Virus Update

These days we scour the news looking for hope and information and minute to minute updates. Which country is the latest to succumb? Who is the latest to catch it? What will the new future be like? What is happening outside our doors and borders? The inflow of info is both overwhelming and underwhelming. We seem to learn nothing new other than what we have known from a couple of weeks. We need to self-isolate to flatten the curve.

The world and all of us are so tightly connected that it seems almost unbelievable that we live the way we do, day to day, rushing from one thing to another as though all that matters is that meeting we are going to present at or that argument we had or that meal we want to eat. It is incredible that we are so complicit in destroying the very planet we live on by our consumption and travel and mindless use of plastic and cars and almost everything else.

In India, workers without jobs are walking fifty miles or more to get back to their villages, crowding bus stations, the very antithesis to the current problem. Those who have no means of stockpiling food are in danger of not having enough food for the unforeseen duration of the virus life.

Meanwhile my children are able to study online, my husband and I work from our rooms, there is enough devices and privilege to keep us going. But what about the rest of the world? The ones who have no way to get home or far enough away from each other, the ones risking their life to keep the rest of us going, what about them? Because if there is one thing that is startlingly clear isn’t it this that we are not in this world, we are the very world we inhabit?

Love in the times of Coronavirus

I am on my way to Mumbai for an event I didn’t want to miss, to meet someone I have wanted to meet from a while, a last minute and really need to do and go travel.

And so here I am in Heathrow airport. At six in the morning it is not deserted but definitely not humming with activity. Through security in less than ten minutes. I should commend my excellent packing but there were only a few folks in front of me, a few behind, all of us with steely expressions of we have to do this and we are ok and we will all be ok expressions on our yet to drink coffee faces. A small group of Asian men with disheveled hair wearing face masks stand in a small group talking to each other. Not many people traveling the lady behind the counter at Duty Free tells me. Buying deodorant and face cream are symptoms of my vanity and optimism. The headlines on white newspapers inform us in CAPSLOCK that the NHS is preparing for an epidemic.

I told my husband this morning before leaving that it would serve us, the world of adults burning up everything with our plastics and airline travel and fossil fuels and cutting down of forests, if the children of the future in a subconscious state of self preservation were carrying a virus that did not effect them but only us.