The Covid-19 Scenario | Learn To Live With Covid-19 Positively
Gharpedia helps to Build/Own/Rent/Buy/Sell/Repair/Maintain your dream house by providing all the tips & tricks in easy languages. It provides solutions to all problems pertaining to houses right from concept to completion. Want to become a contributor at gharpedia? Register here
The pandemic which has hit the entire world is being berated by all and sundry but Gharpedia would like to take a look at COVID-19 ‘positively’… as each disaster brings with it a hidden opportunity.
There’s a beautiful quote by Claire Messud (‘The Woman Upstairs’) “I wish it hadn’t happened; but what good does this do? I can wish it wouldn’t happen again – but here too, if I’m wishing the impossible, it will do no good at all.”
Well don’t all of us wish 2020 just hadn’t happened in our lifetime! How blissful would things be without the Coronavirus outbreak and the crippling after-effect of lockdowns, a sluggish economy, migrant labourers et al. In fact, social media is replete with memes on how 2020 will go down in the annals of history as the darkest year.
The Negative Side of COVID-19
A look at the situation at the global level reveals that while on the one hand, countries across the world are grappling with ways to fight the endemic including superpowers like the United States of America; on the other hand a lot of blame games are also taking place – funding support to UN organizations is being withdrawn; actual figures are being suppressed; geographical boundaries are being illegally crossed and also closed; many long-buried skeletons are popping out of cupboards; dirty linen is being washed in the public; trade ties are being snapped…the list is endless!
From the Indian perspective the entire country was in a state of panic – there was a lot of uncertainty regarding the actual casualty ratio and the spread of the disease. Add to this the lockdown and with everybody practically under house-arrest the psychosis assumed gargantuan proportions. The continuous numbers flashing across the news channels; the commercials harping on ‘raising immunity and sanitation levels’; and the print media laying more thrust on the total numbers rather than quoting the actual figures (total minus the fatalities and minus the recovered cases) added fuel to the fire. For a change no State wished to be in the Top Ten List! To worsen matters with the economy showing red signals, the normally generous businessmen donned the mantle of the proverbial Shylock and refused to continue paying wages to labourers – forcing the latter to set-off by whatsoever means …even on foot – to their native places. This was sad for a country like India which prides itself on being compassionate.
Did We Invite COVID-19?
There’s a segment of moral intellectuals who are of the belief that human beings are partially to blame for the pandemic fury. Here’s a quick look at what we did wrong:
01. Importance of Democracy
Well had China, which was the first to be hit by the pandemic, been free, democratic and open to sharing the figures and not suppressing the numbers and the graveness of the situation perhaps things would not have spiralled out of control as they currently have.
02. Greed Overtook Life
Not focussing on human health but rather on strengthening the global economy by many countries has led to lack of preparedness on the part of the hospitals and health care centres making the situation more unmanageable.
03. Conquering Nature
A famous quote by Schumacher, the celebrated author of “Small is Beautiful”, says it all “Civilized man has marched across the face of the earth and left a desert in his footprints”.
Human beings have turned a blind eye to crucial issues like biodiversity and ecological balance in their rat race for a better lifestyle and new technologies.
04. Hedonistic Mind-Set
- We became capitalistically greedy in our business ventures – not thinking about giving our workers their rightful dues; exploiting and polluting nature mindlessly; encroaching into the habitats of other living beings rendering them homeless et al.
- We wrongly presumed that human beings are so scientifically advanced that they have a cure for every malaise and can even reverse ageing and delay mortality et al.
05. Forgetting that … “There are Pains in Life”
Insensitivity to people dying due to hunger, diseases, road accidents and other natural and man made calamities… as evinced by our callousness of calmly watching such news on television while happily enjoying food treats like ice-creams with our family.
06. Wrong Habits
Reduced immunities due to hyper-active lifestyles and over-dependence on filtered products like RO water and medicines; lack of physical labour, including exercise; penchant for junk and processed food et al.
