By AVM A Sengupta

COVID-19 pandemic has not only changed lives but has altered the contours of Health organisations. Air veterans AVM A Sengupta transpired his thoughts into poetry.

Wuhan Institute of Virology in China is being alleged for spreading the deadly Coronavirus

The whole world is reeling under its wrath, while a million have lost lives, whether in the US or in Cyprus

The WHO declared it a pandemic and Mr. Trump a conspiracy by China

None were spared from East to the West, Christian to Hindus all alike, in India or Argentina

Mankind was enjoying the fruits of Technology, Hollywood, Netflix, and Amazon Prime

There was complete chaos when suddenly the virus sprung up in nature’s sublime

In the early months of 2020, while the snow was still white and the jackets were being worn

International terminals were buzzing with crowd and ‘5-Stars’ being re-adorn

Tourists were thronging the hills for sight, snow, skiing and mountaineering

Hospitality was in full bloom, motels fully booked and resorts still busy in profiteering

A news item, appearing as a rumor, caught the attention of one and all

That a killer is on the loose, for a change not a man but a virus, and is not likely to enthrall

To begin with, not taken earnestly by people at large

Many called it a hoax, others unnecessary hype, and yet others an exaggeration by a concierge

And then it blew-up in Spain, Italy, the US, and Britain

Countries like India were spared initially, others feeling the heat and the strain

Soon it dawned that foreign arrivals were the carriers, mainly from mainland China

The virus is unique, highly contagious, and to endure the infected need immunity & stamina

So the first step was to seal borders, airports, ports and hearts

To ward off the fresh import of the killer virus from abroad and the counterparts

The next step was to arrest the spread through the imposition of lockdowns

In all places of dwellings whether in villages, districts, cities or major towns

WHO announced confirmed reports of man-to-man transmission?

They resolved many myths of other contamination as an illusion

‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ for the people were quickly promulgated

The need for washing hands, using sanitizers, maintaining social-distancing were widely circulated.

2.

All were to stay indoors and venture out only under dire necessity

The States were to ensure imposition and deal with the defaulters ‘with authority’

All public places were to be sanitized and people screened using contactless devices

Wearing a mask when outdoors made mandatory without accepting any excuses

All schools, colleges, malls, and multiplexes were closed

India went a step ahead and stopped metro trains plying within cities, hoping none to be exposed

A previous concept of ‘Work from Home’ was universally applied to one and all

Sparing only those who were to interact with people and customers, whether big enterprises or small

Overnight testing labs sprung up to verify the infected from the others

Covid Wards in existing hospitals and exclusive ones were created to treat the sufferers

Mankind was caught unaware of dealing with such a catastrophe in the recent past

The last such sporadic outbreak being a century-old though forgotten quick and fast

Soon the number of fresh cases rose in leaps and bounds

With more testing, more cases detected, many being asymptomatic though not harmless as it sounds

The world focus shifted to medicare, health workers and hygiene

Monitoring how many were infected and how many succumbed became a routine

The masks, sanitizers, and PPE kits became expensive overnight

For the masses, small and medium scale industries cropped up to save their plight

Those tested positive were to be hospitalized or sent for quarantine

Community and local gatherings banned every one else suspected, whether ‘infected’ or ‘benign’

The lockdown significantly reduced the traffic, pollution and movement of humans

Other living beings found cleaner environ to flourish, whether plants, birds, reptiles, or amphibians

The virus did not spare the rich, affluent, the mighty and the plump

The world leaders were also infected such as Johnson, Bolsonaro, Mishustin, and Trump

Worst of all were ‘seniors with infection’ fighting it out in the hospitals

The ‘near and dear’ were debarred from a meeting, let alone take care of them or monitor their vitals

In India, the masks became an inevitable accessory and a symbol of fashion

The markets were flooded with the designer ones and the variety beyond anyone’s imagination

Very badly hit and crippled was the world economy

Industrial and commercial activities came to a grinding halt and employment prospects were gloomy

The ‘Developed’ suffered well before the third world communities

Their high GDP could not shield the spread, minimize the rage or raise the immunities

The R&D in medicine took up the challenge to invent a vaccine

While ‘Hydroxychloroquin’and ‘Remdesivir’ failed as a cure in the medical doctrine

3.

Then many countries reported flattening of the curve and a decline in fresh infections

Those which picked up late were the last to discern as per the expectations

The political leaders decided to boost the economy by opening up the markets

The ‘Unlockdown’ was swift and precise though differing in timings and onsets

The recovery phase is likely to be slow and long

Both for the infection and the economy to become strong

Many believe that the status quo has changed and post covid society will be quite different

Masks and social distancing becoming a norm and ‘No-Hugging’ banner most eloquent

But once the requisite vaccine is developed, tried and tested

Who knows what will prevail, whether ‘Namaste’ or a ‘Handshake” once again manifested

Notwithstanding, a virus cannot disable the relationship within communities

Homo sapiens are social animals, likely to evolve from strength to strength and survive calamities

AVM A Sengupta is an Air Veteran. He served the IAF for 36 yrs in various capacities, including as a Fighter Controller, who is deeply involved in all combat air operations. In his second inning, he also served as the Defence Banking Advisor with SBI. He has a keen interest in writing and golf.

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