Pogrom or Pandemic
by Sana’a Shaikh
Do hand sanitizers wash off blood?
We’re living in sick times and in times of sickness. There are diagnosable symptoms, there is the coughing, the fevers, the vomiting. You can get tablets in the pharmacy for them. Then there are the undiagnosable, inexplicable symptoms. The numbness in your mind, the ache in your heart, the dread in your stomach. You cannot get tablets in the pharmacy for them, you cannot even report them to the authorities
The doctors ask the standard questions; the “whom did you meet?”, the “where did you breathe?”, the “how did you walk the street?”
I met the ghosts, made of smoke from the burning flesh, a city across.
There is the disease we don’t talk about it. It spreads from those who poison your hearts and then rot your brains. Gladly, gladly you celebrate it.
We must absolutely avoid infected areas.
But the broad-shouldered gun-wielders wouldn’t let you in without a lawyer anyway. You can’t see the charred and the stained from here, and the drains clogged with corpses. You’d be all too happy to stay safe, rightfully so, and complain about the Metro stations they closed.
What fitting revenge for causing inconvenience to the general public.
We must greatly practice social distancing.
After all, it was a riot, both parties are equally responsible, it’s a balanced loss everywhere; absolutely, absolutely. But their houses, they’re ash; their lives, a burnt flash. And them? Look at the hatred in their eyes; how dare they cry victim, how dare they! You’d be all too happy to distance yourself from such divisiveness,the jihadists, and the saffronites.
What fitting revenge for the immoral 500-a-day women sitting in the streets.
We must quarantine the infected.
The most important element of a pandemic/pogrom, keep them together for containing the spread/easy access. Generations of ghettos and streets, narrow enough only for a bottle of kerosene or hot coals. Maintaining public order is the need of this dark hour, lest they go back and bury their burnt and the official death toll rises. You’d be all too happy to close the newspaper and not burden your heart.
What fitting revenge to those godforsaken, anti-national traitors.
We must wear masks for extra safety.
Keeps the germs and the police and the pollution away, it does. It’s running out everywhere, they could just wrap a cloth around their nose and hope the facial recognition system the taxpayers paid for just doesn’t work, unfortunately; and the CCTVs are blurred or blown up, unfortunately; and the law enforcement officials are bribed left and right, unfortunately; but curse the demonic concerned citizens who did digging of their own and released phone numbers and pictures, like that is going to change anything. You would be all too happy to just shed a tear and keep silent.
What fitting revenge to those degenerates demanding rights to exist.
Alas controlling a pandemic is too expensive for rulers here, so let’s wait it out. Let’s hope they die out at overwhelmed hospitals, there’s no shortage of burial land anywhere (5 acres).
Perhaps stand sanitizers do wash off the blood, given their sudden popularity in the sudden times.
Reach out to someone, cry. Help someone you can, breathe. Go out to someone, learn. Be a human while you can, and while you want to.