LETTER TO MY UNBORN: When ‘Coro’ Came to Town



It’s Papa here . . .

As days roll into weeks, matters to catch up on are just numerous. My thoughts, stuck just where they are, linger on in affairs both inspiring and draining. It becomes more a dream to share slices of it with you, sweetie, so do read on and have a good feel of reality before your baby hands touch them.

This week, I will tell you about ‘Coro’ (officially known as COVID-19), a novel coronavirus disease and an unwelcome visitor the world has been forced to embrace thus far into 2020. Often, in this world you’re soon to live, there is the quiet before the storm. With 2019’s final days rolling off the calendar, all seemed well. Worldwide, end-of-year festivities gave cause for merry-making and ushered in a new year — and a new decade, hopefully that of your birth – warmly anticipated.

Then Coro came striking in the Far East — China, specifically.

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What began as a localized infection traced to a wet market in Wuhan, a Chinese port city, quickly escalated into a global pandemic in a matter of weeks, triggering a rush to stash away loads of toilet paper supplies and hand sanitizers (the scarcest and most expensive goods in town, suddenly). Efforts to rein in this unwelcome, deadly guest — even in the world’s more advanced nations — came in too late and seemed too little, with the clock quickly ticking out of mankind’s favour. It’s got everyone scared — even I, your father, and also your mother (whoever she is, wherever she may be).

Scared, too, eh?

Well, that’s reasonable, but it’s all a bit easier to swallow with a dose of fun: from every interviewee hilariously failing at mentioning Coro’s full name to everyone growing suspicious of anyone who coughs or sneezes. And with millions remaining at home for days on end – couples ‘appreciating’ each other some more, if you know what I mean – the next baby boom is just a year away. You could have been among that soon-to-be-born generation of ‘Coronials’, you know, but the whole social distancing barrier hinders my efforts to locate that woman who’d have helped bring that — and you — to fruition.

There would always be time for that, of course, for the world will recover from the plague. And, thankfully/hopefully, you’d never have to meet Coro in all its devastating wrath. But the lessons should have been well-learnt and humans would be better equipped to battle any of its siblings that might pop up in your lifetime.

Keep these positive vibes, baby, and rest assured that the best is yet to come. Papa loves you very much. Until we meet again, come the next market day . . .

Efo Sitsofe.

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