Sorry, but with India’s m(Known) cases of COVID 19 racing towards the three lakh mark only this story comes to my mind. There are a lot of plague related stories including Albert Camis’ The Plague but this particular story suits the present condition and Indian mindset. It is the “Masque of Red Death” byEdgar Allen Poe. When a plague called red death is spreading in his territory, a prince called Prospero takes many fellow aristocrats to an abbey which he thinks will be a safe haven from the plague and parties there even as people are dying in droves. Prospero notices among the guests a figured dressed as red death going through the rooms. Annoyed he goes after it only to find that there is nothing inside the costume of red death! It was the plague itself coming to say hi to the prince. All guestsm drop dead infected by red death. Prospero really symbolizes Indian mentality. For us COVID 19 is something that concerns others but not until and unless it hits you or someone close to you. I remembered the story when Ms.Corona made her presence felt for the first time in my the colony with two cases, one of them in my block.. Everyone pressed panic buttons. So far COVID 19 did not prevent kids from playing in the park opposite my house and adults from organizing g gossip and Bhajan sessions. Now the park is totally deserted. You feel the pinch only when the virus hovers over your shoulder. Why oily Indians? Donald Trump was long in denial over the virus and as a result US has the largest number of known COVID 19 cases I the world, at least the largest number of KNOWN cases. For once Trump could be right when he says India could have more cases than it is apparent. Many have tested COVID positive but the testing levels in India, unlike US are quite low and the official figures could be just the tip of an iceberg. The situation could be much worse. During the lockdown, I am reading a book called The Sixth Extinction the theme of which is the world has gone through five mass extinction of species so far and we could be going through the sixth. And who knows? COVID 19 could be the call to bring the curtains down on the human drama even if the curtains don’t fall at once. They could come down oh so slowly. And we could already be walking on the trail of the dinosaur.