New fiction

A growing chorus of voices chant: “The pandemic is a hoax!”

Parents of other children stop us to say: “I don’t believe in any of this. It’s all a plot to control the sheep-like masses.”

And yet we know a dozen people in our circles personally, who have been cut down by the dreaded virus, some of them relatives, some family friends.

We have looked on as they were sent into intensive care. Some elderly, yes, but some not. Some with preexisting health conditions — high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, cardiac problems — but not all of them.

Two of them have died. Most of them made a recovery of sorts. A few, even after months and months, still suffer the long term effects of the infection. It is a nasty bug, to be sure.

Still, the chorus of dissent grows louder. People say it is all a scheme dreamed up by Bill Gates, presumably because he has been fighting viruses since Windows 95. They say it is a plot of the new world order, or whatever Machiavellian overlords rule the day.

Once they were on the fringe. Now they are closing in, everywhere, nearby. The next-door neighbour, the school friend’s mum, the co-religionist on WhatsApp, a family member of the phone, a friend on Facebook.

It is all a hoax, and what you yourself have experienced is the fiction, unreal.

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