Being locked in
Ranjita Biswas | @twfindia | 31 Mar 2020
Being locked in
Once in school, in the fourth or fifth standard perhaps, I remember that I had an attack of Chicken pox. So no school- strictly for 21 days. It had to be followed even though I had recovered quite soon.

My grandmother said so, my mother said so. At first, it seemed good fun. I could read all the story books I had kept piled up.


But after sometime as the fever subsided and I felt hale and hearty except for the occasional itching and could  enjoy all the good food specially prepared for me- no brinjal or egg though, believed to increase the itching, I started getting bored.


No friend was allowed in to avoid infection and I really missed my school. So I started ticking off the dates in the calendar- 14 days gone...oh no, another seven days to go.


Impatience even made me a little rude to people at home,  a bit demanding too. But I was soon put in my place by my mother who didn’t stand any nonsense. And that was that.   Those days we took it for granted that what parents said had to be adhered to.


At last, hallelujah!  The 21 days of confinement were over! School never seemed so welcome.


It’s not in human nature generally to enjoy a confined state if forced to remain so. .


Being locked in for 21 days now I suddenly recall  my Chicken pox  episode. Is there a significance  to 21 days or is it just a coincidence, I wonder.



This new virus Corona,  or Covid -19 is quite a regale figure isn’t it?  Virologists say the virus looks like a round globule with spikes jutting out- like a crown.


The Latin word ‘corona’ means garland or crown.  But now people all over the world would be hardly charmed by the image of a garland or a crown cowered as they are by Corona’s power over us poor mortals.


Again, is it a coincidence that in Germany’s Aachen Cathedral a little known, or forgotten, Saint Corona’s relics were being cleaned and was to go public display this April- before the virus struck? There is a  widespread belief that she is patron saint of viruses. Well, as Shakespeare would have reminded, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of.....”


The unknown force that has been unleashed with such force can easily be compared with the fury of Nature - in heaven and earth, and as an apt reminder how  small we humans are when Nature  is in mood for backlash.


Too much interference, too much arrogance- that we are the superior human race and now face the consequence, my old neighbor reminds again and again . Well take it or leave it, it’s an opinion of many.


Recalling once again of my confinement in school, I console myself – this too will pass. The world came out of the ‘Black Death’ plague, the Spanish Flue, Small Pox and such health challenges but of course, each with a devastating cost to human lives. Coronavirus has already written its name on this map of human tribulation.


Post the ordeal the important thing will be to introspect, what lessons we have learnt. Or after a year or two will it be business as usual? Until...God forbid!