The Silver Lining

Some say it is the end of the world. Priests and muslim clerics are having the time of their life, proving how on point the predictions of the koran and the Bible are about the end of times. As for me, amidst all these theories, I find myself confused, my beliefs questionable, my skepticism in a sour battle with my pragmatism.

If you ask my mum why all this is happening in the world,why we are suddenly thrown off our realities by the Corona virus pandemic, she will tell you very self-assuredly,” All this is because of God. If he wished He could take away all our problems in life.Especially mine….” Then she would go on ranting about how unfair God has been to her for making her life difficult. How she allowed for her to be a young bride, how He watched and did nothing to stop her from ruining her life by marrying the absolutely wrong men and giving birth to us.Blasphemy! Anyways this is her song to which I had no choice but to get accustomed over time.

There are so many ways someone can make you feel like the world is going to end. The news channels like CNN,ALJAZEERA, have not spared the world with all the Corona virus  updates showing how everyone is going to die very soon. The movies and TV shows, like the Walking Dead, did not help us relax during this pandemic, if only, they excited our imagination, and in some weird folks like myself, our mental preparation to prepare for the worst days when I will  probably be, the last woman on Earth or perhaps,at the very least, my town.(Imagine all the fun I could have at the grocery stores, all the chocolates and chips I could binge on, for free).

Coming to a more serious tone, I have found myself wondering exactly what God has planned for us, his children. One day I struggled to sleep and went up to the roof of my building, to gaze at the stars dancing  in the night sky.I like to talk to the night sky, specifically the moon and somehow, deep down, I always felt God or the creator or the Universe or something powerful, was listening to me question the purpose of all of this we call, living.

I lie down  on the bare cement floor facing the sky, trying to breathe in and out, relaxing, meditating-mostly, me tuning in to my thoughts about why we are even here in this world in the first place. In the process, on a good cloudy night, I focus on the passing clouds, trying to see if I can read the shapes in them. Almost wishing they were messengers who were passing by, to take my worries, fears, questions and wishes, to deliver them wherever they were heading to. I imagine the clouds soaking up all  of my tension and worry like a sponge, or a universal therapeutic stress-dustbin wherein people can throw out their frustrations and burdens and feel better afterwards.

On this particular, star-lit,calm, midnight sky, I gazed at the moon and the only recurring thought in my mind was, “Why? Why is all of this happening to the world?Why suddenly, our present and futures are unpredicatble and uncertain. How come we are so vulnerable, that one minute we wake up and everything is good with the world,and the next minute, a virus hits the world and everyone fears for their lives, people lose their jobs,  and the world stops making sense.”It is hard to think of anything else , when the media is going crazy, predicting the world is going to end soon. How long until the virus comes to your town and mine to wreck havoc and kill us? When will the world be normal again, if at all?

Times like this, everything we took for granted comes to light. You will think we had a right to live life the way we normally did before the virus struck, going about our days, our lovely routines. You would think we could object and somehow control our lives and make sure nothing ever disturbed how we struggled to survive in our normal lives. If the world was already hard enough, if making a living took all our energy and time from enjoying even the littlest things in life,  like taking a walk by the beach, or gazing at the stars in the night, how then are we prepared for lockdowns, isolation, suffocation and possible nervous and anxiety attacks or depression? If only the world gave a warning before it decided to turn on us like this. If only people had time to prepare.

The things we took for granted  on a daily basis, once upon a time, were things like waking up everyday healthy and able, taking a shower,because there is plenty of water and no viral pandemic that exhausted and stretched the town’s water supply,in a small town overwhelmed by all those people who fled cities to escape the virus, holding hands with your beloved, eating out in a restaurant, watching Frozen 2 in a theatre, traveling around the world, attending weddings,parties, get-togethers(even a burial at this point isn’t so bad an event,just to get outside and be onewith neighbours, the community to be there and to belong). The air we breath we took for granted, fasting in a normal ramadhan for muslims this time round will be far from normal, not to mention Eid, should the situation in the world continue to deteriorate.

What can we do? To whom can we turn? If there is the creator, or God, does he care?Will this virus be a pestilence in the history books tomorrow? Is this the end of the world? So many questions, and now answers.

They say this is not the first time disease and pestilence terrorized the world. Centuries ago,the Black death spread across Europe and claimed millions of lives. Today, Corona virus or the so called Covid-19 virus that broke out in a chinese province in Wuhan, and spread across the world all the way to Kenya, Africa,  has claimed almost one and a half million lives and counting. Any disease that breaks out in this time and era will spread all over the world granted, because of technology, which just quadruples the chances of this world becoming like a scene from the Walking Dead. Anything is possible in today’s world. I wouldn’t be surprised if the virus could as well be transmitted through phones and computers, in a way  that if you talked to someone who had Corona virus through the phone or skyped them or facetimed them, you would get it. I guess this is a disaster the future generations, that is if our generation ever survived this virus, will have to deal with.  Before, diseases like HIV and AIDS and cancers never existed. What then are we doing wrong? We are slowly killing ourselves and making our species extinct. Maybe, the world is soon to end afterall. Maybe, we as humans are self-destructive beings who have endangered animal species, cut countless trees for toilet paper, poisoned the very air we breathe, and now we can add eradicating our very own species to that list!

On a more positive note,let us use this idle time in the safety of our homes, to read a book or two, refresh our talents and humanity as well as enjoy the company of ourselves and those we were so fortunate or in some cases, unfortunate to be stuck with during the lockdown. See you if we survive this thing, in the next blog. And, before I forget, don’t forget to gaze at the stars and the moon tonight!While it will not change the condition world is in right now, it will atleast, change your world.




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