The Catastrophic Corona

Sanitizers!! Masks!! Gloves!! Social distancing!

These are the words trending today, around the world. Unfortunately, they don’t relate to a new fad or symbolize a social status. They merely belong to the context of Covid-19, an infectious disease spreading due to the novel Coronavirus.

According to news reports, the epicentre of this virus has been Wuhan in China in late 2019. Furthermore, there are many theories making rounds about its spread. Few feel the virus originated from bats; the others opine it’s a lab leak that made its way out through a meat market. To bring a political angle, there are also rumours that Coronavirus is a bioweapon devised by the Chinese to destroy the rest of the world and claim hegemony. Theories galore! The more one reads the more one gets perplexed. And the more a person tends to change his/her lifestyle.

In the past, a number of viruses have caused tumult in the society, namely Ebola, SARS, Swine flu et al. You name it and you realize the carnage caused. Although Roosevelt said, ‘The more you know about the past, the better you are prepared for the future’; probably we missed understanding his statement. What is so novel about Corona is the way it spreads and its easy going symptoms. Scientists and virologists have failed to comprehend the micro-organism, as a result of which vaccines and cure are still a mystery.

With over 80 lakh cases all over the world (as of this article being published) the Covid-19 pandemic calls for strict attention. There appears to be no fixed pattern in the Coronavirus graph across the world. WHO, UNO, governments, NGOs are doing their best to keep a check over the spread of the virus. Prolonged lockdown in many countries, flight restrictions, domestic travel restrictions, closure of restaurants, schools, colleges, offices etc. are a few measures taken. Yet, the cases have been increasing rapidly even in developed countries like USA, Spain, Italy etc.

Narrowing down to our country, with a population of 1.3 billion, controlling the virus is a Herculean task. The people most suffering are the migrant workers, domestic help and others that belong to the below poverty line segment. They are away from their families, suffering because of lack of resources and work. It is heart wrenching to see their plight. The Government has taken several steps to help the poor but probably these steps are not sufficient and are unplanned.

It is a sad story everywhere. What is more disturbing is the fact that socially, morally and economically, the country seems to be treading towards a downfall. Economists and their studies indicate a recession. But one positive aspect in this whole story is the use of technology. It has become and e-world. Devices and internet are the only way to connect, learn and work. Online learning has become the normal way of schooling. Seminars have transformed to webinars. A world without technology in such times would be unimaginable.

Nature has its own way of showing prowess. For me, all this relates to nature’s fury; a way of warning us humans to stay in control and not try to overpower Nature or God. So where do Artificial intelligence, Machine learning, genetics and such subjects lead us? If a miniscule organism can cause havoc of this extent, we better mend our ways and stay within the line of control. Let us all believe that this too shall pass.

‘Confined but not broken!’

-By Ashira Singal (One of the prize winners of Covid-19 Article Writing Competition in the 13-17 years age group)

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