5 April 2020
The primary focus of the day was the anticipation, following the Prime Minister’s call from two days ago, of the exercise to light candles and lamps for nine minutes at 9 pm. People remained unclear why they were doing this but they did it anyway. The misinformation trolls took the public for a ride with various astrological nonsense about the significance of the exercise, and thus rose all the way to elected representatives claiming that lighting lamps would kill the SARS-Cov-2 virus.
In any case a lot of people did light lamps and did turn off their lights. Some even burst crackers in the middle of this pandemic while others set their homes on fire (for example in Patna, Mumbai and Solapur).
In the meanwhile, reminiscent of the wartime Christmas speeches she gave (at least that is the image it evokes in me thanks to The Crown on Netflix) Queen Elizabeth II telecast a message, speaking like a true leader on ‘self-discipline and quiet good-humoured resolve’ saying ‘I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute then we will overcome it.‘ Her speech although for Britons was really for the world. She did in about five minutes what most politicians have not been able to do for the past three months: she gave people ‘of all faiths and those of none’ a generous serving of hope and great boast in morale, both much needed in these somber, surreal times. (Her full speech.)