Pandemic

By Kaushiki Saraswat

adjective: (of a disease) prevalent over a whole country or the world
noun: an outbreak of a pandemic disease

If pandemic is a thing that kills the world; here is a list of other diseases you (we) forgot to look at:

  • abuse (of any and all kinds)
  • animal cruelty
  • bad intentions
  • corruption
  • crimes (of any, and all kinds)
  • cruelty
  • deforestation
  • discrimination (of any and all kinds)
  • dishonesty
  • domestic violence
  • gender inequality
  • honour killing
  • human trafficking
  • killing dreams
  • making people homeless
  • mental abuse
  • murders
  • racism
  • rape
  • sexual abuse
  • snatching away roofs
  • terrorism
  • torture
  • trafficking (of any and all kinds)
  • unkindness
  • the lack of basic human decency

They say we should hold water in our mouths for two more seconds before swallowing it- it quenches more thirst, more satisfactorily and in less water. I did it more while in self-isolation, the ones taking care of the sick or almost sick go through so much that cannot be put into words, I just wanted mine to walk a little less, sit a little more, rest.
This list may seem half assed, may seem less ‘woke’ for a millennial, or maybe even ‘not intelligent’ but honestly I sat to write an exhaustive list and I found myself exhausted not even half way through. I’m learning to be kind to myself, I am unlearning that I have to be ‘up for it’ all the time, that I need to start giving in to the needs of my mind and body to really heal myself on some days unlike what we were taught: no matter how you feel dress up show up.

I read an article which said ‘grieving is not forgiving’- so this is me grieving the losses of this pandemic, as someone who hasn’t seen the worse of it but someone who is learning how not to invalidate her emotions but this is also me not forgiving myself you and the world for letting so many other things infect us and not being bothered by it just because a ‘patented’ vaccine is not the solution to it, just because they don’t sound like a harbinger of world war three. I’m sure I am inviting a lot of argument with this one, but for one second don’t read my words and just read.

India, was on a lock down when it had around 500 cases of Covid-19, we were asked to shut ourselves inside our homes and sanitise ourselves until our skin started flaking away or even bleeding. India has around 24900 reported cases of just rape in a year. You know what I mean, don’t you. And for this, we can’t even sit at home because domestic violence, as it turns out, is a real thing.
This is just one thing, pick any and look at it, really.
And, fill in the blanks.
And as far as I am concerned, it all starts with a pinch of kindness for all and for ourselves.

The world is spinning off its axis, but this is what it took to unite us? (If it has, truly.) It took this to make us sit at home and spend time on our balconies and in gardens and with our children and parents. It took us this to actually look at the clouds and see how free spirited birds actually are. To experiment with food, to spend days in our boxers without feeling guilty, to make sincere calls and hang up for no particular reason, to just Be, to pay attention to our mental health and give everyone the space to find their calm. This? Really?

(Just to be the sunshine- at least something worked, right, so I shouldn’t be writing this)

Kaushiki Saraswat

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