A virus has claimed the lives of thousands of people world over. It has brought the whole world in a panic state with countries implementing complete lockdown. There is a ban on people travelling overseas as a number of countries have stopped offering visas and the international flights are being cancelled. WHO has called it a pandemic – a disease prevalent in the entire world.
Such is the fear that humans are scared of other humans. The way of greetings has changed. Social distancing is the new buzz word and even a sneeze in public is now sending people in distress. Some are anticipating the worst is about to come and families are hoarding grocery supplies and items of necessity at their homes. Sanitizers and tissue rolls are not available in the market and alcohol producers are finding more value in producing sanitizers than liquor. Schools, colleges, movie halls, gyms, private offices have been shut down. Anybody entering a country or even a housing society is being screened for temperatures and those with high body temperatures are being sent straight to hospital, sometimes with the police escorting them. This is the biggest crisis since the second world war, some say the effects are far wider.
Living with a fear of catching the virus, a lot of people have stopped travelling even for work as everyone is advocating the need of working from home. There are reports suggesting that the divorce cases have gone up as a lot of working couples are not used to spending so much time together leading to unnecessary stress and issues. This virus is leading us to a belief that human nature itself is sometimes capable of stress and disorder without the need of any external factor. Whatever happened to the teachings of Dalai Lama of love and compassion towards one another. Human beings are still living in the world of I, Me and Myself without caring about the wellbeing and feelings of other human beings, let alone animals. There may be exceptions, but the truth comes out in the times of crisis and this one has stayed long enough.
Businesses are facing the heat, piling up on losses, letting go of their workforce to fend for themselves. The travel industry and allied services are in recession and nobody is able to predict when the time will be right. Restaurants are running on losses as people now prefer to eat-in and there are no deliveries / orders, further ruining the livelihood for a huge workforce. Social gatherings, events, networking lunches / dinners have all gone for a toss as people are confined to their homes. Social distancing and the cancellation of events has adversely affected the livelihoods of a huge number of people who relied on their daily earnings to feed their family.
Amidst all this chaos and fear, the need for social distancing and for distancing from social media, there are a lot of questions we need to ask ourselves.
How and why did we get where we are today?
Global warming, climate concerns, the ecosystem have always shown us signs of a downward spiral over the years, did we ignore all of that?
It does not matter if the virus has arisen out of animals or if it was a biological weapon. Is there anything we can do to avoid it and to ensure that it does not come back in future?
While #travellingtheworld and #globetrotter were the trending buzzwords, will this virus teach us a lesson to avoid unnecessary travelling?
We are heading to a global shutdown and a long impending recession; what steps should be taken to soothe the upcoming crisis?
Are we grown up enough to follow the rules or will we bend the line again for our greed and convenience?
Are we done with blame game and hate mongering? Are our excuses bigger than the crisis at hand?
Are we learning something from this pandemic?
There are a number of questions amongst all of us and for all of us and the answers vary. In this hour of crisis, we cannot stand together but there is a lot we can do individually to restrict the virus at the current state itself. Rather than waiting for the authorities to take-action for us (which they are doing), a lot needs to be done at our individual level as well. It does not take much to wash your hands, stay hygienic and healthy, avoid unnecessary travel, events, functions, gatherings, fear etc.
What the humans have done since the beginning of human life has got us here. If we do not take care of our actions now, there will never be any time after this.