The ice-cold trail Covid leaves behind

Bikram Vohra
Filed on September 3, 2020 | Last updated on September 3, 2020 at 03.55 pm

Yesterday, I just got on a plane and went home for the weekend. Now it takes more hassle and preparation to even get started than it would mounting an expedition to Everest. I look at my passport and never has it been so sidelined as it is now.

I go online now to buy food but not that air ticket where I got my jollies choosing a meal and a seat and oh no, my favourite one is taken and then came the message that your reservation is done. Welcome aboard! So heavy is the nostalgia in us flight vets that I do not blame airlines in the Far East for selling onboard meals to those suffering from withdrawal symptoms. I get you guys, one can go crazy if you haven't had your 'tear at the cellophane and rip the ketchup pod' fix for six months. And then after you have scoffed all that plastic stuff, the fun you have whining about how awful it was, uh oh, here is a crumb that got missed. Sanctuary in food. That is what it is all about.

We used to have potluck, now neither pot nor luck get a look in. Instead, we push people away. Sorry, no can do, we are social distancing, not yet comfortable with the figures.

I loved going to the beach, slamming into that first gasping wave, but now it has been six months and I haven't got the nerve. People say you have to start living again, but that is exactly the nub. If you start living again, you could expose yourself to this flipping virus and die trying to live. Omigoodness, did I just say that? Touch wood, touch wood, touch wood. Send out good vibes.

You get up every morning and you wonder when is this going to end? Your laughter with some pain is fraught and everything is so banal. You are not only a lot more superstitious and nerve-wracked, you are also vulnerable to everyone's advice and even the mice speak with authority. Don't do this, do that, are you crazy, you are taking a risk, avoid it, perhaps the only thing we should lose is the weight of other people's opinions, it is such a burden.

I miss friends, I miss breathing normally, playing squash, moaning about people coming late to a party (now they do not come at all). I miss the freedom of movement, the constant worrying about a masked life, the spontaneity of having fun, now I feel guilty about enjoying myself and when, for a brief, shining moment, I indulge, a grey cloud glides over things and says, how can you have a good time, you insensitive, boorish man.

Also, I am a browser. Like in bookstores. And now I am angry that I am afraid to touch stuff. I could supermarket for hours, investigating cut-rate, two-for-one items, checking out the aisles, now I haven't been in one for yonks. We get cold, antiseptic online delivery.

That is what Covid-19 has done. Not just left things untouched by human hands, but by human emotions.
bikram@khaleejtimes.com


 
 
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