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April 2, 2020

If tomorrow never comes


April 2, 2020

Henceforth, when history is written about our times, it will be divided into life before corona and life after corona.

To think that when we rang in the New Year of 2020, none of us had any idea, whatsoever, that life as we always knew it, will never be the same again. And to think that we had no idea that all the wealth, technology, weapons, status and power anywhere in the world, will be humbled and brought to its knees.

Who would have thought that a day would come when all religious congregations would cease worldwide? That the streets would be empty in all countries and people would be indefinitely confined to their homes?

Stock markets crashing, currencies in free fall, people panicking due to an invisible threat with the capability to kill millions and for which we have no cure.

No flights in the air, no transport in the streets, borders sealed due to the fear of a virus that can strike a prince or a pauper, a luxury cruise or a slum, with no distinction whatsoever.

What a great equalizer indeed!

To think that all this would happen within a matter of days is nothing short of a miracle itself.

For the first time in recorded history, we are all stripped of our superfluous armours of wealth, greed, vanity, power, authority or supremacy. Even the dividing lines between the haves and have nots have been swept clean, making us all equal, without caste, creed or country. No one has special privilege or VIP status that can save them.

We are marooned, but with our own families and all we need to do is to remain clean to survive. How simple can that be??

It is as if we are getting a second chance to mend our ways, set our priorities right and stop destroying our planet for greed and power and wealth. That very wealth is contaminated.

But for some strange reason, we are all being given a second chance, an opportunity to reform. We could have all been killed overnight by this strange disease, but no, we are being given an opportunity to redeem ourselves.

The coronavirus struck when spring was awakening, making the planet more beautiful and giving as all a chance to literally stop and smell the roses, a simple luxury we had all willingly abandoned due to our mad rush to make more money, to travel extensively, to compete, to strive for better.

In the process, all young and old, rich and poor, men or women forgot to enjoy the blessings they possessed, the simple yet abundant bounties that we ignored as we strove for more, our greed consuming us and destroying our peace of mind.

Mother Nature sent us to our rooms with a rap on our knuckles and told us to stay in and meditate. The coronavirus is giving us a chance not only to wash our hands, but clean our minds too, clear our conscience and rethink our lives.

The lethal reach of the virus is a reminder to countries to live within their own boundaries and quit messing with the fates of others because their assumptions of strength are quite misplaced. Perhaps the threat to the older generations also has a deeper message.

The coronavirus will bring out the best and the worst in people. There will be the hoarders who see this as a catastrophe and go into depression, or the philanthropists and the optimists who will redeem themselves, reach out to others and try to undo the damage done to our planet.

For a lot of us, this might be our last time on earth.

So in case tomorrow never comes, let us leave behind a worthy legacy and make use of each day so that when history is written, we are remembered for our positive contribution, no matter how trivial, in the Days of Corona.

The writer is the project coordinator for a Pak-German humanitarian

organisation and a freelance writer.

Email: [email protected]