Nothing rings a bell until it’s our door. The capitalists’ door, the consumers’ door. That’s because our minds default to view things through how they affect us, not how they affect the country, the community, or the world. A sort of frenzy has begun, with more than three fourth of the population being quarantined. This has led to numerous predicaments- commerce grinds to a halt, the decline in terrorism rate, weakening of the economy and exploitation of resources.

Despite the crucial phase during the coronavirus pandemic, a parallel world always wins. France stopped Muslim women from wearing the veil. Now the whole country is in masks. Muslims win.
India isolated Kashmir. The whole world is isolated. Kashmiris win. Science is as clueless about the virus – at least up till now – as illiterate people. Illiterates win.

Mecca is deserted. So is the Vatican City. So are major temples and monasteries. Religious congregations are cancelled or postponed. It’s a lockdown, coercion to stay indoors. 

So many minds. So many logics. Anyway, the virus is here. It is as ugly as:

Hunger has always been in Africa. Refugees drowning in seawater. Burma’s ethnic cleansing. Racism in America. Silencing of Kashmir. Brutality in Palestine. Hindutva in India. Kids dying in Syria. Or ‘Chinese virus’ when it was China’s only.

Nobody cares until it’s their door. How is the lockdown now?

I don’t know anything technical about this virus. But I know it has been here in one form or another, as written above, with people being victims of oppression, massacre and inhumanity. Nobody raised a voice, nobody marched, nobody protested, because it wasn’t their door.

The nights of Paris are no longer romantic. Northern lights in Scandinavia are no longer appealing. Beaches of Italy are no longer enigmatic. Lights of Amsterdam have lost their charm. Remember New York’s Time Square in Vanilla Sky?

Such panic and unrest never saw daylight when millions of people were killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Burma, Kashmir, Libya and Palestine. Nothing rang a bell when a picture of a dead boy in a red t-shirt went viral. Nothing happened when the war-implied-forced-refugees were left shelter-less in severe winters. Nothing happened when people were wrongly accused of blasphemy and killed. And nothing happened when the Syrian little girl died, saying she’ll tell God everything.

So, apparently, this virus is kind of a blessing in disguise. It’s like congregational suffering, like fasting in Ramadan. Feeling thirst and hunger together and realizing how it feels. 

How it feels to be isolated.

How it feels to be clueless.

How it feels to be at the mercy of the state.

How it feels to be seen as a danger.

How it feels to live in tents.

How it feels to be homeless when not homeless.

How it feels to be clean.

How it feels to be locked down.

How must have Kashmir felt for years when they were bombarded and killed without any help or concern? How must have Palestinians – who apparently have a monopoly in suffering – felt in decades of catastrophe? How must have Afghans felt in being here and there of the dollar-funded-violence? How must have Syrians cried overstretched nights of famine?

So, have patience. Embrace the threat. Inhale the risk. And feel how it feels to be here. At the uncertainty, at the verge of being the next victim. Even though the situation is nothing compared to falling drones from the sky and going directionless when homeless. Nothing compared to be a parent of a raped and murdered kid. Nothing compared to being imprisoned in a location-less facility by known unknowns. Nothing compared to blasphemy charges. Nothing compared to being silenced by the state. Nothing compared to the fear of state violence. Nothing compared to being burnt alive for praying openly. Nothing compared to be the abducted for revenge. Nothing. 

Empty shelves don’t concern me. What concerns me is pathetic minds and apathetic hearts. 

May this virus leave better humans behind for the next generation. May this trigger the red button, and we all pay attention when the door knocks.


About Author

is currently engaged with the Social Media Department at the Voice of Balochistan. Pursuing CA as her major, she is a writer and reader by passion who is also writing a novel. She has worked for Ezine Articles and is currently also working for Act Youth Force, which is a project to ensure quality education for all. Her areas of interest are social and domestic issues. She had written extensively on women empowerment and education.


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