“At Niguarda, a big hospital in Milan, they are not intubating anyone over 60.”

“The total number of cases rose from 17,660 to 21,157 in a day, the authority said.”

“Dr. Leonor Tamayo of the hospital in Cremona, east of Milan, has said that the hospital has run out of space to store bodies in the morgue and has been forced to keep them in a nearby church.”


I’m tired of changing channels. It is everywhere. It’s coming, it’s very near. A few more days and everything will be over. Mario Uncle couldn’t get a ventilator because he was over 60 years old – he died such a brutal death! The young boy Luca died too. So did Rosa, Angelo, Stella, Mario…the list is long. This novel coronavirus is killing everyone who comes in its way. Soon it will be my turn. I have used so many tissues to wipe my nose, and my coughing also isn’t stopping! But I can breathe normally. Am I infected? Am I also going to die? Seems like it since I am a smoker and a diabetic too! At least I know that within 14 days I will die. Let me talk to him before I gasp for oxygen and am unable to speak. A little misunderstanding and I lost my dear friend for a lifetime. We were there for each other through thick and thin but one misunderstanding destroyed our relationship.

Where is his number?! Oh…I had deleted his contact in anger! Now what? I don’t want to die without talking to him. I don’t want to die without telling him how much I miss him every day. His number must be in one of the old diaries. Not in this, not in this either. Where is it? Found it – Mishu!

Gloria cleared her throat and with shaky fingers, dialed her best friend Mishu’s number. It was ringing…

…and at the same time, she heard a song playing somewhere.

Here’s to the ones that we got

Cheers to the wish you were here, but you’re not

‘Cause the drinks bring back all the memories

Of everything we’ve been through

Toast to the ones here today

Toast to the ones that we lost on the way

‘Cause the drinks bring back all the memories

And the memories bring back, memories bring back you

*Cough* *cough* This coughing is uncontrollable. I think I have contracted this new disease from my roommate. He is in a critical care unit and his condition is worsening day by day. What will happen to me? Will I also… *cough* *cough* No, I don’t want to be pessimistic. Let me put on some music.

There’s a time that I remember, when I did not know no pain

When I believed in forever, and everything would stay the same

Now my heart feels like December when somebody says your name

‘Cause I can’t reach out to call you, but I know I will one day, yeah

Suddenly a name popped in my mind – ‘Gul’. I don’t know why I thought of her! It has been 3 years since our breakup. I broke up with her because she was too emotional and loved me too much. I felt suffocated then. I was not in love with her and she was not the only girl in my life then. I didn’t feel the need to explain myself and I unabashedly cut ties with her. She tried to meet me so many times. Even sent that emotional letter pleading to listen to her once, but nothing affected me then. How could I be so cruel? How could I be so stone-hearted! I feel disgusted. I need to apologize to her before something happens to me.

Firoz dialed Gul’s number. It was ringing…

I am proud of him but I am worried too! Being a doctor’s wife is never easy. He is working at the hospital day and night, treating COVID-19 patients. He hardly gets any time to talk to me or our children. Even though he takes all precautions, I am worried. What if he gets infected?

“Mummy, I washed my hands with soap. These days I am using too much water, but I promise once everything will get normal, I will save as much water as possible.”, my 8-year old daughter said.

“…and I will never ask for a canary as a pet now. I now understand that no one likes living in a cage.”

“Mummy, my online music teacher said that we should be grateful to our health workers, sanitization workers, and all those who are working for our safety and well-being in this lockdown period.”, my 12- year old son said.

“We are lucky that our father is a doctor and is fighting that dirty virus like a hero!”, my daughter exclaimed while punching the air.

“Yes, I told my teacher proudly that my father is a doctor.”, my son chimed in.

“Mummy, Guddi, listen to what I learned today in my class…”, said my son while playing the guitar and singing:

Everybody hurts sometimes

Everybody hurts someday, ayy ayy

But everything gon’ be alright

Go and raise a glass and say, ayy…

Yes, everything is going to be alright. I applauded my son and said, “Children, let me call your dad. He should be on a break right now and Ishan, sing this song on the phone for him.”

“Everything will be alright.”, Meera said loudly and dialed her husband Arun’s number. It was ringing…

Mankind is so complex! We show love, care, empathy, but also ego, anger, and cruelty. Sometimes in anger, we try to erase our memories but we can’t do so like Gloria. Sometimes we hurt someone so badly because we can’t tolerate their feelings like Firoz.  We take everything and everyone around us for granted. We only value something once we lose it. Strange but true, isn’t it?


Song courtesy: ‘Memories’ by Maroon 5 

Photo By: Nicholas Thomas

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Geeta Jena

Geeta spends most of her time indulging in her hobbies - teaching and writing. She has written short stories and poems in Gujarati and Hindi for her college magazine. During her tenure as a Pre-primary teacher, she has written rhymes and plays for her students. Her favourite genres are romance and supernatural.


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