There’s a word for every emotion, occasion, and situation. What then is the word for 2020? We know not. 'It was the year 2020' is a tale in search of that word. Made up of fragments its elements can be read in isolation or absorbed in entirety. The tale lacks a traditional plot, and its characters remain nameless, all victims of a crisis. Set in real-time, it dares to speak of the pandemic, waiting to take over our lives, or whatever little is left of it.
We all react, differently. To love, and to fear too. We do the best we can, sometimes we end up making situations worse, at times, we calm many minds too. We're all reacting differently, at this moment as well. Look around, there’s a lot of talking, panicking, and wailing. There's spreading of fake news, selling of fake products. There is the forwarding of memes and blog posts links. There's the WhatsApp, refusing to stay mute. There are too many questions. There are a few answers. There's misinformation and there is information seeking to be heard. People are creating a shortage when there isn't one. A few industries are functioning 24 X 7 to keep us safe, to prevent economies from crashing. We're all ducking to save ourselves from a scathing attack. The hearts are beating; questioning- panicking-calming-wondering. The hearts are also learning how to fight, how to slow down, how to be careful. These aren't easy times for many of us. Whilst there are smiles and triumphs, there are sighs and tears as well. We are likely to witness pain, disappointment, struggle and failure closely: in the eyes of an acquaintance, in the hugs of a loved one. In the calls for help on social media, in the announcements made by authorities. People close to us will burn out. How will we heal? By looking after oneself, foremost, and then each other. We can heal together. Let's attempt to fill up the air with a little faith, a lot of precautions, and the right kind of educated optimism. Babies are being born, and new mums are getting discharged after having being declared healthy. For there is a little girl, who is waiting for a tooth fairy, and a little boy who has just learnt how to walk. For there are dew drops on flowers, for the stars are shining. For, there's still a lot of love, hope, and faith left in this world. For, men and women are still working to keep the machinery if lives running. For whilst this may seem like a dreary end, maybe it is a chance to hit re-start. To lose something, to gain something. For this crisis is not going to leave us as rapidly and maybe we will have to watch it take over our life, our existence. It’s like a bee buzzing, with its rapidly moving wings bringing us down, each moment. Covering up the ears doesn’t help, one can still hear and feel the vibration, sometimes physically, many times, emotionally. One can’t run away from it. We have to wait for it to pass. Waking up every single day, with news of lockdowns is tough. Telling ourselves that tomorrow will be better, takes courage. How does one go about? By accepting it as a part of us, for now, for this moment. By learning how to live with an ache, which has both the power to make us weak and strong. No, it won’t get easy. Don’t fool yourself. You have to face it until it decides it’s done with you and leaves. Step up. Be humane, and act with responsibility. Most importantly, refrain from overflooding one another with 'information' that may benefit less, but add to the situation. When all this is over we'll together, globally, tell our story of how we all overcame what we are going through now, and it will become part of someone else’s survival guide. Until then, prioritise on staying safe and keeping others safe. Yes, just that. Let's create a safer world, shall we?