People do stupid things. People like my dad, and his friends, who are right now outside, in a gathering of around 10 people, talking about going door to door gathering information about people and corona awareness. No, you’re not wrong. It is stupid.
Sometimes I think that my dad is just bored. He’s like me. He can’t stay doing nothing. All of his life has been about work, and work he did. Ever since he was 12 all the way up to when his son is 29, all that he’s ever done is work. I have never seen him take a vacation. The only time I saw him not working was the time when got down with Jaundice. It was a scary episode. But even then, he worked his way out. He, a person who loves ranga ko sukuti and alcohol more than his eldest son on some days, went on a no-meat, no-alcohol diet and continued for 4 straight years. And he did not even need a bogus and mindless crutch like religion or spirituality, he just wanted to make his body better, and he did. He’s always been working. But now he’s not.
Unfortunately, the work that he has found for himself right now makes very little sense. Its surprising to see all the fathers of the tole working hand-in-hand to carry out this stupidity. They’ve formed an alliance, a league, a group of stupid irrational saviors like The Avengers. But may be its not surprising. May be all that a community does is just validate your insecurities. “Oh you’re worried about that stupid unlikely thing, I’m worried about that stupid unlikely thing too. Lets get together and worry about more stupid unlikely things.”
I don’t think people are stupid. But they do stupid things. People have been doing all kinds of stupid things throughout history. From forming religions to forming KPop Boy Bands, the world has been shaped by stupid things that people have done.
People aren’t stupid. They are scared. And fear begets hatred. Hate kills logic and reason. People are scared, but not of death, hunger, disease. We have been dealing with death, hunger and disease our entire existence. We have grown resilient. We have learned to fight, and accept defeat at times. They are old enemies. Enemies that we have grown to know over the millennia of existence. That is not what people are afraid of. People are afraid of the unknown. People are afraid of anything that they can’t define. They’re afraid because they can’t comprehend.
This virus, for example, is not deadly because it kills. It is deadly because we don’t know. We don’t know how it lives, how it dies, how it kills, how it can be killed, can it be killed? I am sure that if we are able to answer the basic questions, people will start to act a lot rationally. Even if the answers are the worst answers that we can expect, even if the answer is that we can never defeat this enemy, people will start responding better because they are not scared anymore. They know.
Artwork by: Sabin Bhandari