Someone was dying. Lying in a hospital bed, gasping for breath, and burning with a fever—the symptoms were the same as thousands of other cases, and so was what came next. Death.
Doctors were helpless. Behind the masks, the creases of concern and fatigue on their faces were growing deeper with each passing day. No one had witnessed death on such a scale and from such close proximity, with hundreds of coffins being buried every day. And no one had imagined that millions around the world will succumb to this strange outbreak, and the world they knew would be changed forever.
The year was 1918, and the pandemic was the Spanish flu that killed indiscriminately and relentlessly. It was as if the flu had taken the baton from World War I that had just ended after four continuous years of horror and inhumanity. Once the outbreak ended, there was one common thought on everyone’s minds—it shouldn’t happen again.
Over 100 years later, the pandemic came back as COVID-19. Despite the advanced technology and tools at our disposal, humanity lost the initial rounds. The numbers of infected people were rising, hospital beds were crowded, and the stacks of caskets were piling up. After a long, dreadful month, the world found itself in the same spot of helplessness. It was as if the year 2020 had succeeded 1918.
Did we learn nothing from the past? The importance of life and the truth of death; the negligence of our actions and our pattern of taking things for granted—we run in circles repeating the same mistakes over and over until a fresh catastrophe knocks on the door ready to teach us a lesson we repeatedly forget.