You’ve been on my lips almost every day, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you for weeks now. I’ve even been stalking you online—seeing what you’ve been up to lately, following your every move.
Clearly, you’ve captivated me like no other. And it’s crazy, considering how you came out of nowhere. I’ve never met anyone like you. You’re a show-stopper, there’s no doubt about it.
But right now, can I be perfectly honest with you?
I wish we never met.
Looking back now, it’s funny (in a sad way) how nobody took you seriously at first, myself included. I’m sorry many people laughed at you and made light of your presence; you shouldn’t have been treated that way. Maybe then you wouldn’t have caused as much devastation as you have so far.
I’ll never forget the day you barged into my life. I received news that a dear friend was going to be quarantined for two days because they suspected you may have gotten too close to her. They said people got sick because of you. Thankfully, you had kept your distance then, and she was fine.
That was just the beginning. I got to know you better when you started visiting places in my country, and the chaos you created became regional news. More and more people who mixed around with you fell sick. Naturally, we all got scared, and my work meeting as well as an overseas wedding trip I was supposed to go for got canceled because people just didn’t want to get into contact with you.
But nobody expected that you would take things worldwide. And for me, I only realized how attention-seeking you were when you derailed my travel plans to Japan. Did you have to? I was really looking forward to that holiday so I was upset, to say the least. Not only did we have to change our entire travel itinerary because of the commotion you caused, but you also deprived my friends of a much-needed break from their hectic work schedules.
Right now, I’m typing you this letter from home, because your bad reputation has preceded you . . . big-time. The last I checked, close to 535,000 people worldwide have been infected by you. So in a bid to lock you down, the authorities have “locked” us all down, encouraging all of us to stay home and avoid crowded places, to keep us safe from you.
Because of you, shops and entertainment venues have been closed. Airlines have cut flights because countries are banning short-term visitors from entering. Churches have shut down their services because they just can’t afford to give you the opportunity to lurk around and run amok.
Honestly, it feels so surreal. Many of my friends have compared what you’ve put us through to the zombie apocalypse—the only difference being that we can’t actually tell who the zombie is in our current situation. That’s probably why you’ve made everyone feel so paranoid and fearful.
Needless to say, your presence has completely disrupted not just my life but that of so many people around the world. Who would have known that you had that in you?
But if I’m being fair to you, I know that we can’t pin the blame on you entirely. After all, you wouldn’t have the influence you have if we had paid more attention to you and curbed your insidious behavior from the start.
Sure, you’ve turned all our lives topsy-turvy. But you’ve also opened our eyes to three things. One, we’re not in control of our lives. Two, we can control how we respond. Three, you don’t control our lives.
Holidays aside (you still owe me by the way), even things like gatherings with friends, having a job, a home, and good health, are not guarantees at the end of the day. Any of these could be taken away at any moment. These days, I count even being able to work from home a huge blessing.
And as much as I hate to admit it, we’re all responsible for the way we live our own lives—with or without you in the picture. Personally, I’ve heard and seen so many examples of selflessness and love in recent days. Of course, the same could be said of the converse. There’ve been just as many stories of selfish and irresponsible behavior. If not for anything, Corona, you’ve really tested us and revealed our true colors by intruding into our lives in such an unwelcome manner.
The other day, my colleague also reminded me that you’re really not that novel. After all, there have been other influencers like you in previous generations, some even more problematic and vindictive than you. But despite the chaos and disruption they caused, humanity ultimately prevailed and we saw some of the greatest acts of love and sacrifice during those times.
And I know it’ll be the same this time round too.
As much as I wish I could avoid you or shut you out completely, I know you’re here to stay—at least for now. But Corona, you don’t control our lives. In fact, I would daresay you’re only allowed to roam about because God allowed you to, just as He allowed the other influencers of old. But one day, your time will end, and the next influencer will take your place.
So in the meantime, I’d continue to keep tabs on your activity, but more importantly, fix my eyes on the one who is truly in control and can bring all this to an end any time He wants to.
Even if I’m cooped up at home for the next couple of weeks (or even months), I’d try my best to make every day count. I’d learn to count my blessings, live within my means and confines (I’ve been saving up more these days!), and reach out to those in need whenever and wherever the opportunities arise (you may have stopped me from physically meeting my friends, but have you heard of Zoom?).
Life still goes on—even if it means co-existing with you, Corona.