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India unmasked, literally, metaphorically ?

India unmasked, literally, metaphorically ?

....... And very dangerously September 15th 2020

 

So the tiny little virus has left us breathing through layers and washing our hands, for what seems like a lifetime!!!

 

Or has it??

 

Look around you and maybe the irony will hit.

 

Yes, people have a mask with them.

 

At least many do.

 

Some of the are “wearing it” right after they take it out of their pockets; whenever they feel the need.

 

Some believe wrapping a thin layer of cloth, that also doubles up as apparel for the rest of the day, will work well enough.

 

Some do not realize that the nose that they choose to leave uncovered is connected to the lungs, which is the site where this tiny virus replicates and produces many more viral particles.

 

Many leave the mask hanging on their chins when they speak, or proudly wear valves with exhalation valves to feel more comfortable.

 

Among the varied questions that have come my way since the pandemic, hardly ever has anyone tried to figure which mask is appropriate; or how to use it correctly. I guess, with all fashion brands manufacturing these and delivering them to our doorsteps, that is not needed.

 

So, look around again.

 

What do you have?

 

Crowds of people (because social distancing is alien to our DNA), who look masked, but aren’t.

 

Now, let’s move on to another thing you didn’t notice.

 

People seem to be wearing blinkers too.

 

Blinkers??

 

What’s that? Gloves, shoe covers, plastic caps… you have all that stocked up on at home.

 

Will blinkers add to the dual purpose of adding to the plastic heap of the ocean as well as being prepared for that grocery trip?

 

Nope, you can’t see these blinkers.

 

These blinkers are an example of how this virus is affecting everything without actually infecting us.

 

They are the reason why everyone seems to be unaware of the Chinese intrusions in the Pangong Tso lake region, the largest GDP contraction in 4 decades, the fact that India now has the second highest number of cases of covid -19 globally.

 

Yes, I know there is a pandemic and the stress of having tik tok taken away from us is already weighing us down. I shouldn’t add to the mental health crisis that is already looming ahead of us.

 

Let me try and simplify this a little.

 

The blinkers work so well that we miss the reports of our soldiers dying every day, and the movement of troops towards the border. But we, as a nation, believe in fairness after all; and so we don’t even know that more that 350 doctors have already died from Covid. We will participate in tokenism and rituals to honour all our soldiers, as long as they don’t occupy any space in our minds and heads when they do the work they are supposed to do anyways, right?

 

The blinkers also don’t allow us to think about people around us, across strata, who have lost jobs and livelihood. The migrants are back, we can call house help if we want, there really isn’t much to shop for anyways, and we did donate rations when the lockdown happened.

 

The blinkers also tell us that the pandemic numbers are just numbers of a disease that kills very few of those if affects. The number of those “very few “pale into insignificance, especially because it wasn’t someone we knew really well. We tell ourselves most people are getting better, without thinking about the sickness, fear, and uncertainty that they will go through, and that they may not recover completely for months.

 

What is good that these blinkers don’t hide the damage this virus is doing to our ears. Yes, ears.

 

It seems like someone has calculated the burden wearing these masks/ carrying them on our ears is causing. Apparently, we don’t hear as well as we used to now. So TV channels and media have upped their volume, because we must now be uninformed about the sensational spiel that they search for, generate, propagate and recycle against all odds, and at the cost of so much humanity.

 

Which makes me wonder, could the virus also affect our thinking?

 

Or is simply unmasking what we really are??

 

Have we really gone so far ahead (actually regressed) to be so obtuse?

 

Is it the virus? Or is just who we are, unmasked?

 

For any country to be struck with a possible war like situation, crashing economy and a pandemic at the same time (and these are just the top 3 on the list), the challenges could be insurmountable. For a country whose teeming population doesn’t understand social distancing or wearing masks properly as they remain obsessed with frenzied media coverage that compensates for movie theatres remaining shut down, the consequences will be catastrophic.

 

What’s it going to take to trade those blinkers for a mask??

 

Wear the mask. Correctly. Always.

 

Remove the blinkers.

 

The ears will get better. The hearing will improve.

 

After a little bit of focus, so will the thinking.

 

You may just realize that the tunnel you were looking into is longer and deeper than you imagined, and the light at the end of it surely won’t be found even if tik tok is restored. It is going to take a lot more.

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