It’s hard not to talk or think about Corona, in fact it’s impossible. Everywhere people are talking about it. You can’t switch on the TV or open a newspaper without finding it being widely discussed. I saw a video in which a Chinese gentleman advised against watching TV news channels, reading newspapers or interacting on social media to avoid being depressed in these tough times. “We’ve been through it”, he says. “Read a book, watch a funny movie, exercise in the home, do anything which doesn’t remind you of the virus”.

But it’s virtually impossible to do so. The world’s incompetent leaders (especially that troika of Trump, Imran Khan and Boris Johnson) were united in thinking that Corona is just like the flu, it attacks only the aged and those who have underlying health problems. Initially their attitude was like “Corona say darona” (Don’t be scared of Corona). Now both Trump and our Very Dear Leader have revised their opinions. The third member of the troika (UK’s Bois Johnson) is himself under isolation after having tested positive and having a fever.

Our own politicians, of course, are a class apart. They are usually from among our vast number of ignoramuses, the kind of people who have never read a book in their lives. It must have been shocking to them that Corona is not an insect but a virus, and like all viruses it is infinitesimally small, so small that there are billions of them in a cup of water (assuming that such people know how many zeroes there are in a billion, which is doubtful). And what about those who believe Chinese trains can travel at the speed of light? Due to Covid-19, they have found that there are more than two hundred countries on the planet earth. You can imagine their amazement when they heard this for the first time.

Two stalwarts of our government (the Dear Leader himself and his Wasim Akram plus) say they were both aware of the crisis much earlier, even before it struck the country. They say they started preparing for the crisis on January 3 and January 15, in fact even before The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020. The question arises, what were their preparations, why did they not take it seriously in the beginning? Why did the Great Khan criticize the imposition of lockdown by the Sindh Chief Minister? There are credible reports of crowds being allowed to visit some shrines even today. Why is it being allowed?

As expected, despite being told not to hold Friday congregations, some of our citizens did just that yesterday. Not only that, they attacked policemen who tried to prevent them from doing so. They apparently believe that the lockdown and other measures are part of a Hindu-Christian-Jewish conspiracy to prevent Muslims from practicing Islam. They ignore that curfew has been imposed even in the two holiest cities of Islam (Makkah and Madina), as well as churches and temples being shut down wherever the virus has struck.

I hold no brief for the Tableeghi Jamaat, in fact I’ve often said that it is harming Muslims themselves by turning them into fatalists who can’t do anything except preach their version of Islam, but the way a couple of Indian TV anchors have treated them is outrageous. I don’t know their names but you can be sure that Indian P.M. Modi will hear of their obnoxious behavior and will suitably reward them for it. One of them insisted on calling the organization “Taliban Jamaat”, the other yelled repeatedly at a very humble preacher to speak in a low voice. Of course, in countries where the vast majority is illiterate, it is normal for minorities to be targeted in times of crises. The Indian government has issued warrants for the arrest of some leaders of the Jamaat, ignoring at the same time the thousands of Hindus who flocked to temples in Kolkata and in other towns and cities in India, on the occasion of Ramnavami (April 2). So don’t be surprised if thousands of Muslims are persecuted and even killed in India as the death toll rises.