~Shamama Khan

The dusk had just broken down and the golden rays disappeared from my window pane with a couple of birds chirping on the electricity lines stretching from my apartment to the other. I walked past my living room and reached the balcony to have a glimpse of the sky which had fought COVID during evenings like these, the previous year!

While I was letting the breeze tease my hair, a few primary schoolers got off their school bus and ran straight towards the play area in the compound. Another group of boys, all set to score in a cricket match, walked brushing shoulders, showing off their kits to each other. My father, a general physician was ready to leave for his clinic after sipping his tea and my mother had just returned back from her favourite nursery carrying saplings and several seed bags. I could smell the fragrance of freedom which was somehow snatched by the virus a while back.

All these daily chores which were a day-dream exactly a year ago, slowly and steadily were coming back to reality. Fortunately, bit by bit things were moving to normalcy and life with COVID-19 had come to an end.

Even though the Corona pandemic had vanished form the face of the planet, it surely left a mark on hearts and scars on countries.

The economy was shattered, employment was on stake and we were caged down in rooms, between four walls, battling with boredom and depression. The crisis didn’t end here! While the quarantining phase was a matter of a couple of months and we were consumed and engrossed in the social media, tapping and scrolling down our never-ending screens, the real warriors of this war were at the frontier, fighting the pandemic. They worked nights and days together, without a break, giving their best they can, never once did the scorching April sun and or blinding May gale stopped them. Some adorned a white coat; some wore a khaki protecting their nations from the unforeseen outcomes.

The world was left stunned with the progress and prevalence of the virus and it’s spread. One sneeze, cough or a mere contact could leave you infected and if not managed could suck up all the air in your lungs. In this scenario, lack of compliance, shortage of PPEs and failure of trials of the vaccines landed the hot-spots of the world in a stand-still. Who thought that an acclaimed ‘never sleeping city’ like Mumbai would come under COVID’s clutches, making services and streets handicapped? In this horridness, the poor were left vulnerable as they ran out of money and food expecting a warm gesture from someone above them to feed their starving stomach.

But as every coin has two sides, the better side was flipped as well. Under the threat of the virus, we breathed clearer air as trees absorbed all the carbon leaving it in traces. We became more generous, understanding and caring towards each other and checked on people we once left behind in our hustling lives. We tried connecting to them, shared stories and hoped for a better tomorrow each passing day. Some discovered hobbies they were sleeping on, some relaxed the entire time taking a break from the taxing toxic routine while the rest exhausted their data and waited the clock to strike 12:30!

This is how even though COVID divided the planet by borders and alleys and houses yet, the world shrunk and people were united with love, care, humanity and the internet!

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