Life under lockdown: What will be, will be
The coronavirus has left to us to fear the unknown, to worry about what will be tomorrow.
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As the birds chirp louder and happier than ever before, as the bark of the street dogs becomes more present and persistently so, we humans are left with gut-wrenching questions. It is left to us to fear the unknown, to worry about what will be tomorrow. The hows, whats and whys of the post-Covid-19 world and the new Corona world.
Will the pandemic resurge? If it does, will I catch it? Will my loved ones be safe? Can my partner and I survive another seemingly endless lockdown together? Will we live to see tomorrow?
Businessmen have additional questions. Can I reopen my business? Can I pay employees their salaries? If I can, will it function exactly the same way? Will my employees come back to work? Will customers come out in the same numbers? Will they expect exactly what they loved before?
Businesses need to strategise for a future that is as unclear to predict. Many new practices will need to be learned. A leap of faith and deep pockets, thinking beyond personal gain are the call of the hour. No soothsayer me, but I predict the restaurant industry will comfort its base by replacing insta-worthy pics of food and drinks with insta-ugly photos showcasing their hygiene and cleaning standards and procedures. Each doing a louder job than its competitor to show off its new skills around clean environs.
Many of the practices that made businesses tick will remain relevant. Restaurants that survive this time of lockdown blessed with visionary leaders will open almost like nothing happened. Opening to the thrill of their patrons rediscovering their comfort foods and favourite cocktails, wines and spirits.
And then, for the betterment of our greater fraternity that we share across the planet, our human collective will strive to see life as we lived yesterday change its ways to reflect what we’ve learned in our Corona reflections. Seeds sown about what to do differently will bear fruit. It will require time, some living, and much learning before the harvest takes us to a new fairer-for-all playing field.
But that might be too utopian and grand a thought.
Human beings have thick skins, short attention spans, and better memories in our muscles than in our minds. Being creatures of habit, we could find our old lives comforting and charming. This pandemic and the meltdowns it brought about might be soon forgotten. We will be back to business as usual.
It’s too bad that capitalism isn’t easily forgotten. Capitalism trumps humanity, sympathy, empathy and fear. Bottom lines can outweigh our newfound respect for hygiene at home, in our streets, at our restaurants, and other public places. When the cost for security for all hits our wallets, our muscle memories can bring back selfish old and even more costly behaviours.
I hope I am wrong. I am reading and reflecting, writing and singing, and most of all, gardening away and sowing for a tomorrow with new beginnings. But I am also a realist. After 27 years of living in New York City, I am afraid that even Covid-19 is no match for capitalism.
(Courtesy of Mail Today)