Since the dawn of civilisation, epidemics and pandemics have continued to haunt mankind. From the outbreak of Spanish Flu to Yellow fever, history of these pandemics dates back to the time of plague in Athens (430 B.C).But perhaps; COVID-19 (spread by SARS-COV-2 virus) is greatest in the history of mankind. This particular virus has brought entire world to a halt, something that the modern world history hasn’t witnessed before.
The virus, whose roots can be traced back to Hubei Province in China, has spread globally causing the infected number of cases rising over 92 lakh. From the Superpowers to third world countries, this virus has brought down healthcare sector, economies and the entire human race on its knees; India being no exception. Yes, various sectors such as healthcare, education, energy, and logistics have faced a serious crunch amidst lockdown. With the global economy shrinking to an all time low, economists predict a depression like situation in the near future. One might question whether we are heading towards an inevitable crisis? Or is the humanity doomed? Such negative thoughts do more harm to us than the virus itself.
Just like all other major turmoil and struggles, COVID-19 too comes with its own share of lessons and learning for the mankind. Lessons in humility, humanity and gratitude. These simple lessons which we had long forgotten in the rat race for materialistic pleasures. While some countries initially played the “blame game” but very soon they realized that the mightiest weapon in combating the virus lies in unity and mutual co-operation. Shunning the geo-political differences, the SAARC countries came together and contributed to the COVID-19 relief fund. Other stories include those of Hindu-Muslim harmony in Telangana where a group of Muslim men performed the last rituals of a Hindu woman in the middle of lockdown restrictions. This virus has brought out heart warming stories of real heroes to the forefront. From the generous acts of donating her education savings by 13 yr old Nethra of Madurai, few Jamatis voluntarily coming forward to donate plasma serve as a ray of hope in these turbulent times.
Despite the social distancing, humanity is coming closer than ever before with a mutual sense of compassion, empathy and concern towards fellow human beings. While we stay hidden indoors amidst fear, the mother earth is breathing back to life. Those little sparrows playing in my balcony, which I hadn’t seen in a long while, are a living testimony to that. The medical staff, sanitation workers and the COVID warriors whom we once took for granted are risking their lives to save ours. What else could be a nobler act than this!
The corona virus has indeed enabled us to look beyond economic differences. Becoming more sensitive and considerate towards our domestic helps. We’ve begun appreciating simple acts of kindness, engaging in deep conversations with our loved ones and clapping to say “thank you”. Our generation is more enlightened than ever before with the realisation however evolved the human race might become but in the end we’ll only remain a tiny speck in the universe. The forces of natural world are far mightier than we could possibly become. Humans may change the course of nature but can’t defy it.
The Chinese symbol “Yin and Yang” illustrates the philosophy of life beautifully. Life flows when energies complement rather than contradict each other. The mankind and nature must maintain balance for life to exist .The day we try to overpower the forces of natural world; it will only take a single microcosmic organism to perish the entire human race.
No, I’m not implying living in a utopian world and becoming ignorant of this deadly virus .True that our healthcare and education systems have failed required to meet necessary standards. But if it wasn’t for COVID-19, these loopholes might have gone neglected. There is no better time to reshape the economy, healthcare, politics and culture than now for the dawn of new world post COVID-19.
But why did it take a virus for this realisation?
“Because sometimes we need to get sick in order to get better”.
Let’s change our outlook towards this pandemic. Instead of perceiving it as a threat we need to see it as opportunity and emerge stronger than ever before. We are a fortunate generation having the privilege to shape a better world than the one we left behind. All we need is to shed stigmas and embrace this change.
Concluding in the words of Yuval Noah Harrai (bestselling author of Sapiens)
“The storm will pass, humankind will survive, most of us will still be alive –but we will inhabit a different world.”