Today one young man, who was standing ahead of me at the ‘Safal’, which is the retail network of fruits and vegetables in Delhi appeared to be in the forlorn mood. I overheard him talking to his friend on the other end of his cellphone that ‘ love’ and ‘dating’ have become the biggest casualty in the Corona times because of Parks, Hotels, Restaurants, Schools, Colleges, most of the offices and other public places are closed. This appears to be a genuine cause of huge concern of the young boys and girls. Marriages, birthdays and anniversary-celebrations look like things of the past. There is every possibility that post-Corona life will not remain the same as it used to be before Corona. Distancing is going to be an acceptable norm. This will have both positive and negative effects.
Many famous books have been written on the epidemics and their fallouts on society. For example, the Nobel Prize winner Latin American journalist turned writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote a beautiful book “Love in the Time of Cholera”. It is a delicious comedy and an astonishing love story. This is a lengthy novel which is rich and brilliant with emotions and extraordinary poeticization of old age. This novel is the epitome of spontaneity and vitality.
The story spans more than half a century and it vividly describes how the epidemic of Cholera drove two young lovers to different secluded places. They again met with each other after more than fifty years when they were past their vitality and young age. Separated by the epidemic of Cholera, the women protagonists of the novel waited for many years for her ‘love’ but when he was found nowhere, she got married and bore many children. The man, of course, remained unmarried. As fate would have it, her husband died and her grown-up children got busy in their own works and worlds. What a coincident! both met again, and the ember of love fired in them. This is an example of enduring love which found a new life in the twilight of their life. The novel is a celebration of love between men and women.
Similarly, the famous French writer Albert Camus wrote a beautiful novel ‘The Plague’, which was published in 1947. This novel is centred at the Algerian city of Oran. In the month of April, thousands of rats’ stagger into the open fields to die. The death of rats in bulks create panic hysteria in the entire city. Their death gave an inkling of the epidemic called plague. Even in India, our grandparents used to narrate stories that people were getting frightened by the deaths of rats as they were considered to be the precursor and ominous portents of imminent epidemic Cholera.
Likewise, many stories and books have been written on smallpox. People were so much afraid of it that this disease was called ‘Mata’ (diety mother) in rural areas. The persons suffering from the disease of smallpox were invariably getting quarantined and utmost cleanliness used to be observed. Thousands and lakhs were dying every year because of smallpox before the invention of the vaccination. Therefore, the invention of the vaccine for smallpox is no less than a miraculous boon for millions and millions of people across the world. Before its invention, the isolation was the only remedy as it is today in the case of Corona.
However. the epidemic, rather pandemic of this nature and magnitude, which we are witnessing at the time of Coronavirus also known as Covid-19 was never known in the history. This is also known as Wuhan virus, but nobody has been able to find the reason for the origin of this deadly and invisible virus. Many say that the government of China, which has little faith in humanity was engaged in preparing the biological weapons and in the process, the Coronavirus got slipped out of the labs. It spread with breakneck spread because of the highspeed aviation facilities. Thus, KOVID-19 took the entire world into its grip within no time. While technological development has brought the world closer to each other it has also brought many concomitant evils with itself.
Earlier a family or a village was getting quarantined, and the spread of the virus was contained but now due to the faster modes of movements, the frequent intermingling of people from one place to the other has become extremely easy, the containment of the virus has become difficult. The swift mode of transportation is, therefore, attributed to be the super spreader of the disease.
It is hoped that geniuses and persons with fertile minds would get the necessary theme for writing stories and books on ‘The Life in the Time of Corona.’ Words like ‘lockdown’, ‘hotspot’ and ‘social distancing’ have already got into the lexicon of conversations and writings.
Unemployment will increase and it will take many years to bring life on the rails. The economy has already gone into shambles, not only in India but throughout the world. The positive side of it is that the expenses will be reduced to the bare minimum. And what could not be done to control the pollution even after spending billions of dollars all over the world has been controlled due to Corona. Sky has become clear. Rivers have become significantly clean and it is reported that human-friendly Dolphins have been seen in the Ganges even at upstream places like Meerut. Therefore, one thing is sure that the life of the people across the world will not remain the same in the post Corona period. It will be changed possibly for a very very long time.


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