By Christina Kim - April 09, 2020


All my troubles seemed so far away

Now it looks as though they're here to stay
Oh, I believe in yesterday

I'm not half the man I used to be

There's a shadow hangin' over me
Oh, yesterday came suddenly
(The Beatles)

I stood still, my eyes skimming through the symmetrically lined packages for the familiar name, darting through the rows shelf by shelf and then my gaze fell upon my target. I stretched out my hand, stood on a tiptoe to reach the bottle standing on the top shelf, hovering over my head by half an inch and then I caught sight of another bottle next to it with a tag reading a twin pack promotion and a significantly reduced price. I paused, retracting my hand, my feet both landing back on the ground while my mind scurried to make a decision. I know I will and should take my usual in the end, but the mind just scrambles for a justification to let go of an enticing offer with an equally reputable brand.
"Oh well, I will just try that another time", my response out loud to end that commotion in the mind and I reached out again to take a bottle of my usual brand to put into my trolley.
"Excuse me
I turned and there was someone right next to me. I was in the way of her trolley and I quickly pushed my trolley out of the way, apologising and offering a warm smile at the lady who returned the smile as she pushed her trolley forward in my place. As I pushed my trolley down the aisle, my trolley bumped heads with another and the man behind it moved it away, nodding his head in apology as he passed by. I turned to the left corner and there stood a woman who was struggling to hold her trolley still as she balanced the can in her palm to read the label while keeping a grip on her two toddlers who were mischievously trying to push her trolley forth.
I tried to find an aisle that was vacant, carefully manoeuvring my trolley against the scatters of people on both sides on my path, a young couple who were discussing about the spaghetti sauce brand for their dinner plans for the night and another elderly couple who were arguing over the wife's unnecessary bulk purchases when there were only two of them. Then I pulled my trolley to a stop to let two excited scampering children who were playing catch in the aisle, skilfully dodging everyone's trolley and way. 
I stole a glance a the cashier line and noticed that the crowd is building up.
The background music was a little loud, the same piece playing every weekend and busy chatter filled the air, with an occasional laughter, guffaw and exclamation every now and then, amidst the sounds of rustle and thumping footsteps on the floor.
It was a busy Saturday afternoon where people are out to do their weekly grocery shopping.
It was a typical weekend scene.
I blinked and then the same scene which just appeared a moment ago disappeared.
Vanished out of sight.
Not a sound, not a person was in sight. 

Where did they all go?
I wonder.

I push my trolley forward, passing by empty aisles and the only sound came from the soft squeak and thud of my trolley's tiny tires rolling.
It can't be, this is bizarre, they were all there a moment ago.
It became a ghostly place in just a blink of an eye.
I tried to figure out a logical explanation and then, as though an electric current jolted through my veins, I opened my eyes and woke up.

It was just a dream.
A dream that seemed so real yet so unrealistic at the same time.
I stared at the ceiling but I know it is not a dream.
That very scene was yesterday, it was when the world has not changed.
Yes, it sounds absurd that the whole world seems to have changed overnight, but it is a reality that is taking place at this very moment.
It is the crisis that has taken the world by storm, jolting everyone awake from their regular routines and robbing everyone of their happiness and freedom.
No one is spared, no one is given a choice, it has come in a sinister ambush, lying in the dark and attacks when no one is watching, taking with it the precious human lives as though it is its trophy and spreading its army across lands, mountains and the sea. It engulfs the whole world in its darkness, its malicious intent revealed without mercy, unforgiving, unapologetic, merciless and bent on going all out for the worst possible outcome.
It will not stop at nothing, it has made it clear from the very start and it is brimming with arrogance and triumph as it seeps among us, unknowing, unprepared and unaware of its presence until we feel its strike.

It mocks us, striding in its pride as we, seemingly retreated with closure to our lives, stepping into our hiding places, cowering in fear, anxiety, doubt and uncertainty.
Nothing is ever normal anymore.
No one is allowed nor dares to step outside without any form of protective gear.
No one smiles or walks within six feet to another human being, and humanly contact has diminished as each avoids eye contact with each other, shying away or even scurrying in an opposite direction upon the sight of another human being.
Everyone is treated as though they are the enemy, waiting to pounce on one in surprise and even animals which some used to love are now cast aside, denied attention and kindness as they are viewed as potential foes in cover under their furry skins.
Warmth, kindness, hospitality are now thin and in its place, hostility, suspicion, and coldness.
We cannot trust anyone anymore for anyone could be its ally, anyone could be the unsuspecting who is sleeping with the enemy. There is no way we can possibly tell.

The simple grocery shopping has now far evolved, it is no longer lively and welcoming as yesterday.
It is now a stressful task for one when they take it on, armed and prepared to perform a bout of an Amazing Race in real life. It is a race against time and against the foul enemy and a fight for one's dear life.
No proximity with each other and touch is strictly forbidden.
Upon returning to one's own comfort, the former welcoming looks and affection are now replaced with grimness and a major routine of disinfection.

It does not seem to exist anymore and all we can do is Wait.

Grim as it sounds, we are not giving up without a retort in return either.
We may appear to be retreating from its advance but we are just laying low as we make preparations for our own weapon to launch back.
We cannot and must not give up, there will no victory for this enemy, that is for sure.
We are not going to feed its glory by taking everything we have taken centuries, generations and as long as time can tell to establish for ourselves so easily.
We are NOT.

It will NOT win, we WILL make sure of that for one thing it has to learn is that we are NOT a weak nemesis, we have come to these after a long term of evolution and cultivation and we have just as many victories we can call to our names. We are not to be taken lightly for our powers in unity could be just as disastrous when we take IT down, and we WILL.

Yesterday, will no longer exist for sure, because we are looking forward to our new TOMORROW when we declare our victory.

Hang in there, and know that good things come to those who wait.


It will be back to Yesterday once more but with a brighter light of TOMORROW.

I wish us all faith and strength.

(Note: Title picture is a book by Jared Diamond)

Those were such happy times and not so long ago

How I wondered where they'd gone

But they're back again just like a long lost friend
(The Carpenters)

*Author's Note: 
This is not a sponsored/promotional post, and solely based on author's personal opinions and do not represent the general public. 
Experiences vary from one individual to another.
You do not have to agree with me.

Art Direction and Photography Styling by Me.
Photos/Videos all belong to me and are copyrighted.
Please kindly ask for permission if you need to use any of my images.

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