I had written this to be posted on last Monday: I then decided to not post it since everyone was worried about the Coronavirus. It is an eerie reminder of how quickly things can change. How drastically they can change.
Due to the pandemic of Covid-19, Bay area was issued a Shelter-in-place mandate.
It had been a regular, noisy midweek day. The trains tattled and battled their way through to the city. Cars whizzed around on roads & freeways. In the city, planes, trains and automobiles honked and blared their way through the streets. Ambulances and fire trucks screeched by. The elevators and public transit announcements were incessant and usefully useless to the point of comic relief.
“Elevator F, F as in Foxtrot, opening doors, closing doors, Elevator F, F as in Foxtrot. ”
“Now arriving at Bay Fair. Doors are opening. Doors are closing. Now departing Bay Fair”.
Even at the gas station, it seemed the world was intent on tugging my attention towards world events – a screen blared CNN news in the few minutes it took to fill the gas tank. By the time I made it back to the home, I was craving for some quiet. But the bustling urban noises went on – humming and drumming out the quiet.
We have become such noisy inhabitants of this planet. I would like to hear how we sound in outer space – I hope our atmosphere provides for a decent enough insulating layer.
I then went on to write about a book that calls out the different kinds of Quiet in the world, but I shall save it for another day. Quiet – By Deborah Underwood
Like everyone around us, I am still in a state of shock at the rapid change in world affairs. Where last week, I wrote about the noises in the environment, this week I am writing about the eerie feeling that links us all together – the lack of noise on roads, the lack of noise from the joyous parties with happy people singing into the night, the lack of laughter even. The world has become a sober place.
Our street has not looked this empty since the time I went for a walk during Super Bowl. People are scurrying with their heads bent in worry and hands full of supplies to calm anxious minds in the stores that do remain open. Shelves are empty. We have so many doom sayers, we need more doom slayers.
Never has so much changed so rapidly and this drastically in my lifetime. It truly makes me appreciate the delight of the ordinary. Social media has given me a bad case of wanting to read about anything else – 10 things to consider before buying soap anyone? What happened to those posts?
“It is like that David Vs Goliath story huh Amma? You know the virus against humans?” said the little fellow the other day, and I smiled at the analogy.
It’s true: Covid-19 has created ruckus. If ever we thump our chests on how high and mighty we are as a race, the humblest virus is there to bring us down to size.
When I started writing the piece above, I did not anticipate in my wildest dreams that such a scenario would pan out, and yet it did in 1 week. In the past week, the World Health Organization classified Covid-19 as a Pandemic, and world-wide countries started responding with varying levels of success to contain the spread of the disease. This post reminds me of the normal then, and the new normal we are adapting to. Everyone is worried by the effect of the virus on us; on hospitals, nurses and doctors; on the infrastructure and economy.
Please watch: TED Talk By Bill Gates in 2015 where he says that our next big catastrophe to prepare for is not missiles but microbes.