Once more, I’m delighted an author who I have collaborated with agreed to submit a guest post in the series of COVID-19 stories. This time it’s Greg Alldredge who, with his wife, Connie, is stranded in Chennai, India. Over to you, Greg – Stephen Bentley
Currently, we are in Chennai, India, our round the world travels cut short by a lockdown with only four-hour notice. The good news is we are isolated and healthy. All travel in India stopped thirty-four days ago. In places, travel restrictions have been brutally enforced. Though we have not witnessed any beatings, there are many reports of police abuse.
Right now, I am more concerned about humanity’s reactions to the virus than getting sick.
I consider us lucky. My wife and I are in a hotel with A/C, Internet, and coffee. All our basic needs met.
I look out the window and see many people without such niceties.
I understand the need for social distancing; I understand the need for masks and hand washing, but I also know people need to eat.
On the few and brief escapes from the four walls of the hotel room, I see little social distancing or even masks being worn. I think many residents from western countries take for granted our high standard of living.
Seeing a large group of people, the majority of India, lacking even basic necessities, breaks my heart. If a person were to look, they would find similar conditions all over Asia. Hungry people scratching by on daily wages. Multigenerational families squeezed into a one-room shelter with no running water or electricity. Illnesses I only learned about in history class, here everyday worries. The streets filled with waste. Animals searching the garbage for food. Poverty, unlike anything I witnessed in the States.
Our experience is different from most Americans or Europeans living in lockdown. Still, for better or worse, we are seeing how the majority of the world is dealing with this plague, even if only briefly out of our window.
I’m struggling to not be depressing, but being separated from home by several thousand miles makes it hard. Seeing the want many people deal with daily, and my utter lack of control over events weigh on my soul.
I think it will be hard for many people to go through this experience and not be changed.
About Greg Alldredge
Greg Alldredge grew up reading all the excellent Science Fiction and Fantasy of the past decades. He hopes to add his voice, in a small way, to the giants of the genres. He wants to write stories he himself would want to read and hopes to be successful as a storyteller first.
He is currently living out of a suitcase, with his wife Connie and no pets. They travel too much. Please enjoy the journey.
You can find Greg, and his books, by following the links below.
Thank you, Greg. I found that to be a touching story, an honest heart-felt view from a man so far away from home. I’m sure Greg won’t mind me adding that as soon as he left the Philippines on his worldwide expedition, Mount Taal, the volcano erupted. He and his wife had been staying close by just before the eruption. So, stay lucky and safe, my friend! – Stephen Bentley
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