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It is no laughing matter and yet there I was laughing while on my way to the grocery store. I was getting out of the house after a looooooong time. Everything outside looked the same and yet so different too. Obviously that’s not the reason I laughed. On hearing me, the L&M, who was driving, turned to look at me.

L&M: What’s funny?
Me: Nothing. Nothing really funny.
L&M: Obviously it can’t be ‘nothing’! You were laughing to yourself.
Me: Well. It’s like this. You know how people all over rant and rave over burkas and chadors in public? How the whole face-covering thing seems to drive everyone, everywhere, nuts?
L&M: Yes. So?
Me: Now a virus has made EVERY SINGLE PERSON wear a mask and cover their face! Well obviously not those people in the USA we saw in the many videos, the ones shouting about their *freedom* not to wear a mask! Other than them, the whole effing world is now covering their face. The irony is killing me!

After a while I laugh again.

L&M: What is it now?
Me: You know how I have told you about some *friends* of mine who go on and on about the bad-bad-bad social media ON social media?
L&M: Yes. And…?
Me: They are all about face-to-face interactions. They think internet is a curse. We no longer have any meaningful connections, they moan. They reminisce about the times people went out and met each other for real. That’s what we should be doing, they whine. Not that I have understood just who is holding a gun to their head preventing them from meeting their dear friends ‘for real’. And…
L&M: Okay, okay. Get to the point.
Me: Ahh ohh yes. The point. The point is that, along comes a virus and confines all of us to our homes. And what is the only thing that is helping us humans establish some sort of connection with each other, somewhat as close to the real thing as possible? With no chance of meeting any time soon in the foreseeable future, what helps families staying apart ‘meet’ and ‘talk’? What lets friends exchange chitchat? What allows…
L&M: The internet.
Me: You got it mister, unlike the dodos. But ahem… why aren’t you laughing?

© Shail Mohan 2020