Thursday, September 16
03:10 PM

Hopping around with Hopibi: Old habits die hard!

9 Sep 2020

The lockdown has been lifted and so are most of the restrictions surrounding it.  

And so, some people have started taking it easy again by resorting to their old careless behaviour.  

Last week, as I ventured out on my walks (hops, actually), I noticed many a shabby sight.  

People have been littering open spaces without any conscience and with trash bins available within reach. 

What really got my goat was the sight of discarded face masks and gloves which were thrown in the middle of walkways.  

By now, everyone is fully aware about the seriousness of COVID-19 and the precautions that each and every one needs to follow in order to keep the community safe. Lifting of restrictions does not mean everything is fine now and that all precautions can go with the wind. 

I had a good mind to pick up some of the trash and chuck it into the bins myself, in a bid to shame those who did it, but doing so would now be at my own peril.  

So, I looked around angrily and muttered under my breath, hoping that the cap would fit someone around the place. 

An old gentleman, sensing my displeasure, came up to me and said, “There’s no use fretting over someone else’s negligence. Each one will learn his/her own lesson in due course. Destiny has a way of catching up with each one. But, that must not deter us from doing our part.” 

I looked at his comely face and agreed with him.  

However, he saw that the explanation given by him had in no way changed the expression on my face. I tried to assure him that I would conform to the common guidelines but my voice turned to just a croak (well, it’s been just that always!). 

Just then a little boy came hopping along, a football in his hand.  

Looking at the mess, he said, “Wow, just look at this!”  

I nodded in approval. But, he couldn’t quite see me as I sat crouched between a cola can and a coffee cup. 

Then spotting me, he said, “Shall we clean up…?” 

“Never do that, junior, it’s not safe anymore,” I said, “Your Mamma wouldn’t approve of it.” 

He smiled and retorted, “One good turn deserves another.” 

“But this one can land you in trouble; so run along, and make it snappy,” I said.  

Guilty of delivering a lesson on civic hygiene that was contrary to what was once taught, I wondered if I had done the right thing.  

On one hand, I had squashed the willing spirit of a young lad, and on the other, I had saved him from exposure to infection.  

But in the midst of this lies the clarion call to all careless litterers: Don’t mess around, lest you land your community in a mess, and force everyone to be confined indoors again! 


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