Dear Corona, a.k.a Covid, we heard that slowly, but steadily you are on your way out of our country and the world. At least we believe and hope so. We also know that not all relationships make us happy. Some do give us pain. But all teach us lessons. And who’s better to say that with conviction than us?
So, before you go away, here are some lessons that we learnt from you.:
What Corona has done in terms of stigma and locking us all in our homes is what humans have done many times earlier, especially with victims of trafficking and sexual violence. The fear, disgust of getting touched and distancing from the “infected” are painful lived experiences of survivors like us. The only difference is now all in the community are distanced and locked up. Not only us. All are fearful and in pain. Not only a few.
Humans have always found ways and reasons to remain divided. But Corona, you don’t discriminate by religion, caste, or colour. No one is rich or poor, bigger or lesser. You truly are non-discriminatory, secular and egalitarian.
Nothing is permanent. One may feel omnipotent and “almost invincible” in the universe. But that isn’t true at all. We know that all of us will one day die. But we behave as if we shall live forever. You have humbled many, if not all.
Illness and death are big equalisers. Lines for food and rations and supplies and medical aid include people who are daily rickshaw pullers and those who run businesses. Hospitals have quarantine wards that have all kinds of big-money and no-money people. Money is paper that loses value in some moments of our lives.
Having nightmares like this requires a super imagination. This global pandemic has been unbelievable and unreal for many humans. Most people had never thought about a nightmare like Corona that would affect and kill so many people.
In times of crises, the government departments and many service providers in our areas have stood up, taken charge and acted efficiently. And to them, gratitude is not enough. Our pride to be connected to them as our representatives is immense. But it hasn’t been enough and thousands are still unserved and invisible.
Self-hygiene and basic cleanliness are irreplaceable and more important than vaccinations. Soaps and sanitisers, protection masks, etiquettes of sneezing and coughing are back in a BIG way and here to stay. We need to continue to be clean in our habits and sensible in our ways of being, even when the virus goes away.
The politics of power and hierarchy to assert one’s supremacy is futile in the face of such emergency and crisis. Presidents and kings and prime ministers of countries have been useless to keep this infection away. So who’s power is it anyway?
Corona, all “guests” are not welcome in our homes and hearts. Don’t come back. You have taken away with you many millions. So we are hopeful and almost excited that you shall soon be gone. And we shall be saying goodbye. If not forever, at least for now. And that’s enough.
Goodbye and with no love,
Firoza, Nasima, Tumpa, Moumita, Monjuara, Lilufa Bibi and Mitali