Virus diary: Almost spring


It's almost spring. Mildly cold, with occasional rain and green shoots everywhere. I am waiting for summer like everyone. 

This was the mildest of the winters and yet, this is going to be one of the most enthusiastically received summer in history. A summer that will save civilisation, as well as ourselves.

It's somewhat revealing to see how fragile our 'civilisation' is. Even a virus that doesn't kill has shaken it to the core. Soft vowels are shaking; decency has been done away with. Frankly, it was a disaster putting a couple of scientists in front of the TV Cameras in the vain hope that people will regain their faith in science. After years of voodoo, that was not going to happen. And, besides, this was the wrong game: Most scientists are not very good at saying 'I don't know' and that was exactly these scientists were required to say.

Will this, as it will not kill me, make me stronger? Or was that a mere wordplay of a nihilist, daring the dead God to come down even harder? The time for such wordplays is over. We have known the magnetic power of the words to sway minds, but only until the sixth extinction showed up on our door. Now it's time to fold our speeches and hold each other's hands - if we still remembered how to.

But, holding hands? There are never any hopes in any epidemic, as these moments show how superficial our strengths really are. But all past epidemics were also great demonstrations of why we still survive. When our strengths failed, our kindness came out. When we couldn't fight, we embraced our friends. Our reasons vanished but our love for each other surged. When our faith faded, we discovered our human world. But this time we find ourselves in a new epidemic of poisoned hands.

So this is an epidemic like no other before. This is one of 'social distancing', of isolation. This is social media's first pandemic, of giving fake advice, of ganging up on victims or presumed ones, of trial by Facebook. Of WhatsApp whipping up hoarding, of tweeting tearful messages and stopping at that. The fuddy-daddy feelings of sacrifice and solidarity have no space as we turn ourselves into a lonely mob.

And, so it begins. Yes, summer will save the world, but this will come again. The stock markets will be saved, only by hoovering up yet more money, created out of thin air, into assets. The collective brain-fade isn't an aberration but the rule: This is going to be the way of the world. The Chinese riches unleashed the Bat-virus into humans through a Pangolin; the Russian greed may next unfreeze the sleepy bacteria from beneath the permafrost; who knows whose turn, what turn, would be next. 

Waiting. For what, I don't know.


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