You Kill By Breathlessness
A letter to Coronavirus
I don’t know if it’s fair to you as though you’ve been with us all this time. But I was taught to respect all those from whom you get to learn things, even if it’s a single word. And you’ve taught us what life is, in due course of time. It’s really an act of kindness. For this at least you have my respect.
Every day I wake up to news about you. You have made this world an isolated place, and brought it to a standstill. Is that what viruses do? You have waged unseen war against human civilisation. Your efficient weapons attack biological fields, turning them into battlefields, and what we see are only dead bodies. Human bodies. Beyond count.
Now, as you multiplied yourself in us across the world, every day we hear of people getting trapped in your siege. You kill by breathlessness. You have a mighty army with you, a biological army, an army of unseen, untouched, unfearful soldiers who’ve set their sights.
The world in anger mocks and shames you. But it’s really important to understand you first. But how can we do that? I know you won’t ‘say’ anything, we have to do it ourselves. It’s better to join the threads you’ve left. That’s the only way.
The foremost thing you’ve taught is realisation. The realisation of life, the environment, health, power, humans and whatnot. You’ve made us realise that life and death are universal, along with suffering, pain and agony.
You have been called a pandemic. Yes, because you travelled across continents over the barriers that exist. You travelled with passengers from different countries in aircrafts without a passport or nationality which is of such importance in this world.
I want to know how you did this. Sorry it’s a foolish question to ask. If you travelled without being caught anywhere then why can’t our art, music and literature travel beyond borders? I think you’ve breached borders, security, laws, everything. Is it a good thing to do?
When you travelled across the world, I want to know specifically, how did you feel? Like how beautiful the world is.
You travelled to countries considered world powers and made them to rethink upon themselves. When you laid siege to them, they became powerless. Their mighty weapons, which can destroy this earth in a moment, became impotent. Because you controlled the people who control them.
You saved the world from being destroyed. You controlled everything. They couldn’t kill you and you were barely intercepted. I think you’ve got a bold strategy, that’s why you’ve come so far.
With all their might of nuclear weapons and military strength you made world powers kneel and surrender before you. You made their weapons ineffective and their plans of capturing the world, unfulfilled.
Even the countries struggling to become powerful, you’ve taught them a lesson. You brought the power structure into light. You taught us how there’s no virus greater than hunger for the hungry and shelter for the shelterless.
Shelter is considered to be a weapon against you. But what about those who don’t have one? And you must be knowing how people die from hunger every year. Not because of you.
This must mean that someone else is really more powerful than you. If you can reach them, a greater and more powerful virus can engulf them too.
You have taught us in general, and our governments in particular, why we need more hospitals than military camps, ventilators more than weapons, doctors more than soldiers, and ambulances more than vehicles of war.
You have become a spokesperson of the poor. But instead of helping them, we are making them struggle. We have left them jobless, hopeless. They have no idea how to deal with you. They can’t afford a fight against you. They’re tired already from fighting their miserable life. They don’t even know your name. You are strange to them.
I just want to tell you, you have failed in some respects. I’m sorry to say this but Yes, you’ve failed. You failed to kill hatred among us. You failed to engulf the spirit of communalism, hypocrisy, bigotry and hegemony in us.
You’ve failed completely in these aspects. Because they are deeply embedded and concealed inside our dark chambers, where your reach is impossible.
We have inherited them. We can’t easily give up on them. They are virus-proof.
You have been a teacher Corona, a strange and cruel teacher.
Lastly, I just want to ask: Have we failed or have you won? Have we won or have you failed?
I think we all know the answer.