And finally, the vaccine came out and every single person was given the antidote against the dreaded virus, and the world went back to business, and games, and politics and parties and weddings, just like the world did before. In a town in some part of the world, the locals decided to have an Awards Night.
“What’s the awards for?” asked a teenager as he walked with his father, mother, and grandparents, safely into a mall, with no masks on now that they had all been vaccinated, “Tell me dad, you’re on the committee!”
“It’s a secret!” said the father smiling at the other family members, “But I won’t be surprised if you also win an award!”
“Me?” asked the teenager startled, “What have I done to win an award?”
The day of the awards came, a giant stage was set up, and the best of equipment was installed. The whole function it was whispered was going to be telecast worldwide, after which it was also rumoured similar events like this would be held the world over.
All the families gathered in the town square that night. Though there was an air of festivity yet there were tinges of sadness as families were told to leave a seat empty for anyone who had fallen a victim to the deadly virus.
And all over there were empty chairs seating no one.
“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls!” said the Mayor as he walked onto the stage, “It is wonderful the vaccine came out and rescued the world. We are grateful to the vaccine makers, but they are not the ones the award is for. We are grateful to the government for excellent distribution of the same, but it is also not for them the award is for! I would ask our oldest citizen to come up and announce the award!” The crowd watched a ninety-year old lady climb unassisted onto the dais, “The awards,” she said, her eyes brimming with tears, “Are for all the youngsters and young adults, sitting with their families, where there are no empty seats! Please stand all of you!”
A hush went up as teenagers and young men and women stood up, where no family member had died.
The old lady wiped her tears and continued, “There are so few of you! Dear youngsters to a great extent it’s because of you, your family was safe. You wore masks, refrained from mixing with friends, and though difficult, maintained all other safety measures keeping your family secure! Though, they being alive is award enough, do come up and receive this token from all of us!”
Even as many families applauded, others looked at empty seats, shook their heads in grief even as they glanced bitterly at some of their irresponsible, young, family members..!
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