The pain of being infected with the corona virus pandemic is beyond imaginable not because of the physical symptoms but with its unseen deep underlying longer effects which is the destruction of social relationships among the communities, friends and even among closest of kit and kin.


A personal experience, when one member of the family who is a frontliner and working at a hospital got suspected of being infected due to one patient treated and unfortunately died of pneumonia later in another hospital. Wonder of all wonders, the dead body underwent an autopsy and came out to be positive of covid-19 virus. There started guessing and suspicions of wider contaminations and contact tracing for those who have made contact with the said patient in the said hospital. It ended with all the concerned personalities underwent swab tests and all quarantined in unnamed isolation center here in the locality. Luckily, the family member was already released duly certified by health authorities “free of any virus infections” from the start to the end of their isolation. We may never say they even enjoyed their stay in the isolation center for there is still the pain of being separated from the family but never had bad experiences of the symptoms.

However, being a family member we and the whole household also had to undergo strict “home quarantine” for the period. Our sukor to Allah for none of the family member experienced any kind of unusual feelings much more any symptoms of the covid-19 throughout the period of home lockdown.

On the other hand, the invisible pain started when surrounding neighbors started to close their windows and even doors permanently. The noise of youth and children playing around started to fade away until completely. The usual neighbors hi’s, hello’s salams and casual chats no more. And the finale, even many of closest of relatives and kin seems doesn’t know anymore that there are kins around that need comfort.

At many times because of deafening silence around, my daughter occasionally went to the open and altercates even on slight remark from neighbors be it of her age or elder one. The later is unusual, for her age level she’s really naughty but not to the elders. And openly, she expressed that she wanted to quarrel and wrestle anyone who would make any negative impression to the family.

And we said, why this has had to happen that instead of comfort people tends to add to the sufferings of those affected? Where the matter went and goes wrong? Why the heck when it’s very clear that the virus does not roam around everywhere but rather transmitted only upon close contact with infected individuals that only requires “physical distancing” and usual preventive gadgets. But why people preferred to ruin “social relations”? It might be because of wrong use of terminology and wrong orientation of “social distancing”.

As a matter of comfort our Office Head instructed me to work home and added: “Our co-employees might all run away if they see you in the office”. From the bottom of my heart, I know our Boss is naturally humorous and its way of comfort through jokes. But behind the joke is a deep truth in it, in fact one Staff openly expressed request for another colleague and perhaps me to be required to undergo swab test before reporting back to office. The purpose, according to her is, “to at least lessen their paranoia” over us. Well and good for the benefit of everybody.

But in order to be fair and just, those people in the office must also undergo swab tests first. For one they had been meeting different peoples and exposed to the public daily and therefore more vulnerable carriers of the virus. Who knows millions of virus infected around the world are “asymptomatic”. This is just to make sure that what they fear on us is not within them.

I might be as well paranoid too.

Salihin Ali Ashgar
Concerned Citizen