Even in pre – Corona days, I was a compulsive hand
washer and my handbag was never without a small bottle of sanitizer. One can
never be too careful. People in these parts poop, pee, and noisily spit just
about anywhere. As a WFH author, I have long encouraged myself to practice
social distancing and it was never difficult because I have an abhorrence of
crowds and will risk wading into one only if Vijay Sethupathy/Devarokonda have
released a movie. Social gatherings aren’t a big draw either unless there is
coffee and cake. But since I can brew a wicked cup of coffee myself and now
that my relationship with my tempestuous oven is cordial there is no reason to
try and cure my tendency to be a hopeless introvert who is perfectly
comfortable eschewing socializing, virtual or otherwise.
The husband who was cautious to start with seems
headed towards full-blown hyper - vigilantism. He is making his own sanitizer
with isopropyl alcohol and glycerine, vacuuming every inch of the house and
scrubbing all available surfaces with lizol and I believe he spends his free
time drawing up plans to build a sterile bubble we can step into every time we
have to step out in order to rebuff germs as well as its carriers for good.
We have welcomed the newly enforced rules and regulations
insisting that people wash their hands with soap and reaffirm their commitment
to personal hygiene. Yet, even I can’t help but think we are going too far and
it is high time we got a grip. For it is one thing to be sensibly cautious but
quite another when we allow ourselves to become dangerously paranoid. There are
too many news articles attesting to how we have swung towards the latter.
These are hardly the best of times and it is okay to
be scared. But when we allow unfounded fear and irrational concerns to rule
over good sense, an already crappy situation becomes far crappier. It is
heart-breaking to hear about doctors being pelted with stones, nurses evicted
from their apartments by heartless landlords, relatives of the deceased being
hounded and harassed while attempting to perform the last rites, and immigrant
workers being barred entry from their villages and towns. It is sensible to
want to avoid risking infection but not if it is going to cost us our humanity.
We are in this together and it is only a matter of
time before we learn to live with Corona the way we do with the umpteen
viruses, bacteria and thoughtless humans out there. So wash your hands, drink
your coffee, eat your cake and do whatever it takes to prevent going stir
This article was published in The New Indian Express.