Written in response to: End your story with total oblivion.... view prompt




On December 15th of 2019, the space shuttle team gathered for a final meeting of the astronauts for the last briefing about the mission.

“Yes, my brave team members, here is the plan.

This team of four is going to take off on 25th December at midnight. The space shuttle will be heading straight for the ISS (International Space station) and after orbiting for two days it will dock with the ISS.

The new team of two men and two women will take charge from the earlier team and within two days the old team will start their journey homewards.

The new team, please keep in mind that this trip of yours is not just a simple one to carry out some experiments.

We are going to observe the human behavioral changes and psychological effects of being in space without any support or backup from the earth for three years. Once you take charge and the old team starts their return journey, your entire communication channels will be cut off. You will not be able to contact the earth in any situation whatsoever, whether the space station gets set on fire or your oxygen supply gets over or any other calamity; you will be on your own. We have provided you with all the protective gadgets, and we have trained you on how to handle adverse circumstances. Whatever conceivable situation, we have provided you with the solution. But if any unimagined threat to your life arises, you will have to handle it yourself. In no condition, we can be contacted.

And in such a secluded condition you will stay on ISS for three solid years. After the space shuttle takes off from the IS station, you will not even hear the existence of life. Only four of you will be there.  In this multiverse, with billions of galaxies each with billions of stars, you will be all alone. Only solace will be in the vicinity of earth. Nothing more than that.

Every day at a fixed time that is at 8 o’clock, you will have to stand in front of ROBOT XX and will have to answer the questions he asks you. He will test you in a certain way to know the state of your mind. It will record its findings but will not send them to us on earth. After three years when we will establish communication with you, ROBOT XX will hand over to us all the data collected.

But for three years neither you will hear from us nor you will be able to talk to us.

Okay, then teammates. Get ready for the space shuttle. All the very best.”

Everyone dispersed.

On 25th December night, the space shuttle took off.

After orbiting the earth twice, it docked with the ISS. The newly arrived team was welcomed by the existing team.

In three days, the returning team got onto the space shuttle. It was undocked from the ISS and it started its journey toward Earth.


The new team was left on the ISS to get back only after three complete years. The spirited team was at the peak of their excitement. They looked towards the earth.

It appeared so calm. It was rotating about its own axis at a fixed speed. It was also revolving around the sun. It was neither in any hurry nor having any concern about completing one revolution in one year. From this distant place, everything looked cool on earth. No border disputes between nations. No wars over the matter of supremacy of any country. The entire planet sounded peace-loving. The complete human race seemed to believe in peaceful co-existence. It looked like an ideal place to live compared to the distant planets and other solar systems.






But here down on earth, on December 31, 2019, Wuhan Municipal Health Authorities reported a string of pneumonia-like cases in Wuhan, China.

On January 13 Thailand discovered its first patient, a sixty-one-year-old woman.

Then Japan recorded its sufferer.

On January 21 USA, TAIWAN, HONGKONG followed the suit. Then Singapore, Malaysia, France, Vietnam, and Nepal registered their first cases.

The death toll in Wuhan, China rose to 27.

On January 25 Canada, Australia, Germany, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia declared their first cases.

On January 29 Finland, UAE joined the list

On January 30 India, the Philippines reported their first cases.

The WHO declared COVID-19 as a pandemic THREAT to the entire world, on 30th January 2020.

And the mood all over the world had turned gloomy.


Satish and Vidya mulled over the issue.

"Don't know how these developed countries are the first victims of the spread of the virus. Thank God the underdeveloped populous countries like ours are away from the effect. If it had started in this part of the world, it would have created havoc“.

“Already, the air pollution is causing innumerable diseases. The moving vehicles’ exhausts vitiate the environment so much that we can hardly see clear blue skies. As a result, stargazing in the clear night sky is becoming a rare occasion now." 


On January 31 UK, Russia, and Italy joined the muster.

On February 4, Belgium reported the first victim.   The number of infected was increasing. Every day, a new name nation was getting added. Brazil, Canada, and Iran had witnessed the presence of COVID_19 victims.


“Yes. It is spreading very fast. But India is far away and I think we are safe“.


Astronauts on the ISS, viewed the earth rotating at the same speed in the same orbit as earlier.


But Indians have better immunity than Europeans & Americans as in India, the hygienic conditions are not critically maintained. Certainly, the virus will not open out here as it unfurled in the western countries








February 07, 2020

·       Total Countries With Confirmed Cases: 25

·       Total Confirmed Cases: 31,484

·       Total Confirmed Deaths:   638

February 20, 2020

·       Total Countries With Confirmed Cases: 27

·       Total cases confirmed Globally: 75,386

·       Total Deaths Worldwide: 2,129

·       Deaths Outside of China: 11

February 28, 2020

.   Total Countries with confirmed cases: 56

.   Middle East countries got infected. Afghanistan, Iran. Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Algeria, Austria, Croatia, Switzerland, Brazil, Georgia, Greece, Norway, Romania, and Pakistan were added to the list.

