Some 176 countries. Over 200,000 patients in every continent (except Antarctica). More than 3 billion people in containment. And 112 countries that have pulled up their drawbridges and made their borders impenetrable.

The race to find the holy grail of Covid-19 treatments is sometime away. Theories around its cure are riddled with more holes than a Swiss cheese. We are in the midst of what is called the containment stage in the global protocol to fight a pandemic that’s brought world economies and livelihoods to their knees.

Statistics aside, what really is the human cost of this pandemic that advocates social distancing in a world already out of touch and re-scripting the handshake?

If you asked a migrant labourer, he’d say, his sense of self-worth.

If you asked, say Unctad, they’d say it’s going to cost the economy $1 trillion in 2020.

But ask a daughter who lost her father, and she’d say it isn’t the question of where we go, but the brutal fact that not everyone is getting out of this alive.

We are on a life raft, drawing lots to see who can be sacrificed so the others might live. It isn’t easy pitting life against life, quality against quantity as we perch ourselves gingerly on this raft. We’re all navigating the choppy waters of the pandemic and trying to stay afloat. Thinking clearly is a near-drowning experience. But dry land, for some of us, has become a submerged reality.

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