The doorbell rang twice, “tring, tring”. Sheila left her kitchen and went to the door only to find her Uncle and aunt from Varanasi at the entrance. Standing with a heavy suitcase and a broad grin slapped on their faces. “Namaste Betaji, how are you?” Aunty greeted as she barged in the door straight to the guest bedroom. “Welcome, Aunty, I guess?” Sheila thought as she imagined the dreadful days ahead.
Puzzled by their unexpected arrival, Sheila suspicioned that aunty is in full mood to spend the summer at her house. “Betaji, can you get your Uncle one cup chai, with Elaichi and Tulsi mixed. It would relieve his exhaustion after such a long travel,” and there it starts with an innocent cup of chai. Before prepping for tea, she takes Aunty’s suitcase to the verandah and sprays it with an alcoholic sanitiser. Owing to the current health emergency, Sheila decides to instruct Aunty about the notorious coronavirus.
The COVID-19 virus enters our homes as it pleases. It does not ask permission; neither does it give us any other choice. It comes whenever it wants to and sets up a home in his host’s body. You would think after getting its way, COVID-19 would be respectful.
To the contrary, the COVID-19 virus does not follow any rules of basic etiquette of living with someone else. While the host internal organs are busy delegating limited nutrients to all its systems, COVID-19 hogs on all the nutrients shamelessly. Having all the characteristics of a bad roommate, it still is patient enough. Whenever it escapes its host body through sneezes, COVID-19 still waits patiently for his next host. Sometimes for as long as 12 hours on a metal surface.
We go to so many troubles to avoid COVID-19. We wash our hands with soap 10 times a day for 20 seconds. We carry an alcoholic sanitiser with us all the time. We do not meet friends, we are careful of travelling by public transport, and now we simply do not go out. But it still does not get the signal that its presence is not desired.
COVID-19 time finds an excuse to set up camps in host bodies. Either it will enter through your mouth, nose, eyes, or just by simply touching your face. Or it would simply sway in the air in your surroundings until you inhale it.
By the years, as the host gains immunity to fight this virus, COVID-19 gets smarter. It mutates into a strain that can survive the host’s evolved conditions. The mutation takes place in decades. By that time, it becomes smart enough to even cross the species barrier — like from birds to humans. COVID-19 befools us in a disguise of harmless flu. And it goes on disrupting our normal lives until we end up becoming wary of everyone.
“Hare Krishna, such a nuisance COVID-19 is,” Aunty commented while Sheila neatly placed the clothes from the suitcase on the almirah stacks. After Sheila finishes unpacking for Aunty, she nudges the old woman, “Come, Aunty, we will make some tea for Uncle.” “Arre, Betaji, I will go check up on your Uncle, might just be watching television. He must be very hungry, too,” Aunty grinned broadly as if to make sure Sheila understood the signal. “Sure, Aunty,” accepting her defeat, Sheila goes to the kitchen to now prepare two cups of chai and pakoras.