07. Life is Never a Bed of Roses
In the rat race for the materialistic and blind faith in technology, we forgot what Scott Peck described in his book “The Road Less Travelled” that “Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths…”An example here is the happy-go-lucky mindset of the millennial where they carry two hoots for anyone else except themselves. While the generations prior to them had either witnessed or heard from their elders about the havoc wreaked by the world wars, continuous famines and how people continuously lived under fear, insecurity, uncertainty and crisis for up to 6-7 years; hence leading to a sense of compassion and sensitivity; their descendants unfortunately miserably lacked these sentiments! We forgot that there cannot be life without pain.
Disasters are Part of Life
01. The Black Plague killed 50 million people (60 percent of Europe’s entire population) in the fourteenth century.
02. The sixteenth century American Plague wiped off 90 percent of the indigenous population in the western hemisphere.
03. 15 percent of the population of London fell prey to the Great Plague of London (seventeenth century).
04. The nineteenth century Flu Pandemic spanned the globe killing one million people.
05. The Asian Flu claimed one million lives in the twentieth century.
06. While an estimated 50 million people from South Seas to North Pole were victims to the Spanish Flu (twentieth century).
07. The 2009 H1N1 Swine Flu has claimed up to five million lives.
08. AIDS since its identification has taken 35 million lives.
So, in comparison to the above Goliath figures, doesn’t COVID-19 seem like a David!
In fact, if we take a look at the epidemic sector pan-India we’ll realize that both the cases and the fatalities in case of the plague and smallpox were steeper than those of COVID-19. In short like major earthquakes occur every 50/100 years; pandemics too shall keep on appearing in one or the other form. The key lies in changing our mindset and not expecting life to be a smooth sailing boat forever.
COVID-19 …a Blessing in Disguise
Now let’s bring to the fore the renowned Indian positivity particularly displayed by visionary Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and take a look at what all COVID-19 (and the lockdown which was announced to arrest the spread of the pandemic) has saved us from. Surprised eh? But hold your horses read on, introspect a bit and you’ll realize just how practical Gharpedia is!
Well primarily the lockdown saved 400 people from succumbing to road accidents daily. With no one on the road’s untoward incidents like – accidents, road rage and violation of traffic rules – all came to a standstill. As the lockdown was announced at the peak of summer the casualties of heatstroke and other related diseases were practically zilch. With restaurant and food delivery being clamped delicate constitutions falling prey to food poisoning were also saved. Moreover, with the entire family closeted in the house incidents of theft and plundering were also practically nil. And the paranoia associated with Coronavirus effects belittled other chronic malaises because the mindset was ‘these are nothing in comparison to the contagious coronavirus’!
Unnecessary expenses on account of many ceremonies and functions which fell during the lockdown were curtailed.
Lessons from COVID-19…Creating Opportunities from Disaster
Since immemorial years, India has been facing calamities – natural, chemical and manmade (Bhopal Gas Tragedy, communal riots, earthquakes, floods, famines etc.); and it is the innate resilience of Indians which has enabled them to rise from the ashes like the Proverbial Phoenix. This is because each disaster comes with a lesson and opportunity … as time and again reiterated by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Once learnt it is this lesson which stands us in good stead.
The on-going COVID-19 pandemic also brings with its multiple learnings for those who wish to grow:
01. Lesson From Covid-19: Push to Clean India Campaign
Basically, need for maintaining utmost hygiene and sanitation on all fronts – personal, household, community and social – is the message which the virus rings in loud and clear. This will be a blessing in disguise for our “Clean India “ campaign too. Do have a look on tools that are used for house cleaning.
02. Lesson From Covid-19: United We Stand
We are in this together. COVID-19 knows no country, caste, gender and age barriers – it strikes all irrespective of the same. So, its cure and vaccine too will need to come up as a united initiative. Instead of raising fingers at one another the lesson here is to join arms to fight against this pandemic and also share and learn from each other’s experiences regarding the best way to emerge with minimum collateral damage from this situation. It is also equally critical to be upfront and share statistics openly instead of hastily sweeping them under the carpet.
03. Lesson From Covid-19: Cashless Economy
A critical learning for all of us is that digitization is the way forward and here to stay. With the lockdown, all payments – right from essentials; to utility services like electricity, gas, telephone and internet recharges; to paying one’s domestic and organization employees – were through NEFT and digital wallets. So those without access to these found it a tad challenging to survive in times when ‘cash’ brings with it an inherent risk of the virus.
