Streets are empty, shops are closed and people are stockpiling food and other essentials at home. There are loads of war analogies around. We are at war with an invisible enemy, they say. Some reassure people that we will beat that ‘enemy’. It feels like the end of the world for some since the pasta and toilet roll shelves at the supermarkets are empty. Perhaps watching too many post-apocalyptic movies is not good for anyone.
I am writing this from Britain, where the shelves are indeed empty. Not just for non-perishables that you can stockpile for months, but also the fresh food ones. The funny thing is, today it was announced that, since this storm has started, in three weeks, people have stocked food costing £1 billion. One-billion-pound-food stays at homes in Britain. Not to be touched, not to be eaten. 1 billion pounds.
It seems basic instincts take over. The survival mode is on. It is nasty and funny. We are facing a pandemic. It is a serious thing. The pandemic itself is no joke. But, our response to this calamity is like a joke. A pandemic, by definition, is something that you can not survive by yourself. By definition, it is like a tsunami. The only way to survive a pandemic is to respond it collectively and with solidarity. Even a full-fledged Tory government decided to pay the wages, against every policy they have been imposing and preaching for years and years. But, we keep stockpiling food and toilet paper at home. We keep depriving our most vulnerable of reaching very essentials daily basis.
When this storm is over, we will all look back. We will look back to how we responded to this, how we acted. Don’t do things that you’d be ashamed of when this is all over. Remember, all is not fair in love and war, and this is neither love nor even war.