On the edge

The rains are beginning to die down. The epidemic isn’t. Passing clouds still deposit short and furious showers; half a kilometer away the road is dry. Official numbers tell me that every day about 1000 people in Mumbai are newly infected, about 70 die. We decided to mask ourselves and went out for a walk to Colaba and the Gateway of India. The Gateway was clearly a popular destination. There were police barricades around it to prevent crowding. A stretch of the sea front is opened up to walkers around 5 in the evening. We’d reached before the crowds, so I got an opportunity to take photos of the vista of the empty harbour, and the lovely old buildings which face out towards it.

It is clear that people will die if everything opens up now. It is also increasingly clear that people are hurting: the plumbers, the electricians, the taxi drivers, and also big businesses. If a few hot-spots had been locked down early and severely, like Wuhan, then there might have been a chance to beat back the disease and open up more fully. But, as the examples of China, New Zealand and South Korea show, perhaps not. So we live on edge. These masked walks, an occasional espresso takeaway, phone calls and chance meetings with friends on the road, is that all there is to the new normal?

By I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.


  1. I’ve more or less forgotten about it. It took a while, but I built a routine around avoiding getting sick. I got the “word” from the animals out at the wildlife refuge that that’s what we animals do. That the first rule is “keep yourself alive.” From time to time it gets to be too much for people I know and care about, but I’m pretty OK. I’m sure living in a city it would be a lot more difficult to avoid noticing. I am sure that this will pass. We won’t be the same, but this moment in history will move along. It’s just bizarre and doesn’t seem like a scenario for this time in history.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is particularly hard to control where the population is dense and people are forced by circumstances to live close together. But where I have moved, things are returning to some semblance of normalcy because most people are faithful wearing masks. Current cases seem to be primarily among the young who feel they are immortal and the rural who don’t feel the rules apply to them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s never been an infectious disease like this before. The young have always been risk-takers (I was) and I feel a lot of sympathy for the teenagers and people in their twenties who are living through a really bad time.

      Liked by 1 person

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