04. Lesson From Covid-19: Accept Change
Another lesson which the pandemic has brought to the fore is flexibility. Whether it involved – being restricted to the four walls of your home; abstaining from your addictions; the looming fear of a stagnating economy; surviving without your veggies or other essentials; being away from your loved ones; no opportunity for your weekly outing to the mall, multiplex or favourite food outlet – each and everyone was adjusting to this new world. Even senior citizens for whom life without a daily visit to their place of worship was unimaginable … were quietly praying to God from the confines of their houses.
05. Lesson From Covid-19: Embracing Indian Culture
Old is gold is another learning for all of us. It is time to refresh and apply traditional practices like greeting with a Namaste instead of a handshake; using recyclable handkerchiefs or hand towels instead of tissue paper; washing your hands and feet before entering the house; eating home cooked hygienic food instead of un-hygienically prepared street food; storing a year’s supply of essentials (grains, pulses, spices, oil et al); doing household work independently instead of relying on maids and servants; incorporating herbs and spices like – garlic, onion, turmeric, lemon, ginger etc. – into daily meals to boost immunity levels; imbibing the Patanjali’s Value of Aparigraha (अपरिग्रह) – minimalistic living which has been sincerely practiced and followed by Gandhiji.
06. Lesson From Covid-19: Grateful Attitude
Then again, we are also learning to use our resources wisely and the benefits of minimalistic living; and more importantly appreciating people whom hitherto we were taking for granted – doctors, policemen, sanitation workers, vendors and hawkers, teachers, security personnel, our bank, our family and of course our neighbours!
07. Lesson From Covid-19: Old Learnings Brought to the Fore
- “Consumption is not an alternative to bliss” …
Because bliss can be found in simple pleasures (उपभोग आनंद का विकल्प नहीं है)
- Small is Beautiful …
Large cities with marvellous civil infrastructure including large corporate and government hospitals, fell flat on their faces when it came to handling the COVID-19 cases; while small villages including community health centres conquered the Coronavirus by following a strict regime. This may lead to a backward migration in the coming times with people preferring “Back to Villages” to return to the lap of nature.
- Savings Versus Credit Cards …
People realized the benefits of saving as those who had thoughtfully stocked up on essentials were comfortable during the lockdown; versus those who live on a monthly credit of essentials surviving on credits and loans offered by credit cards.
08. Lesson From Covid-19: And the best lesson which the pandemic has brought is that – This too shall pass!
How to Live Positively With COVID-19
With everyone harping on learning to ‘live with COVID-19’ Gharpedia would like to go a step further and suggest ways of living ‘positively’ with COVID-19. How? Well it’s quite simple:
01. Live with Covid-19 Positively: Save Up
The primary thrust should be on saving up for a nest egg. The two months of lockdown played havoc with everyone’s family budget as practically all businesses came to a standstill. So, in order to survive comfortably we need to save up and create an emergency saving which can stand us in good stead during crises.
02. Live with Covid-19 Positively: Strengthening Immunity
Strengthening our immunity by developing emotionally and spiritually, knowing our inner self and focussing on building our will-power; eating nutritious foods; exercising regularly; doing yoga, Pranayama and taking medicine only when required.
03. Live with Covid-19 Positively: Take Coronavirus Precautions
04. Live with Covid-19 Positively: Change the Emotional Mid-set
Changing our emotional mindset and learning to digest shocks; being open to being quarantined in case a neighbour or family member is infected with the virus; removing the fear factor associated with the pandemic…albeit ensuring that you are not throwing caution to the winds; living positively and with acceptance especially when the COVID-19 fatalities are gradually lowering.
So, on a conclusive note we need to reduce the dread around the virus and learn to live with COVID-19 positively. Just following a few safe practices like – ‘Social Distancing’, ‘Wearing Masks’, ‘Sanitization and Disinfection’ – will keep us and our dear ones safe; and also enable us to gradually return to the new normal.
Hope you relished reading this, you may also like our further reads:
An English Literature and Journalism Topper, Huta Raval has graduated from the L D Arts College, Ahmedabad. Post serving for 23 years in the NBFC and Public Library Sectors her desire for ‘writing the unwritten’ brought her to the creative field of content writing. Her clientele comprises of NGOs, Blogging Platforms, Newspapers, Academic Institutions, et al.