Hom Paribag FRSA

Everybody says that this pandemic is like war. Given that the amount of death, danger and difficulty it has put us through all at once is unprecedented. In the lexicon of unprecedentedness it is more serious than the war that our last generation had fought. During the period of the Great World Wars 1 and 2, I can imagine thar people were put in serious danger with unimaginable risks to life and livelihood. But I can also imagine that life then was more empathetic, vibrant and functional. Though people kept worrying about the news of loss of life on the frontline, waiting for bombs to drop anytime and anywhere. Surely it was a very scary time for all. But at that time, leaders like Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin and all the Royal Families of Africa and Asia were gearing up to defeat the evil forces that were vying on the lives of the ordinary citizens in their countries and lands respectively. On the ground, as the young men of working age had to join the military, the elderly and women ran the affairs of society all across the world. The wars, especially World War 2, happened to liberate women, as they were the ones who subsequently ran factories, offices and hospitals alike. And at home, I imagine, the elderly looked after their grandchildren and consoled their daughters and daughters in law that their husbands would be fine. The elderly would have shown their love to the children and young women in their families.

At the start of this pandemic, the situation was completely abnormal. Young people and families were  confined to their households. The elderly were either left alone or put into the stiff hands of carers in care homes. Kids couldn’t play or learn when the schools were slammed shut. And adults who loved gathering in offices, pubs or festivals had to be confined to their own homes. Many pretended to be working from home, while instead they spent time looking for arguments and disagreements with their households, some even turning the simple moments of life into nightmares and domestic abuse.

Most of the population, young and adolescent, active and lazy, took their smartphones and gadgets as the alter ego of their own existence. I can imagine many spent hours and hours on mindless computer games, social media and online pranks. The only news that came was of how many people were infected and how many people died. And the televisions and news organisations bleated no more the stories of feuds, attacks, war and devastation that were taking place in other corners of the world.

Then this tool called Zoom appeared, because people think that it can bring people together, albeit virtually. Oh Lord, Zoom even took charge of funerals, leave alone conferences and weddings. Nobody knows who came to hug families and wipe their tears after Zoon funerals. Nobody knows how many brides became pregnant after Zoom weddings. Nobody knows how many resolutions and policies were approved after decision makers took part in Zoom meetings.

To me all they seem to be is a pile of pranks, because the virtual things have done nothing but create confusion and tension in people. For the young people have no idea how body language works. Trying to assume life is normal over these mediums is like having a feast from food that was thrown in the bin! Simple as that!

Now, as we seem to be eager to feel normal and ambitious as the fangs of Covid have almost subsided, we all wish to think that the world should be a much better place than ever before. But it won’t be and it cannot be. The main reason is that people have lost the empathy and kindness that their heart and being should have filled with, because of excessive reliance on the Internet.