Sam started his holidays on a lazy note. He would wake up late, have a yummy breakfast and then would spend time on books, gadgets and spend time with his parents. They both had cut down their working hours and were spending more time with him. Covid incidence in his country was on decline, and the parks, outdoor places were opening up so they had started going for morning walks.
One morning, he woke up hearing an intense discussion in his parents room. He closed his eyes but couldn’t go back to sleep as he could feel a seriousness in their talk. Finally no longer able to sleep, he walked to their room. His parents changed the topic immediately and started asking him about the book he was reading. He too forgot about this incident during the day.
Late in the evening, he came to know that his great grandfather was very ill. He had been running very high fever for last few days and today morning his covid test had come positive. He did have little breathing difficulty. By late night, he was getting very uncomfortable breathing and they had shifted him to ICU. Next he heard was that they might put him on that breathing machine. He couldn’t remember what his dad called it, but he had heard that at his age it might be just a matter of few days.
Everyone was sad. Meanwhile others in the extended family of his had all fallen sick and tested positive for covid. All of them were in quarantine. Some had just fever, and some just fatigue. Some had no complaint, whatsoever. Yet no one of them could go and be with Chocolate Baba. He used to call him Chocolate baba because whenever sam would go to meet him, he would silently take sam to the grocery shop and bribe him with chocolates.
Such is this disease! Those who get sick are secluded and isolated so that they don’t make others sick. He had read in papers that when the disease had spread in Italy, people could not even be with there to say prayers for those who had died. There were so many dead that the army had to take the responsibility of burying the dead. In America, an entire family had got wiped away due to this disease.
“Will chocolate baba be ok?” Sam asked his mom.
“I don’t know, Sam. He’s too old and don’t know if his old body would be able take the stress of this infection. He must be so much in pain, yet we can’t do anything about it. And, I don’t know if we would be able to meet him once” She said
“Don’t you worry! He’s lead a good life.” She added seeing Sam so sad.
The next day they got a phone call from his uncle saying that his Chocolate baba had passed away.
When they had come over to this country, his dad would always say, it would just take me 5 hrs to be home if emergency comes. A tiny virus had proved him wrong. No longer were they able to say goodbye. No longer could they be with the family when it was needed. In any community two events are important. The celebration of birth and the prayers and mourning for the dead. Have you ever wondered why these are community events. In the 1st to celebrate life and the new beginning, and in the later, to remember the good life one had lead and because sharing sorrow makes it easier. Now, they were left alone in the sorrow miles apart.
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