How times have changed! Today you endanger others just by a touch, perhaps a hug or even by speaking to each other without wearing a mask. “Quarantine if you are the danger” is the norm in today’s life. We no longer fight swords or shoot guns to nullify an enemy. ‘We quarantine’. That today is our biggest weapon. This tiny virus could even debilitate the giants. But moving on from the virus – and how quarantine has become the first approach of anyone and everyone willing to save the world – let’s talk about life. Have you ever thought of this three syllabic word “quarantine” in the larger context of life?  

Can quarantine go beyond fighting off a virus and living ‘14 days’ in an enclosed bunker where the sun seeks permission to penetrate? Can it be above sitting in a room, by the window, admiring the moon, and teaching yourself to count the number of days by observing its shape? The completion of ’14 days’ will strike-off the label and make you part of the band again. Ohh, happy days are ahead – you tell yourself. But then a thought strikes your mind – the health mustn’t deteriorate.

Maybe, just maybe quarantine could do more than that. It will still fight. But not the virus of a health pandemic. Instead, one that has encapsulated our mind and heart. Something that existed since time became known – SINS. The Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death.” You see this virus also kills. But how do we run from it? Simple – go under a protective cover. Alienate yourself from SIN and Quarantine yourself. 

If times, such as this, has taught us anything it is the power of quarantine. When COVID-19 first hit Mumbai, our locality was a severe red zone. People were dying. Authorities failed to cope up with the number of casualties and as things got worse, all they could do was request us to ‘quarantine.’ There was no medicine, no cure, hospitals were overburdened. We had to stay home. Meetings were called in the locality. Everything was shut. For three weeks, we avoided seeing each other, speaking was beyond question. The situation was extreme. We wouldn’t open windows for fear that the virus was airborne. Fear of death had sucked the smile and hope out of our lives.

But on May 21, as the situation in other parts of the state worsened, we stepped out of our homes for the first time in nearly a month. We were no longer in a red zone. The shops were open. Candies were available and we were smiling again. Like life had returned into a dead body, we were seeing each other again. All possible only through quarantining. You see quarantine was always there, only we didn’t know how valuable it was in our lives.

Today quarantine has become invaluable and priceless. It is our first and perhaps most powerful step to fight off the virus and protect ourselves, our family, and the endless strangers that consciously or accidentally come into our contact. But if quarantine is so powerful why don’t we quarantine ourselves from the bad, from SIN? We must coach ourselves to quarantine from sin to keep our hearts and minds away from it.

Stay away from it. Unlike the coronavirus, the vaccine for sins is already available. All that is required is quarantining ourselves from sin. Quarantine your heart away from the bad. Remember it is your biggest weapon. The Bible says “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.” Hiding ourselves in the Lord using His protective shield and His sanctuary to cover ourselves work exactly like how we self-quarantine ourselves.

Today as you quarantine and fight off the virus, remember to coach your heart to quarantine from sins. Quarantine from the bad.

(BY Joseph Biswas)