The new bugbear


Hey Corona,

     You maybe a tiny infectious agent with RNA as your genetic material, but today, as you run amok across borders, nations and faiths, we are floundering over ways to fight and overpower you, despite all the scientific and technological ammunition at our disposal.

     The world is indisposed. As we wake up every morning and take a nervous look at the spine-chilling global "scoreboard", we can do no more than pray and wait for you to take a breather.

     Today as we sit here in the so-called safety of our homes, locked down from the outside world, you show no signs of loosening your grip on us. The streets are deserted and there is an eerie hush everywhere.

     This calamity will be chronicled as an inflection in the history of mankind. Whether we will ever return to "normal" or witness a "new normal", as the economists or businessmen would say in the aftermath of a carnage, only time will tell.

     We walked the globe with a swagger and promoted the idea of globalization, but you halted us in our tracks and brought us to our knees. We were too confident of our infallibility.

      We treated Nature's resources as a privilege we were entitled to. As the oceans rose, shores eroded, temperatures soared and deforestation peaked, we sat in air-conditioned rooms, discussed climate change and formulated rules, assuming we were masters of the universe.

    When the bush fires ravaged Australia's wildlife and vegetation a few months ago, the world did not erupt in outrage as it is doing today when mankind has been pushed into a corner. They were after all animals and plants that were destroyed! We watched heart-wrenching scenes of koalas clinging to humans and pleading to be rescued. We did not take the warning signals seriously and continued our onslaught on natural spaces like there was no tomorrow.

     But amidst the sombre mood, there are also a few heartwarming things we can smile about. The skies are blue and the air is fresh. We can hear the birds chirping and celebrating the silence. They are probably puzzled and asking each other why the humans are behaving so strangely.

     As we stare at a bleak future, with no definitive cure in sight, and no light at the end of the tunnel as yet, we can only pledge to learn from our past indiscretions and draw lessons from this tragedy.

     You are probably having the last laugh now.We maybe down, but we are not out. We will rise and rebuild. We might stagger for a bit, but we are a resilient species and we promise you we shall overcome. We will prevail and resolve to transform ourselves into responsible and judicious human beings.


     Latha Raghuram