Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

If wishes were horses not only those in the proverb, we all would be riding horses!

We’d wish a world devoid of COVID-19, and life was as normal as ever, we’d have wished the news about development, healthy lifestyle and an uptick in economy; about prodigies coming up with new innovations, about new breakthroughs in science, about making new discoveries, about political controversies that we either sympathise with or deride, about our dreams and aspirations; or sharing our achievements or ruing about the changing world, not necessarily only about climate change but also the falling morals or ethics and about the ills facing the world. Phew! We had a world of topics engaging us every day.

But an invisible enemy has brought the world on its knees. Don’t we wish the term 'coronavirus' had not entered our lives? No one had imagined it would change our world where we got used to new normals in every conceivable way. In the process, we have forgotten our regular normal life.

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Don’t we wish it had never happened in the first place? If it had or was inevitable, due mainly to our stupidity or due to our perception that ‘it won’t affect me but only others’ or perhaps because of complacency to clear and present danger.

Yes, we are living in a dangerous world. I am not trying to paint a doomsday scenario, but the present times call for due diligence. Are we ready to face the reality and act to save ourselves?

Precious lives have been lost not in tens or thousands but in hundreds of thousands around the world and we are still counting. Wonder when it will come to an end and, if at all, we get back to our normal life — not the new normal!

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How long can we go on and out with masks and gloves and spend our meagre salaries, already curtailed in many cases world over, on hand sanitisers and disinfectants?

Can we ever step out without suspecting strangers or even our acquaintances of being possible carriers of the coronavirus?

The pandemic has truly made us paranoid to the extent that we dread our own shadow!

Gone are days when friends or colleagues met and had a hearty chat over a cup of tea or coffee or shared a joke and laughed heartily. Adding to the misery is the hitherto unheard of Work From Home system. Though WFH spares us from the tedious long drive to and from office, it takes away the pleasure of working with your colleagues. Living in a virtual office environment poses a challenge in balancing work and me-time with family.

Life at standstill

Oh, how I wish a child has its normal childhood — playing with other kids, eating and sharing things as they did in the not too distant past. Or how we grown-ups mingled on the weekends, though not regularly, and had a good time together, met at each other’s place for family get-togethers, attended parties and functions. We have, in a way literally, become anti-social with this new word in our lexicon — social distancing. Will this dark chapter ever be erased from our lives?

Life has come to a standstill for most of us. Really hope it’s just a pause for us to reflect on our foibles and learn what we are missing in our lives. Time, it is said, heals all wounds. Let’s all surmount these trying times and forget the unsavory things between us and forgive each other, for we know not what befalls us tomorrow. It’s an opportunity for us to be more humane and be realistic about here and now.

It’s time to reset our lives and hope to be better humans once life gets back to normal —  it better be sooner rather than later.

— Nagarjuna Rao is a freelance journalist based in India