.   Total Cases Confirmed Globally: 84,090

.    Total Deaths Worldwide: 2,874

March 06, 2020

  • Total Countries With Confirmed Cases: 90
  • Total Cases Confirmed Globally: 100,481
  • Total Deaths Worldwide: 3,408
  • All 28 states declare an EMERGENCY in the US.

March 11



On 12 March, a 76-year-old man from Kalaburgi, Karnataka who had a travel history to Saudi Arabia became the first victim of the virus in the country



·       Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak records just 5 new cases of coronavirus


March 13

·       More than 5,000 have died from coronavirus worldwide.

·       U.S. President Donald Trump declared a state of National Emergency under the Stafford Act.

·       Total Countries with Confirmed Cases: 121

·       Total Cases Confirmed Globally: 142,095

·       Total Deaths Worldwide: 5,373

·       Deaths Outside of China: 2,197

·       Global coronavirus cases double from last week, reaching almost 330,000 cases.  

On 25th March 2020, the Gudi Padva Day as a proactive action, India declared LOCK-DOWN in the entire country. Plying of cars, buses, and auto rickshaws were stopped. The long-distance, local, and even metro train services were canceled.

March 26 

·       Nearly a third of the world’s population is living under coronavirus-related restrictions. 

·       United States death toll reaches one thousand.  


Every person was supposed to remain within the four walls of his house. Only for essential requirements, individuals were permitted to get out of their habitats.

The environmental difference, like the temperature in India being higher than in western countries, offered natural protection against pandemics.


On 28th March confirmed cases in India reaches 1000.


The infected number in India was swelling day by day. But the death rate was very low compared to the western world.

Big cities in India such as Delhi, Mumbai were getting into the danger zone. All modes of transportation were banned and the entire country had come to a halt. (standstill.) Still, the infected number was swelling faster.

“Oh, the public does not take proper care.”

“At least in this horrifying situation, our careless attitude towards hygiene maintenance should change.”



“The entire world is under the grip of this pandemic COVID-19. We do not know how it is going to strangle the existence of the human race.”

Various theories for spreading the killer virus were being put forth.

“Some say, it is like influenza. Not to worry much.”

“But the figures coming from all over the world, suggest it is growing fast. Also, it is said to be fatal for senior persons. In particular, those having some serious illness already, are more vulnerable to the

COVID-19 virus attack.”


April 4: Worldwide cases exceed one million.


Astronauts on the ISS viewed the earth rotating at the same speed in the same orbit as earlier. But the picture looked clearer than earlier ever. The astronauts thought – “Looks like people on earth have taken air pollution very seriously and are taking effective actions against air adulteration. They appeared to be concerned about the health of the atmosphere.”


On 5th April confirmed deaths were 100.

"It is really, torturous to remain confined to four walls. Cannot go out to even to breathe the fresh air.”

“Yogita was saying she is finding it very difficult to contain her 6 years old daughter in four walls now. For a few days, they managed. But it is getting almost impossible to keep her from going out to play with her friends.”

“Yes. That is a big problem. We oldies can manage somehow. But what about youngsters, children?”

“Whatever you say, but the skies are clearer these days. One can easily spot stars, planets, constellations, etc. The appearance of ISS for a very short time, gliding gives immense pleasure.”


29th April Confirmed cases 30,000.

confirmed deaths 1000.

A big shuffle of migrant workers.

“Tukaram was finding it difficult to manage house without any source of income. Nobody is ready to call for any services for house maintenance. So, he has gone to his village in Satara”

“Ramlal was prudent that he left Mumbai for his village in UP by the first train available after the lockdown was declared. He knew nobody is going to come to have pani-puri from his cart in this lockdown period.”

“Sawant left for Ratnagiri as his employer had told him he would be called only after lockdown gets lifted.”


10th May, in India

Confirmed cases 50,000

confirmed deaths 2000

“Santosh’s company had announced that they would be working from home, so to make sure of the internet connection at home. And he left for Varanasi along with his family after he received his laptop from the company."

“The construction workers have left Mumbai for their villages. So, all the construction work is totally stopped. The construction Engineers to go on leave till the building work resumes.”

Some hundreds of workers had started going to their villages, walking.


The number of infected persons was increasing in leaps and bounds. Cities like Mumbai, Delhi, were the worst affected.

19th May in India confirmed cases 1,00,000.

27th May confirmed cases in the country 1,50,000.



“General public is not serious about masks and social distancing. If they do not follow these norms, the number of infected persons is definitely going to increase.”


31st May in India confirmed deaths 5000.


“Our area of Ashokvan is still safe. Not a single case so far. “

In Borivali and Mira Road a few cases were found and they were sent to quarantine centers.

