Free as a bird?

Yesterday evening we decided to get a coffee, walk with it, drop into a shop to buy a replacement charger for a phone, perhaps pick up some bread for the coming days. It took almost half an hour to get a coffee, because the queue was long. A couple in front of me was told that they had to mask themselves if they wanted service. They pulled their masks out of their bags and put them on their chins. We took the coffees out.

The phone shop was so full that they were not allowing more people in. There was a little cluster of people waiting at the door. We went on to the bakery. It was empty; a lone person at the counter served us. This was the only sign that we were in the middle of an epidemic.

The newspapers have been full of the news that Mumbai’s case count is declining, COVID care centers are winding up, and that more commuter trains are running. The anthropause is over. I can now hear the distant sounds of cars from the balcony. The sky is turning the grey that Mumbai’s pollution usually makes it.

The worst of the pandemic may be over, but the epidemic is just smouldering. It can catch fire again. The complacent behaviour which we saw yesterday is just the oxygen that such a fire needs.

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. Yes indeed. Opening up is fine, it is the enabling of superspreading, bars and pubs, in-restaurant dining, concerts and movie halls, religious gatherings, which will eventually breathe the embers of the epidemic into another fire.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. With second stage lockdowns and knowing how this virus spreads, it possibly will flare again if people are not careful. Having been locked out of life for so long, they will run free at the first signs of relaxation.

    We are all waiting for the virus to go away, but there are some aspects of the anthropause we will miss from your notes of the graying skies and pollution levels rising again.


  2. They pulled their masks out of their bags and put them on their chins – 😀
    That’s the scene everywhere, like you mentioned in another post “chin guard”
    Yes, the fire can easily catch again with complacent behaviours.

    Liked by 1 person

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