The world has taken a U-turn sometime in the last decade. While the technological developments of the nineties pushed us to move around, mingle, be more open minded and grow, that trend started to reverse some years ago.
Xenophobia and discrimination, which were slowly and systematically being rooted out, began to reassert their footing once again. At first the attempts were feeble, but with every success they got bolder and started regaining their grip on humanity which had only so recently managed to initiate the process of escaping their clutches.
Fear turns us in to cowards, causes us to abandon our lofty principles and give into our baser instincts. Closing borders, weeding out minorities, creating walls and manufacturing reasons to polarize humans in to groups that despise each other, has been the rising trend of the last decade. How many them v/s us groups are we going to create, and what is the ultimate point of it all?
Well corona, a tiny microscopic virus is here to give us a glimpse of where we are headed. It’s forced us in to isolation, not just building walls between nations or large social groups, but between families.
Is it every family for itself? Stay away! A family isolated from the rest of the world. Not at all pleasant is it? But then each human being is unique and this is exactly where us v/s them would eventually lead us.
Just a few weeks of this and stock markets everywhere have crashed, the economy is in shambles, and in some places everything is slowly coming to a standstill.
But fortunately, this isolation is not about hating each other. Most ironically, today, it is about us coming together as humans to fight a common enemy, a virus that could wipe out a few percent of humanity. It took a deadly virus to remind us that we are all people, and a virus does not discriminate based on religion or nationality.
In many places we are being able to contain this virus, because people are voluntarily quarantining themselves to protect more vulnerable sections of society like our senior citizens. It took a global crisis to bring out the best in humanity, and remind us that in essence we are all the same, with the same weaknesses, fears and insecurities, with the same courage and spirit to get through tough times.
Another irony is that, while isolating us from the world, the virus has forced us to slow down and reconnect with those we care most about, but often take for granted, our family members. Parents are spending more time playing with their kids. Kids are spending more time with siblings, and couples have time to talk to each other.
I just finished War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. There a bacteria saved us from super intelligent technologically advanced aliens. Perhaps a virus can save us from ourselves, by reminding us of what is truly important! They do say that fact is stranger than fiction. Stay safe. Be considerate, and perhaps we can write our own happy ending.