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Sunday, July 19, 2020

COVID - the great leveller

Coronavirus when it first attacked in the beginning of this year was seen as a virus that would be controlled. Nobody then imagined the wrath that the virus would unleash on mankind cutting across national boundaries and class differential.

I vividly remember the 30th and 31st of January this year when we went to the delhi airport to meet air Indians who were flying on a jumbo to Wuhan to evacuate Indian citizens, Wuhan that we all knew had an outspread of the virus. No one at that time looked at Wuhan as the epicentre of an incident that would shake the world and humanity to its bare bones. At that time we all thought that this calamity has struck a remote city in another nation and there was not even a remotest thought of us also bearing the brunt. Even our manager in Shanghai telling us of a complete lockdown in the city did not result in realization dawning upon us.

That is how calamities are – we all think that they would happen to someone else till they actually strike us.

The month of March started throwing hints. By then the virus had landed on the Indian soil and Kerala was witnessing growth. The festival of colors Holi was subdued and the excitement on the roads, trains and airports had started waning. Mid-March during my visit to Mumbai and Goa, I witnessed empty airports and no traffic jams even on the roads of Mumbai. The terror had started striking.

The one day lockdown on the 22nd of March brough the nation face to face with the impending reality and people started bracing up. Since then the onslaught of the coronavirus has been steadily growing and the country has crossed the one million mark on its journey to god knows where.

It is indeed creditable that India woke up in all seriousness much earlier and that justifies the comparatively lower numbers. Yet the seriousness of the situation remains beyond doubt.

This incident is and would perhaps change the world and the human race almost on a permanent basis. Never could we in the wildest of our dreams could imagine the closure of airlines, railway systems, shops and malls and almost the entire eco system for so long in totality. The dance of technology, wealth and comfort had made us oblivious of anything that could change our lifestyles so drastically. With travel even of a petty intercity variety becoming a project, travelling from a nation to another on business or leisure appears a far cry atleast in the foreseeable future.

Work from home with the eyes and attention rivetted on the computer screen has become the new normal, though it can never replace a physical human to human connect.

Unlike other diseases that respected rank and wealth, this virus is so contagious that in the process it does not differentiate between rich powerful nations and those of the developing or under developed variety, nor does it avoid infecting the rich and the powerful breed of humanity.

The great leveller is upon us till a vaccine is found – the earlier the better.  

1 comment:

  1. COVID-19 has demonstrated that in the so called developed world there is no mindfulness. Mindfulness must supervise Democracy. But in the developed world people harping on democratic rights and refusing to wear face masks and not keeping social distance and congregating into parties or fun times in beaches has created havoc. Indeed, on the 17th of July alone there were more than 75,000 infected cases and 19th over 67,000. If people think of their democratic rights, then you becomes not important. Then corona will spread.
    But when you are more important than I then we all take care and corona will recede. To put this to the mercy of vaccine is not the right thing, but to place faith on Mindfulness leading to "YOU ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN I" which will weaken corona virus.