Most important to die from Covid-19 is such a waste of death. To tell somebody that ‘he died from coronavirus’ is so pitiful. Why should somebody die from a virus that’s a lump of protein? And now scientists are asking the WHO to check if the coronavirus can stay airborne for extended lengths of time to infect at random. Imagine!

Points to the lacunae we are in. We do not know zilch about Public Enemy No.1! The creep is not going anywhere. Not yet. Not soon. Ask Kerala health minister Shailaja Teacher, a coronavirus ‘heroine.’ With the reputation of having bested the coronavirus in Kerala. Under her strict watch, Kerala got rid of the killer virus. She’s invited abroad to be felicitated and rewarded. Only to return to be told that Kerala is back to ‘infected’ and Shailaja Teacher’s hard work and dedication is all saltwater pummeling Kovalam beach. Frustration knows no bounds, limits.

Today, Kerala is back to fighting the coronavirus with a ‘triple lockdown’, and strict restrictions which will hold sway for 365 days, not one day less. The Malayali has been told that the state will not brook any infringement of the norms, the new normal. Whether Shailaja Teacher and chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan will win all over again or will the headstrong coronavirus mutate to pose another challenge is not known but the neighbouring states are looking toward Kerala and that with fingers crossed. For, what Kerala does ‘today’, other states do it ‘tomorrow!’

Quite naturally, then, the uncertainty is killing. The coronavirus is excruciatingly uncertain. Fickle like a goat. Concealing more than what it reveals about itself. Also, this whole thing about ‘asymptomatic’ is such a red herring. Man is bound for somewhere and lands someplace else! The inglorious uncertainty of the coronavirus is affecting people in peculiar ways. In Karnataka, for example, hospital/morgue staff are hurling the bodies of the Covid-19 dead in mass graves and walking away with nary a look back. No family, no friends, nobody close at the ‘funeral!’

How long? Asks the boy next door. Serious eyes. “Not till there’s a vaccine, or a cure.” He swallows and Adam’s apple bobs. “Any vaccine,” says POTUS Donald Trump’s top infectious diseases expert Dr. Antony Fauci, will provide protection only for “this cycle.” Meaning it might not be a shield against the coronavirus infection for a lifetime, the immunity inducted by the vaccine would be there only for a finite period yet to be determined. Well, at least DrFauci did not hold out high hopes.

That chore he has left to POTUS Donald Trump, who said July 4th, Independence Day that Americans can expect a Covid-19 vaccine by year-end and then all will be hunky-dory, so stop unseating Confederate icons from their high horses! Point is, the coronavirus pandemic has left the human race bucking like a mustang pony with a burr under the saddle. And while China wards off allegations of virus-dumping on the world, tens of scores of pharma companies are at work to get a vaccine out.

The vaccine hunt goes on, but the coronavirus is not “sitting” idle. It’s moving about, but not going anywhere. Meanwhile, people with nothing to do are checking the government’s ‘ArogyaSetu App’ and feeling jumpy after being told by the app that “at least nine people who are Covid-19 positive are living in the radius of 500 metres of you.”

What does that indicate? It means that the second best option is to leave the ArogyaSetu App alone! Shoot the messenger!! Even otherwise the sky is overcast, why darken the mood further? In the last week, one journalist died in New Delhi’s Gangaram Hospital and another jumped to his death from the fourth floor of the AIIMS Trauma Centre. Both were corona-positive. But while the one in Gangaram died “very fast” after admission, the other left behind a suicide note that points a dead finger at AIIMS authorities. Death by coronavirus?

Dr. Fauci says, “We are still knee-deep in the first wave of the pandemic!” Is he trying to scare us? But if he couldn’t scare President Donald Trump, how can he scare the whole human race? The fact is, the coronavirus and Covid-19 has been politicized – weaponised. Whether in the United States or in India, China or in Europe, Covid-19 is a hot political potato.

Even as authoritarian China faces flak for “originating and spreading” the coronavirus, Covid-19’s a weapon the hands of politicians in democracies. Doesn’t matter if people are dying! Americans are largely refusing to fall in line and that’s true also about hundreds of small towns in India, but make no mistake only frequent hand-washing, wearing a mask and social distancing will prevent the coronavirus from infecting more people.

Politicizing and polarizing with the coronavirus will not help anybody, neither in the short-term nor in the long-term. SARS-Cov-2 is manifestly different from the original SARS or MERS. This one is infinitely more patient and quite the master of disguise. It strikes predictably and unpredictably. Beware of the SARS-Cov-2. (IPA Service)