What color is your monster?

Imaginations are more numerous than the minds that hold them, especially when it comes to the fear part.

Bells ringers during COVID-19 demonstration in Vienna

Fear of heights, spiders, closed spaces, open spaces, fear of fear – they manifest themselves in all kinds of forms, sounds, and bodily emotions. So, with the outbreak of COVID, humanity and my humble self had a challenge. How do you deal with something that is odorless, colorless and so small that you need an electron microscope to see it? Of course, the media had a ready supply of colorful images of World War II-styled sea mines or cauliflowers in vivid red and green.

This kind of thing didn’t quite catch my imagination. For me, it was the stillness. No traffic, no commerce, no movement. Everyone at home – working, studying or hurrying for a quick breath of fresh air. Did this lend itself to COVID having a form with color? Not really. It made it so much harder as impressions are made easier on the move. Sitting in one place, trying to project quarantine frustrations on your bookshelf is not very satisfying. Going out for brief stints was not very useful either since Nature and the World were doing what it has always been doing, thank you very much.

But something had changed dramatically. The sky was the most intense azure that I had ever seen in this part of the world. Free of aircraft and automobile exhaust, the sky had finally adorned itself in its own color – majestic and beautiful. Here was the full breadth of Nature– A deadly invisible illness affecting so many and yet at the same time, the World showing its true colors, with no human contamination. How could I integrate such a phenomenon with COVID? But integrate I must, for there was no difference. What was untouchable at the scale of the COVID virus was just as intractable at the immense sky now splashed with blue.