Generations before us have lived through wars, revolutions and other disasters (no pun intended). Regardless of the fact that the calamity is natural or man induced, the human species has always persevered and prevailed. Our survival instinct is very strong and perhaps one of the reasons why mankind has ruled the planet for thousands of years despite middling the food chain. For someone who lives by the quote, “Death smiles at us all, all a man can do is smile back”, I am not afraid of almost anything (darkness and closed spaces being two exceptions). And honestly there’s no point in being afraid of something as inevitable as death. But having said that, what is happening out there right now is deeply disturbing. There is a deadly virus on the loose, a virus that can live outside a living host for up to three days, is highly contagious and no cure has been found yet. Upon registering such news, your thoughts quickly shift towards the people that you care about. You are worried for their security and well-being. And if those people are elderly and already combating multiple diseases, the fear multiplies. In a society such as ours, and certainly we aren’t as developed as many others, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs does not apply. In our social structure, love & well-being of our loved ones comes way before our own physiological and safety needs.

This is our generation’s war, an extraordinary event that will change things. The lasting effects it will have on something as big as globalization or as basic as personal hygiene. It is already changing the social etiquette. Some are billing it as a much needed break for the planet. It has however changed this generation’s views on mortality (even morality) and has made us rethink our scientific genius. Hundreds of thousands have died and the statistics on estimated spread of the disease are harrowing. Make no mistake; wars are not won by might but discipline, competence and responsibility. War, at best, is terrible but mankind has risen above these challenges. The answer is not complete and prolonged isolation, but more globalization and cooperation. We have been winning the wars on epidemics throughout history because mankind relies on information and not on blind mutations.

I am not a very religious man myself but having grown up in a conservative family it became a part of my system to always put 'tadbeer' before 'taqdeer' (strategy or effort before destiny). Either be a victim of circumstances or the master of your own fate. Here’s to better days, when the gloves come off and we throw our masks high up in the air… Here’s to when we hug each other again… fearlessly, and love audaciously… Here’s to hope!

P.S. It is no news that film stars, pop stars and athletes are modern age royalty. People listen to them, look up to them, want to read about them or simply be them. I do not intend on making this article a critique on our society, let alone on our people from the business called show. But if you want to gauge the seriousness and general attitude of our society towards the pandemic, a couple of examples should suffice. An express cricketer blaming china over cancellation of PSL while lecturing them on halal food at the same time & a popular star singing “Sub ke khayalon pe chaaya hai, ek virus matwala sa”. Trust me it could have been worse, “corona ke spike main ik nasha hai”. For heaven’s sake, have some respect for the people who have lost their lives and our doctors and medics that are on the frontlines.