Survival of the Wealthiest; Life During Corona Outbreak
The initial days of outbreak
Around the month of March, the news about the fatality of corona virus spread faster than cancer. The only solution to stay safe was to stay barred in our homes; cancelling out all possibilities of physical contact. Naturally, not waking up at 6:30 a.m. everyday seemed liked a blessing. In my naïve mind, I supposed that this will end in a matter of months. And why shouldn’t it? It’s not just in my country; it’s a global pandemic. My white saviour complex made me put all of my faith in modern medicine and their ability to develop a vaccine quickly under panic.
I slept without a care in the world. Cases continued to rise but we, the fortunate, only had to stay at home. Once I conquered my procrastination, I wondered what this lockdown signified to me. Consulting social media was a mistake. There was a stir of echoes asking you to be productive during these months and master the talents that have been subsided with the daily hassles of life. I watched half of my acquaintances turns into artists, musicians, bakers, and social media activists. For a minute, I felt that I had to prove myself to someone. However, my fatigue made it unable for my mind to put my thoughts into action. I realised how tired I was by waking up at 6:30 every day and continuously working with differently abled children for 10 hours. This is when it hit me; this was time for productivity; productivity through introspection. I started to wonder if I was happy. Do I feel respected? What did I want to do in my life? Is my struggle even making a difference in these children’s lives? Once I analysed this line of questioning, I realised it was time to quit my job.
Once my mind was free of all the toxicities it was burdened by, I started to analyse my surroundings. I wondered how ironic our lives had become. The modern saviour of our lives was affluence. It did not matter if your immune system was strong or weak. What really mattered was if you could gather the resources to save your life. I wondered how this had somehow altered the pattern of natural selection and the survival of the fittest; it was now supposedly the survival of the wealthiest. People who recovered from COVID-19 started to sell their plasma cells for an insane amount of money and the prices of the injection solution peaked similarly. The poor is bound to die. The lockdown got lifted to hypothetically ‘aid’ the poor in their struggles with the failing economy. However, it feels like they are the collateral damage. They are the ones bound to get out of their house, practice labour based jobs, and are ultimately the most susceptible to the virus. They were the ones who couldn’t afford treatment if they were severely infected. I wondered how the world had protected the rich, but not the poor.
Moreover, I came across the rising cases of domestic and sexual abuse since the lockdown was imposed. Women and children were not safe in this world, even if they never left the house. People were suffering and dying while I could just sit in my room and analyse their situation. I realised what a terrible blessing privilege is; how the least I could do was raise my voice. I used my social media platform to spread awareness about all the ongoing toxicities that I had knowledge of. I started donating to the Christian community, knowing that our self-righteous Muslims refuse to help them in their time of need. It is quite ironic how Pakistan is a country made to silence the cries of minorities who were tortured and enslave, only to torture and enslave other minorities. What makes it even more satirical is that it was made by a minority and it excelled under the achievements of several minorities; then what is the Sunni Muslim proud of?
I realised how privilege could be easily mishandled. I did not want to misuse mine. This was my true calling to reach out to the less fortunate and justify to myself why I deserved to be privileged.
© 2020 Zoya Dawar