Saturday, March 21, 2020

Hope in the time of Covid 19

I thought to myself that hope is knowing there is a tomorrow, a next week, a next month, a next year... Hope that is essentially uncertain, given that nobody is guaranteed a tomorrow anyway.
Ask me, I lost both siblings to extremely sudden natural deaths, and both parents to long drawn out, slow departures.
You get my drift. Hope was having the luxury of time to plan for, places to visit, people to meet, meals to enjoy. Hope was what we ordinary mortals based our lives upon. Not just mere mortals: business, industry, election campaigns, banking, agriculture, the stock market: you name it, everything in our allegedly civilized world was based on the presence of hope, the hope of the planet and its people collectively having an infinite number of days in which to live their lives.
We had booked tickets and accommodation for a trip, for a wedding in the family. The spouse had business related travel. Family was coming in from abroad. There were gatherings planned. All was cancelled, and we were happy that the spouse and I, both senior citizens with our inevitable medical conditions, had enough medication for the next few weeks. Groceries and daily needs were available. We have piped gas. I have books and social media and more than enough housework to keep me busy. The spouse has been working remotely, and relaxes with Netflix. He has stocked up on the necessary relaxing beverages too!
For much of our married life, there had been, of necessity, spaces in our togetherness.
Post-retirement, there was a phase of too much togetherness, made especially difficult by hearing issues and TV volumes! Wireless headphones didn’t agree with the TV viewer. Closed doors in a medium sized apartment were not very effective. Fortunately, business opportunities arose, and travel happened. The new normal for our two-person household became a longish weekend together and a four day work week apart. There were so many things that had to be fitted into the week end, that I would take a much needed break the day the spouse actually left. Departures were usually early morning, arrivals late night, adding to our collective fatigue!
We have, after some years, spent an entire week together. Homicide has not happened! That gives me tremendous hope for a future that we might or might not have! I went downstairs last evening to pick up some milk, and on my way home I was greeted by a young couple pushing a pram. I did a double take, as I hadn’t realized that a baby was imminent in this particular family! (Their first child is about seven now, the baby is six months old). I think of the state of the world that this little child has been born into, and I wonder. What was normal for us will perhaps never be normal for my grandchildren, or for the babies born in and around the year of Covid 19 (never having seen masks of any kind in common use till my sixties, for example).
I realize that hope is, willy-nilly, part of the human condition. Without it we are as good as dead anyway. 

Mathangi Krish #lockdownwriting challenge.
Thanks for getting me to switch on my desktop and actually write something, Mathangi!
This is the prompt:
500 words by 5 pm, written and posted on your FB feed.
Tag us.
Begin your piece with:
I thought to myself that hope is....

End with:
I realized...


The Bride said...

Glad to hear you’re doing well. Appreciate you sharing the difficulties of enforced togetherness even after so many years of marriage.

dipali said...

Staying alive seems to be our sole aim at the moment! Dissent will occur when survival is not so uncertain! I hope you and your family are all doing well.