Now that we are all shut in our homes, the time can be utilised in some interesting ways
Over the past few days, we witnessed the wild roar of the Dhaka metropolis steadily fade into the low rumblings of inactivity.
Very soon, these rumblings too, will fade into silence. The spring breeze blowing will once again be heard from the empty avenues and desolate streets - a sound that is very easily lost in the drone of the urban machine.
There are still some people going to offices and their places of work, amidst the growing anxiety, while the debilitating traffic – a hallmark of Dhaka City - has simply disappeared.
Schools have closed for weeks in an attempt to prevent the spread of the infection.
While the government is talking about social distancing and staying indoors to contain the virus, a good number of people have reunited with their loved ones in the last few weeks. In addition, thousands of people who returned from the virus-hit countries were reportedly roaming in groups to celebrate their visit to the motherland, until the March 26 shutdown.
Panic has been mounting and people were stocking up on essentials in anticipation of a crisis that is to come—some for a couple of weeks, some for the month and some in preparation for this trouble to last longer… but for how long?
Businesses and livelihoods are now at stake and dependent on knowing when the crisis will cease. Job security has always been a very real and present concern and now the present situation has only aggravated the anxiety.
Television and social media newsfeed are all flooded with headlines regarding Covid-19. They are keeping score with regard to the rising numbers of infected and the dying the world over. The numbers are scarily on the rise. There are news of people recovering, but at the same time, there is news about relapses into illness.
Even still, there are people who are roaming about oblivious to the biological danger that floats in the air and settles on surfaces. They are showing a total disregard to the pandemic.
Many people term this a scourge on the planet sent in by their most high deity and aimed specifically at those, who in their eyes have "sinned", while others say this is a disease that won't affect the poor because this is a "rich man's illness". A number of people in our society also believe in their "machismo" and "immunity", and are inadvertently exposing themselves and the community to spreading the virus more.
Now that we are all shut in our homes, the time can be utilised in some interesting ways. This is a time to interact with families and loved ones. This is also an opportune time to try one's hand at doing something that one would never think of doing and learning something new in the process. One can attempt cleaning one's room or home; cooking a meal, building something from scratch, or really picking up a musical instrument.
Waking up each day and wondering about what you have to do to make a day worthwhile certainly opens up a whole host of possibilities. Try it if you have not already.
All things said and done, as Dhaka (and the country) prepares for a looming storm, it is high time that we hunker down and prepare at all times to do the right thing. It is a time that demands from us citizens, exemplary levels of empathy and humanity and displays of the same—and this can be simply achieved by staying at home, staying clean and making sure the people around us too are doing their part in this fight.
We must acknowledge the reality that death and disease recognise no flags or boundaries and offer no special treatment to our many and varied human fictions. This is a time that should be taken as an opportunity for mass self-introspection. Let us take some time and think about what makes us human beings. No doubt many of us are going to come out of this picking up new habits and practices that are good. Let us prepare ourselves during this time of crisis, so that we may rebuild again when the storm passes.
Professor Albus Dumbledore said, "Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."— Without a doubt and now more than ever, these words are words to live by…