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FLORENCE     Florence –  the capital of the Tuscany region and the cradle of Renaissance   We opted for Flix Bus while traveling from Venice to Florence. The road journey takes about three and a half-hour. In Florence, it terminates at the rear end of Santa Maria Novella (SMN) train station. One of Italy’s busiest stations, it got its name from Santa Maria Novella Church just across the plaza from the main entrance. We debarked at the station and refreshed ourselves at McDonald's before hiring a cab for our hotel. Florence, popularly known as ‘Firenze’ by the Italians, is located in central Italy. This dreamy city with a romantic name is the regional capital of the lovely Tuscany region.   Columbus Hotel, where we stayed, is located in Lugarno District. We always prefer to book our hotels through Booking.com as we always land up getting good hotels at good locations. Despite being a little away from the heart of the city and Santa Maria Novella station

Pandemic Pandemonium

Rajat Sarkar of Hamburg, Germany briefly expressed his opinion on the WhatsApp page. What impressed me is his satiric style and the crispiness in looking at a dreaded virus that has suddenly taken mankind by storm. Read on :

Pandemic Pandemonium - Tracking the Virus 

by Rajat Sarkar 

Tracking the virus and the actions of the medical institutions have so far come a cropper. Many experts have been giving their ‘invaluable’ opinion since the beginning of the pandemic. People have been arguing which vaccine works better. ‘Research papers’ are floating all around. Without knowing what they are, we have been using jargon like antibodies, mRNA, mutations…. Treatment protocols are being constantly upgraded – serious business! As early as May/June of last year, a vaccine scientist told me there would be vaccines available by the end of the year 2020 and that companies are working round the clock. All would be okay. It has been amusing, to say the least, to listen to the weighted points of view of the ‘experts’. In my typical ‘Paglaa Dasoo’ (Sukumar Ray) style I tried to find humor but not without chagrin The Covid vaccine business started with it being touted as the elixir of life. Soon after the launch of vaccines, there has been a shift to the ‘brands on the ramp’. People discuss which ‘brand’ of vaccine they have got or intend to get. BioNtech/Pfizer seems to be the Giorgio Armani of pokes. It is laughable! For me, the only disturbing thing is I have to once again learn the Greek alphabets which I happily forgot after leaving school. 𝛿 followed by 𝛿+ and now λ scares me. Of all the people I have spoken to only one person has said, ‘Rajat, we know nothing about the virus. This virus proves that medical science knows very little about the human body. We are all living RAM BHAROSE. STAY SAFE!’ I keep wondering if it is nature’s way of teaching humans a lesson. But humans have brains. Sounds snarky – read David McRaney’s You Are Not So Smart! In a world full of wisdom I have understood it makes sense to keep my mouth shut. WEAR THE MASK!



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