“Anything wrong?” God asked, noting the distress on their faces.
“The earth is no more a fit place to live in, Lord. Humans have multiplied and they are trying to lord it over all other living beings. The air, water, and land are polluted with effluents from their factories, emissions from their vehicles. They have encroached upon forests, leaving little space for their original inhabitants. Over-exploitation of natural resources for selfish gains has endangered the earth. We beseech your divine intervention.”
“If the situation is so bad, I can return the earth to its pre-creation state by repeating the flood that brought even the highest mountain under water for forty days,” God said.
“Not that severe, Lord. Just give them a solid rap on their knuckles that they won’t forget in a hurry.”
“So be it.”
The next moment there stood the frightening figure of Corona before them.
“See what you can do,” God commanded her.
Three months later they met again and Corona presented her report.
“Things are better now, my Lord. Humans were so frightened of me that they declared a complete lock-down for days together. Life came to a stand-still. They remained at home, reinventing family ties in the process. Weddings and death ceremonies, events to show off one’s affluence till now, were performed with minimum fuss. Factories were shut down, vehicles and other pollutants came to a standstill. Thousands died like flies and were buried deep like dangerous trash without a glimpse or parting kiss from their dear ones. Offices, shops, multiplexes, hotels, everything closed. The economy of even the rich countries is in shambles. Unemployment is rampant. The air is now pollution-free, but the poor guys are afraid of breathing it in. They wear masks as if they were ashamed to show their face in public and keep distance from one another. No hugs in public, no hand-shakes. They have become paranoid.
“In between, they have begun to discover the beauty of nature. They now enjoy the sight of the blue sky, rainbows, the moon and stars. Rivers are bubbling with life. Wild animals seem to have asserted their rights and roam in human habitats. More and more birds are seen on trees and the sky, chirping unabashed. Children study online without having to lug their heavy schoolbags. People eat natural food at home and even grow it on small plots and rooftops. They work and pray from their homes. Hopefully, they have learned their lesson.”
“But, Lord, suppose they revert to their old lifestyle after Corona becomes a bad dream?”
“Now they know the price they have to pay for their excesses. If they repeat them, I can always send someone more ferocious than Corona.”