but no one is in a position to give a timeline yet. Doctors, nurses and ancillary staff treating the infected patients are themselves catching the virus, falling sick and dying.
People are confined to their homes and are living in fear and uncertainty. Financial experts are already openly talking of a double recession which will cripple the world economy and make more people jobless and homeless, driving many countries into poverty and a massive debt-trap.
How long will it last? How much more damage will it do? What will life be like once the virus departs? No one knows. If this is not scary, what is! We are all putting on a brave face and trying to carry on with our lives, making jokes about the virus and putting up pictures of pollution-free environment but deep down we know how bad things are and we fear that even after the virus is controlled, it will be a long time before normalcy is restored.
In the meantime, we can only do what we are required to do. Stay home and take every possible precaution to keep the deadly virus at bay. Stay hopeful and help those who need help. Stay safe and be good!
The author, Guru Chahal, lives near Bengaluru. He was earlier the Executive Director and Chief Advisor Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation. Truly justifying his name, while with MPTDC, he had carved a niche for himself and is widely respected as a “corporate Guru’.