Man (not-so) kind!

Deshna Mohanty
3 min readMar 14, 2021

About a month ago, on a Saturday afternoon, I sat on my bench alongside my classmates, lazily discussing on how we were burdened with assignments.

Side by side, we were giggling about finding relatable memes on social networking sites. That’s when I stumbled upon a random video that was a CCTV capture. It showed how a woman living in the Coronavirus — struck Wuhan doing absurd things that nearly shook me!

The woman went around spitting in the corridors of her apartment, not leaving behind even doorknobs and handles. Just in a few seconds, she spotted a CCTV camera right above her. I thought to myself that at least now she would stop. But, to my disappointment, she spat at a doorknob located right next to her even after having known the fact that she was being recorded! What was to happen next? It was shown that she had tested positive for the deadly virus and that the entire apartment where she lived, had to be sealed.

Just then, the bell rang, and my teacher entered the class and started teaching. I couldn’t come to terms with what I had just seen. It is a weekend, we were let off early. I took the bus back home. Home is far off from college. I had lots of time to look out of the window, listen to music and observe people around.

Just then, the driver applied brakes, leaving all of us a little displaced, clinging onto the seat ahead, or the rods around. The video I watched before surfaced on my mind once again. I happened to suddenly take off my hand that clung onto the seat ahead. The bus was gaining its pace after the sudden brakes, while I was losing my calm. What if someone just spat on the seat that I earlier clung to?!

Coronavirus had just begun in India with only 2 or 3 cases. So, having such thoughts was superficial at that point. But the mind is more powerful than anything in the world. And my mind kept thinking about that woman, and I couldn’t distract myself.

As days passed by, more such incidents came to light. Some north-east people in India were being beaten up because they looked “Chinese enough” to spread the virus around. Some tourists from China who were stranded off were being thrown out of hotels and had nowhere to go to seek shelter. Those with travel history to foreign countries dated several weeks ago were being cornered by their neighbours. The common man sat panicked at home, but Bollywood celebrities hid their travel history for the mere attention they would get by attending ‘high-profile’ parties.

Slowly, there came a situation where the entire nation was locked down for a not-so-definite period. Those who once said, “Lock me up in a room with internet. I need nothing else” were the ones desperately trying to get out of their homes only to be beaten up by the cops around for disobeying the quarantine.

Mothers no longer ordered their sons to run errands and get pudina with a few complimentary green chillies. Fathers ended upbringing groceries and hand sanitisers in bulk.

While several families prepared for the worst, the Coronavirus hit a reset button, emphasising “co-existence.” Nature has begun reclaiming its space. Dolphins returned to their coasts due to missing crew ships. A bunch of Egyptian geese was spotted crossing runways which otherwise is normally crowded with aeroplanes and people. Swans have begun showing up, thanks to the public, giving them their space.

Man hasn’t been kind to anybody. Not to other species and not to one another. Not before, not now. In this journey from ‘man-kind’ to ‘man-not-so-kind’ we’ve forgotten that we don’t own this planet. We were ought to share this planet with all the other existing beings. But we’ve ended up exhausting all of them for our greeds. We might repent now, but I’m afraid it’s too late already!