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Toronto Diary: 2020 Pandemic

Swimming in an ocean of white virgin snow, I’d reach at the nearest bus stop at 5 AM in the morning. Some busses would be too full and wouldn’t stop for me. Temperature was around -20 degrees celsius. Sun would start to wake up around 7:30 AM so it was still dark. But I found no available seat even that early during my 2 hours commute to college last winter. I loved observing people and tried reading their untold stories.

I was wondering how everything has changed so dramatically within a year. They called the pre-covid era as “normal” but the virus has redefined the word for the entire world in just a matter of days or months. I wonder if that rat race was ever normal? The bustling city lives, corporate and artificial souls seemed more robotic to me than the robots themselves. They used to run as if they were possessed like a zombie. Covid has taught us to slow down, it showed us that we’re capable of accomplishing over 80% of work from the comfort of our home. During my commute from last year, I loved observing people as you get to experience a cultural mosaic in Toronto. Human, be it from any corner of the world are pretty much the same. They yawn, they sleep, they struggle with their morning commute pretty much the same way. Yet, they accepted their slavery to their respective masters to make a living. They must sell themselves, their limited and precious times, as if we’re products. It often confuses me and I wonder what is the ultimate purpose of living? Is it to survive and pay rents or is there something else? From being hunters and gatherers, we turned our systems into a civilized capitalism.

This corporate life is incredibly demanding. You have to prove yourself every single day and hours. You may become their employee of the year today but it’ll not worth anything tomorrow unless you prove yourself tomorrow again. It’s like a game of cricket, you might have scored thousands of runs before but on a particular day, you start from zero and you’re expected to score every time. But in corporate world, there are those with two faced masks, they won’t think twice to step on your head in order to reach higher in their positions to prove themselves to their masters. That’s how they define so-called “normal” ... but a few things have changed since then. You recognize the true faces under their masks at the end even when they are literally wearing masks now. You see dead in their eyes and silently ask- WHY?

Was it ever enough? Will it ever be? Sometimes I feel thankful to the pandemic for putting a mask on everyone. Well, we never really saw their true faces anyway while we commuted through our lives all these way.

Shopnil Mahmud

Shopnil Mahmud

A software engineer with avid interest on any form of arts and philosophy. Likes to write codes for a living and poetry for the soul. Currently residing in Toronto, originally from Bangladesh.

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