All men were having the looks of Rishi Munis as it was nearly four months that the hair-cutting saloons were not allowed to open.

A new face of our youth was surfacing as many youngsters were volunteering as medical workers to increase the checking of citizens for detecting symptoms of Covid-19.

Families without youngsters in the house were receiving support from the younger generation. And then there came news that gave goosebumps to the people of Ashokvan. One old lady, detected positive for Covid-19, was admitted to a hospital and within three days she died.


June 08 Confirmed cases 2,50,000.

Confirmed deaths 7200.


“But our area is safe as people are more responsible. They are taking maximum care.”


July 02nd Confirmed Cases 6,00,000

Confirmed deaths 17,000.


The number of deaths is still very low in our country. So not to worry.


July 17th 

Confirmed Cases 1,000,000

Confirmed deaths 25,600


The number of positive persons is increasing. But no one from acquaintances, known faces was infected.

The pandemic has not spread still in our areas.


July 23rd  in India

Confirmed Cases 1,238,635

Confirmed Deaths 29,861


And then a big building in Ashokvan was sealed as two families were found positive.

Received warning. But so far no person of acquaintance was infected.


On August 7th Confirmed cases 2,027,074

Confirmed deaths  41,585

A school classmate of Neah was detected positive as she had to attend the bank work even during the lockdown period. She was quarantined in a nearby center. Shocked and extremely worried. But after 4-5 days she tested negative and returned home happily.

The worldwide figures increasing in bigger steps, had nearly reached a million mark. The Indian figures were rapidly approaching a six-digit mark.

The mental condition of all those confined to homes was getting bad.


August 23rd Confirmed cases 3,044,940

Confirmed  deaths:    56,706


Those who were dependent on daily wages or daily earnings were getting extremely worried about the maintenance of the household.

In the slightly better-off families, Old men were getting solace from listening to music, and ladies young and old had got hooked to the internet and got busy cooking new dishes.

But the Covid-19 was busy spreading its wings.

Vidya's friend's husband who was around fifty died of Covid-19.

After a week's failure to contact his brother from a village some 350 km from Mumbai, Satish got the connection only to get the news that his entire family, the elderly couple, his daughter, and her 6-year-old son were quarantined for a week in nearby quarantine center and when they were tested negative, they were back home. The news created a shiver in the couple in Mumbai. So long they were feeling safe that no known person was infected till then, suddenly Covid-19 was seen so very close to them.

In the depressed mood, the couple was wondering when would this Covid pandemic trouble get over.


September 5th                 Confirmed cases 4,023,179

Confirmed  deaths:    69,561


Then the upsetting news reached. Satish’s childhood friend, ex. chief conservator of the state, residing in another big city in the state succumbed to Covid-19.  He was past 75 but absolutely fit and very active. Beyond imagination was that the Covid-19 fangs would be so poisonous.


September 16th          Confirmed Cases   5,020,359

   Confirmed Deaths     82,066.  


One more news came their way. A couple was found Covid positive in their society. They were quarantined in their own house as there was enough space in their own house.

Just after a week, one more couple and a day later a third couple was detected positive.

And the worrisome matter was all the infected were below the age of fifty.

Covid-19 had reached their doorstep.



September 28th               Confirmed cases 6,074,702

  Confirmed  deaths  95,545.

October 3rd                  Confirmed cases 6,473,544

Confirmed  Deaths     100,842   


October 18th            Confirmed cases 39.51 million

Confirmed Deaths 1,106,000.



In one more case in this society. A senior person, aged 75 was taken to Covid center.

Date 26th October 2020   300th Day of the virus.



        Confirmed cases 11 million.

                                Confirmed Deaths 11,57,000.


 Confirmed cases over 7 lakhs,

Confirmed Deaths 1,19,000.


November 15, 2020

Confirmed Cases : 52 millions

Confirmed Deaths : 1,285,379.

The death count increased exponentially and by end of 2022, it touched 8 Billion. The almost entire human population was the victim of the Covid-19 virus with different variants taking the lead one after another. The vaccine developed for a variant would be ineffective for the fresh variant attack.  


2nd January 2023 the space shuttle which had arrived from earth docked with the ISS.

The team of four persons boarded the shuttle and the space shuttle took off for Earth. After a couple of orbits around Earth,

the space shuttle landed at Florida airport.

The astronauts found many dead bodies lying scattered all over.

Unaware of the situation, in the eagerness of breathing the fresh air of earth, they took out their masks. In a short time, they started coughing intensely. Covid-19 took the last traces of humanity under its wings.

And in a couple of minutes, Covid-19 ended the last hopes of human life. The stranglehold of COVID-19 on humanity was complete. And the entire humanity went into oblivion from the map of the universe.

April 07, 2022 22:50

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