As the country still tries to come to terms with the second wave of COVID-19, there seem to be two camps in which people have divided themselves, the ‘positive’ group and the ‘realist’ group. Let me describe them to you in short.

The group of ‘positivity’ is a group of people who have largely been lucky enough to stay away from the pandemic. It is possible that none of the people they care about have caught the virus yet, or if they have, they have recovered with little to no harm at all. They have been staying inside their homes, trying their best to take all precautions possible. It is from this bubble of safety that they look on to the outside world. The news of people dying by the thousands naturally distresses them and they want to look away. They want to feel that things are not as bad as they seem and that the dark cloud of the virus that hangs over us today has a silver lining.

The people in this group have come under a lot of criticism lately. Many don’t like the idea of closing your eyes in the time of crisis thinking it won’t affect them. But…what’s wrong with it? Why must we see the devastation going on in the world when one can comfortably live in the safety of their own homes? Why must we be reminded that the world is an unjust place where people die by the thousands and human life has close to no value in the grand scheme of things.

Then come the realists who see that things are bad. In fact, they are horrible and in this almost apocalyptical world that we live in, they try their best to help people with finding resources like beds, oxygen and medicines. They understand that there have been multiple lapses by the government and blame them for the situation we are in. They are right in the thick of the action and, understandably so, are disgruntled when someone tries to turn a blind eye to the whole thing.

The realists have had their own fair share of criticism. People accusing them of death porn every time the terrifying visuals of the scale of devastation are shown in the media. On the other hand, others blame them of making the situation seem worse than it is and stoking fear in the masses. And again, I ask the same question, what is wrong with it? The situation in India right now is really bad. We don’t need to criticize someone just for showing what is actually happening.

In between these two groups, there is a lot of back-and-forth, argument-counter-argument that goes on, and it has been going on. I think this is simply an exercise of keeping oneself distracted in arguments and a war of words instead of fighting the war with the disease.

If you want to look away from the destruction for a sense of calm and hope, do it. Turn off your TVs, look away from your mobile phones and live in your own world. Its okay. Its perfectly human to want that.

BUT

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this new world you create for yourself, is going to be an accurate representation of the real world, the world that you turned away from. You don’t know what the ground reality is because you want to abandon it. In case you do that, have the humility to understand that those who chose to stay on the ground, in the real world, will have a better understanding of what happened. They will know better about who was responsible, who made what decision when and what could have been done instead. Respect that. Be humble about the ignorance you have chosen to spend these times in.

And realists, stop fighting the people who want some peace in their lives. There is a pandemic going on. Not everyone can be a part of that. The very few people who have the privilege of being able to live separately from this world…let them do that, it is for their own good.

We could all use something like that in our lives today.