Story Time: Sleeping Beauty and me

May 23, 2020

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Illustration by Sophia Khan
Illustration by Sophia Khan

This is the first time that I have heard the term “social distancing”. Before, I never knew what social distancing was. But dear coronavirus, thanks to you, you explained it to me.

My mother used to tell me the story of Sleeping Beauty when I was younger. This is one of my favourite bedtime stories. Although the story fascinates me a lot, a question always hits my mind when I read it: how hard it must be for the princess to have no connection with the outer world and sleep for a hundred years?

It seems unrealistic to me. In an age where everything is on one’s fingertips, it is hard to digest that we can ever live without interactions with our friends, teachers and family members. It can only be possible in stories to spend hundreds of years in one place, having no link with the rest of the world.

But now I understand because I am in a similar situation, isolated in my house, having no physical connection with my friends, my grandma and the rest of the world.

The princess had made a mistake to touch the spindle, pricking her finger. Similarly, we did a mistake by making our environment dirty.

It is common sense when a person sneezes or coughs, they should place a tissue or hand on their mouth/nose. This is considered as basic manners as well, but many of us did not follow this practice.

We often see instruction on roads and walls that read “Splitting is prohibited here”, but that wall has full of red lines of paan spits.

Nobody cared about these little bad habits before, but now the coronavirus pandemic has taught us to follow this practice or stay at home. So basically, we have been punished by being locked in our homes because we have not been mindful of our basic manners.

I have not visited my grandma’s home for more than a month. I miss my friends as well, it has been ages I since I last met them. I miss my school playground, I want to play there. But I can’t do this as I am in isolation from the rest of the world like Sleeping Beauty.

We made a mistake by making this planet earth dirty and God punished us by sending this coronavirus. But, in our case, we can’t expect a prince to come and save us, we have to take preventive measures ourselves because the prince himself is in isolation, practicing social distancing!

Published in Dawn, Young World, May 23rd, 2020