You are standing alone in a field. Your mind is throwing everything at you. Your fears. Your insecurities. You miss your family. You miss your friends. You wish you could go outside or maybe for a drive. Your kids are irritating you. Your boss may not pay you. The restrictions of quarantine are more than what you expected it to be. Everyday the numbers rise, the death tolls rise, and the severity of what is happening plays on your mind. You think no one understands. You think you are alone.
Now close your eyes, and picture this:
A toddler is in his room all alone. He is quiet because he just got scolded at by his parents all because what he wanted… was their attention. They are never home, but suddenly they are there every day. He does not understand that they are worried about their future or their bills. Those words do not mean anything to him. All he wants is someone to play with.
A fourteen-year-old girl with headphones in her ears. She is trying to block out the sounds of her parents fighting. This time her father does not have alcohol to make him sleep a little earlier. Her mother is unprotected because the police are on the streets. She is worried that when he gets bored, he will come through her door next.
A matriculant is texting his girlfriend, he tells her he misses and cannot wait to see her. He then texts each one of his friends. He spends hours talking to them. His mother screams at him every day to get off his phone, to do something other than nothing. He does not know how to explain that his friends are the only ones who understand what he is going through. He is worried about his examinations. He has no idea what the effect of school being closed for so long would have on his future.
A student is pacing in her dorm room. She is miles away from her family trying to build her future. Her examinations were supposed to be held, but now things are changing. The administration says they will get back to her, but time is running out. She does not know how to prepare. She does not know what happens when the restrictions are lifted. She does not know what happens to her student loans if she is asked to extend her semester.
An intern is sitting at his computer, scrolling through possible job vacancies. He is worried about how this will affect his fieldwork. Would the company he is interning for keep him? Or would they ask him to leave and he must start all over again? He shakes his head with tears in his eyes because suddenly the future does not look so bright anymore.
An administrative assistant is biting her nails. She is terrified that she is going to lose her job. She does not know whether she will be paid for this month. Her bank account is empty and her bills are due. The rate of unemployment is high, and she knows she will not stand a chance. She is worried that the bank may attach her belongings. Her name may be blacklisted. Her cell phone service will be cut. Suddenly, she has no hope for the next day.
A man that suffers from depression is lying in bed with the curtains drawn. He does not see the point in getting out and facing another day alone. He cannot see his friends. He cannot see his family. Phone calls and video calls while soothing, are not the same as being with them. Even though he was alone in life, he could walk amongst a crowd and feel a little less lonely. But now, now he has no idea what the point of life is anymore. Its been thirty-odd days, he cannot do it anymore.
A businessman is tossing back drink after drink and smoking cigarette after cigarette as he studies his financials. There was no revenue this month. There were no new clients. He has got staff that is looking to him to pay their salaries. He has got a family that is looking to him to pay their bills and feed them. He wonders what is going to happen to everything he worked so hard for.
There is a woman out there whose mother just passed away from the deadly virus. She is in another state and cannot travel to bury her. She is alone in her grief. She cannot make sure that her mother is dressed in her favourite garment. She cannot ensure that religious practices are followed. She does not have any hope of her mother’s soul finding peace. Mostly, she regrets she could not see her one last time.
There is a seventy-year-old man staring out the window with worry etched on his face. He needs groceries. He needs his pension money. He has no one to come look after him should he fall ill. After all, he is the one the virus will come for first. His family has abandoned him, and the laws forbid him. Only one thought flits through his mind, whether he eats or whether he goes out… the outcome will still be the same.
There are a doctor and a nurse watching each other from over the hospital bed of a victim. Their masks and gloves protect them. But it does not hide the fact that their chests rise a little faster with worry, their eyes burn with unshed tears of yet another life lost, and their hands? Their hands shake with the weight of the expectations of the victim’s loved ones.
There is a homeless man sitting on the street. The ratty excuse for a blanket does nothing to protect him from the cold nights. There are no shelters and some of them turn him away. He does not understand what people are saying. He does not know what the terms social distancing and hygiene are. He does not know anything besides the fact that he goes to sleep at the corner of the street with only his stomach to complain to him.
There is a police officer taken away from his family and put onto the streets to ensure that people follow the law. After all, that was the oath he took. Yet he cannot help but worry whether he would accidentally carry the virus home to his family. His country needs him, and he… needs his family.
There is a scientist working day and night trying to find a cure. She looks at her data and she tried her concoctions, but nothing is working. She cannot take it anymore. The pressure is rising. Her shift is over, and she can go home. She looks at the television and sees the devastation, she turns around in her chair and gets back to work.
There is a president. He is sitting in on meetings. He is conversing with hundreds of people telling him what he should and should not do. He is worried about his country. One wrong move and the country is dropped into poverty. One wrong move and the country’s population decreases by a fast attacking virus. He cannot address his nation without stumbling across the ball of emotion and fear in his throat.
So, did you picture them?
Did you see their struggles?
Did you pick up on how many of them are going through what you are going through?
Now go back to your field, and slowly open your eyes…
𝙔𝙤𝙪 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙖𝙡𝙤𝙣𝙚.
copyright 2020@Yajna Ramnath.