In 1 Week! – Covid-19

I had written this to be posted on last Monday: I then decided to not post it since everyone was worried about the Coronavirus. It is an eerie reminder of how quickly things can change.  How drastically they can change. 

Due to the pandemic of Covid-19, Bay area was issued a Shelter-in-place mandate.

It had been a regular, noisy midweek day. The trains tattled and battled their way through to the city. Cars whizzed around on roads & freeways. In the city, planes, trains and automobiles honked and blared their way through the streets. Ambulances and fire trucks screeched by.  The elevators and public transit announcements were incessant and usefully useless to the point of comic relief. 

“Elevator F, F as in Foxtrot, opening doors, closing doors, Elevator F, F as in Foxtrot. ”

“Now arriving at Bay Fair.  Doors are opening. Doors are closing. Now departing Bay Fair”. 

Even at the gas station, it seemed the world was intent on tugging my attention towards world events – a screen blared CNN news in the few minutes it took to fill the gas tank. By the time I made it back to the home, I was craving for some quiet. But the bustling urban noises went on – humming and drumming out the quiet. 

We have become such noisy inhabitants of this planet. I would like to hear how we sound in outer space – I hope our atmosphere provides for a decent enough insulating layer. 


I then went on to write about a book that calls out the different kinds of Quiet in the world, but I shall save it for another day. Quiet – By Deborah Underwood

Like everyone around us, I am still in a state of shock at the rapid change in world affairs. Where last week, I wrote about the noises in the environment, this week I am writing about the eerie feeling that links us all together – the lack of noise on roads, the lack of noise from the joyous parties with happy people singing into the night, the lack of laughter even. The world has become a sober place.

Our street has not looked this empty since the time I went for a walk during Super Bowl. People are scurrying with their heads bent in worry and hands full of supplies to calm anxious minds in the stores that do remain open. Shelves are empty.  We have so many doom sayers, we need more doom slayers. 

Never has so much changed so rapidly and this drastically in my lifetime. It truly makes me appreciate the delight of the ordinary. Social media has given me a bad case of wanting to read about anything else – 10 things to consider before buying soap anyone? What happened to those posts?

“It is like that David Vs Goliath story huh Amma? You know the virus against humans?” said the little fellow the other day, and I smiled at the analogy.

It’s true: Covid-19 has created ruckus. If ever we thump our chests on how high and mighty we are as a race, the humblest virus is there to bring us down to size.

When I started writing the piece above, I did not anticipate in my wildest dreams that such a scenario would pan out, and yet it did in 1 week. In the past week, the World Health Organization classified Covid-19 as a Pandemic, and world-wide countries started responding with varying levels of success to contain the spread of the disease. This post reminds me of the normal then, and the new normal we are adapting to. Everyone is worried by the effect of the virus on us; on hospitals, nurses and doctors; on the infrastructure and economy.


Image By https://www.scientificanimations.com, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Please watch: TED Talk By Bill Gates in 2015 where he says that our next big catastrophe to prepare for is not missiles but microbes.


The Joy of Quiet

2011 seems like a blur. An important blur on the timeline of my life. The year my Tucky was born. I savour the beauty of my pregnancy, the occasional impatience to see my little one while pregnant. Then, the beautiful moment of seeing his face. I shall always remember my daughter traipsing into the delivery room dressed in a fine party dress. When I quizzed her about the choice of clothes, she gave me an exasperated look and said, “Amma, Tucky is seeing me for the first time today. Of course, I have to wear my best clothes!” She quickly added that she knew I couldn’t help being shoddily dressed for the occasion since I was in hospital (Always considerate for my feelings, my little one is!). Oh! The innocence and beauty of it all. The essence of all I admire about life.

We get but one life and what we choose to do with it is our choice. There are so many venues competing for your time and attention that if one is to become a decent success at anything and make the commitment of time, we feel it had better be worth it. But how does one determine what draws the lottery of the limited time available?

I think this is the best past-time and the one that is most prized. Enjoying the maze of our own thoughts, a calm in the chaos.

I quote:

Nothing makes me feel better — calmer, clearer and happier — than being in one place, absorbed in a book, a conversation, a piece of music. It’s actually something deeper than mere happiness: it’s joy, which the monk David Steindl-Rast describes as “that kind of happiness that doesn’t depend on what happens.”

Here is to finding that calm and that peace in us in 2012.

Happy New Year all!

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