COVID tales for the future kids

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2020 will go down in history as the year of the virus crisis. Youngsters share what they will tell their kids in the future about the pandemic

RAMANDEEP KAUR | NT KURIOCITY

There are some events in life that we remember for decades. And this year, 2020, will be especially remembered for the coronavirus pandemic, a crisis situation, that the future generations will learn about from us.

Indeed, while the generations to come will be much more technology savvy and will no doubt be able to have all statistical data about the pandemic on their fingertips, the struggles for survival during these unprecedented times and the unplanned lockdown after lockdown, will be what V Rhea Fernandes, an advocate from Cansaulim, will focus on sharing. “I will tell of how some walked miles to reach home while some sat safe at home, and how some were welcomed to their village with a chemical solution bath while politicians played games to keep those stranded away from home,” she says. Further, she says, her father always told her to save for a rainy day and that is something that she will pass on to the future generation.

Bharatanatyam dancer, Impana Kulkarni meanwhile will narrate how an entire epic was born out of it, like the rise and fall of nations and governments, conspiracies, new farmer heroes, mass deaths, migration, a new-found empathy and self-sustainability, and tonnes of heart touching stories.

Pranav Nerurkar, a student from Panaji will also especially remember and share how their generation plundered the Earth, filled the sky with smoke, rivers with poison, and oceans with plastics. And how they created non-stop wars. “We just kept going on with our life without caring about the Earth and all its creatures,” says Nerurkar. And thus, he says, we were taught a lesson to remember to respect the Earth.

“Coronavirus has served as a grim reminder about how humans have taken over the Earth, exploited resources and habitats of every other living species,” agrees Navleen Kaur, a student. “It has reminded us that not only do humans not own the planet but that our life is about respectful cohabitation, and unless we learn to coexist, nature will find extreme ways to reclaim its space. Through all this pandemic chaos, we learned our lessons of keeping Mother Earth safe,” says the Ucassaim-based youngster who will also remember it as a year of sanitisers and the importance of hygiene.

And indeed 2020 has been the year that changed the game for most of us, believes Jeruel Paul who is pursuing an Integrated MBA at Goa University. Everyone, he says, was looking forward to the start of a new decade, new careers, groundbreaking technology, a huge boom in the economy, etc. “But the year has changed technology, economy, and relationships. It brought the whole world to a sudden halt and shook the very core of humanity. The year brought us back to our very roots, confining each one to themselves and their families, between four walls. It taught people to make do with what they have and to save up,” he says. However, a resident of Caranzalem, he believes that at the same time, it changed things for the better too. And this is something he will want to share. “People healed, nature bloomed and people understood the value of families, of friendships, of humans,” he says. “It took us a global pandemic and distancing, to understand the value of things we often took for granted and to truly learn what it is to be human.”

Benaulim-based Russell Barreto who is studying at Vellore Institute of Technology at Tamil Nadu will remember that 2020 was the year that humanity was collectively put back in its place by a virus. “It was a reminder that Mother Nature always has the last laugh. We learned how fast the world could rejuvenate if given the chance, how quickly our air got purer, our rivers cleaner and our noisy cities, deadly silent. We learned what essential work really was and that we could live without a lot of things we thought we needed,” he says. Besides this, he will tell the future generations of how we spent time with our families and with our thoughts too, and were forced to stop running our cars and our mouths. He will also share how we were forced to sit still, to see all the things we like to avoid, like how we treat our poor, and how animals must feel to be caged up, and how our economies for the first time suffered as much as our forests and our wildlife always have. “But I will also tell of how resilient we were, how we dared to hope even under the direst circumstances, and when we finally went outside again, we were more human than we had ever been before,” he says.

Shikha Lagali, a student from Margao, will also remember how this crisis, although sad and shocking was also a learning experience, how the air was cleaner and yet we couldn’t step outside without our face masks. She will talk about how people realised the importance of time, health, the importance of valuing their family, and most importantly valuing nature.

And while the COVID-19 pandemic has had a million hardships, entrepreneur, Sanjeeta Bhat will also remember it for all the quality time she got to spend with family. “I will tell my kids how a tiny virus put a break on busy lives and gave our body the needed rest which we always dreamt of! I will tell them that I can cook a variety of dishes all thanks to COVID-19 break,” says Bhat from Margao.

Writer Priya Dalvi will remember the trials of stepping out, the memes, how Netflix was a saviour, and how positive was the new negative. She will also tell of how they almost role played from chefs to barbers. “Perhaps COVID was God sent for us to introspect into matters we otherwise would not have. With life condensed to simplicity and minimalism then, we took our lessons on valuing resources, money, people, time, food, and cleanliness,” she says, and adds in a lighter vein: “Perhaps then the younger generation will understand why I constantly tell them to wash their hands 51 times a day!”