This feels like a scary dream: being able to go to market seems like a privilege, an Amazon delivery is being awaited like a letter from a husband in the war. From flying across the globe for trips and now just seeing pictures of planes stranded quietly on airports, from miles of traffic on the road in the evening to now not a single soul to be seen. Going to movies seem like an impossible wish, or watching those football matches and seeing people all over the stands shouting and singing.
Well, seems like a dream doesn’t it?
COVID-19 has left us all in awe, be it about the number of patients across the world, its origin, its length, or its effect on economy and humanity. Here I will talk about the deep impact Coronavirus is creating on the course of humanity by forcing every individual to take a deeper look at the bigger questions about life and its value.
Corona has left millions homeless in India due to the nationwide lockdown as declared by the PM. While this is an issue, there is an ever-increasing number of mental health issues for the economically fortunate ones spending days in quarantine.
Take a thought walk
It isn’t just those unfortunate people who should be called stranded, it is all of humanity right now owing to giving extreme and importance to things that are way too impermanent, things which could be changed through a micro-organism’s invasion. To what do we brag the money, the power, the glory then? It puts humans on a witness box.
During this period, it is very normal for people to go through depressive phases, anxiety, endless fear, other kinds of disturbances which can also owe if you are stuck in an uncomfortable environment during this time. When extreme, these problems start to attack physically too. Quoting Viktor Frankl who is referring to his days in concentration camps “it is how a man chooses to behave in any situation is what defines him, not the situation itself”.
It is during these tough times that man starts to self-reflect and question his ideologies and way of life because times like these teach all of us how tiny we are in this grand universe and how much of self-importance humanity has given itself. It takes something so small to shut down all the world and have everyone sit at home and pray for the well-being of everyone.
There is certainly suffering and pain but since we have the choice of reaction to different situations we can always find meaning in the suffering so that when we look back it sometime later, we’d look at a version of ourselves which was undergoing a self-strengthening transition, like a caterpillar in a cocoon.
Here is my idea of coping with things on a basic level.
Sit, close your eyes, experience, and accept the pain and the troubles. Don’t force yourself into trying to ‘strong, happy or optimistic’. Just observe the pain, observe it inside out. Do not deny ANY feeling that comes along with it, accept every emotion and thought, and just observe objectively.
Accept the fear, the loneliness, and just observe every emotion that you are experiencing. It might be a painful process but it works like taking a bullet out of the wound. You see being human is an individual journey and individual experience, nothing here is scripted. So just ignore every idea of right and wrong and experience yourself. Dostoyevsky said ‘There’s only one thing that I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings’.
We’re in this together
You didn’t expect that suddenly for several mornings and evenings at once you will be sitting alone and pondering over the state of your mind and feel stuck in the cycle of thoughts like a rat on cheese trap, well here we are. But however you feel there is one thing for certain, you are not alone.
On these days where you feel so lonely, it is very important to put yourself first, your emotional and physical needs first. It is okay if you don’t end up working out twice a day or finishing those novels or getting that course done as long as you confront your feelings head-on, respect them and let the emotions sink. Whatever you are feeling the whole world is sharing your pain through this!
An easy psychological strategy is to look things ahead, what all will you do when this is over, one day we will be sleeping in this world and waking up in another where there is no more any trace of Coronavirus, there will be a crowd in the stands, the movie theatres will be houseful all the time, you will love the same coffee with your best friend much more, you will hug your loved ones more often, you will be able to eat again at your favorite restaurant, you will do your work or study more diligently knowing the value of its absence. Suddenly the world will be a very different place and I believe that is all this is about, it isn’t some accidental spread but it’s a way of nature to remind humanity that we are just its guests, not owners and thus the appreciation of the world will be immense.
We are living in a time that will be written in books and books of all subjects – history, biology, economy, psychology, statistics, etc. Come on, let’s walk through the rest of this journey of making if the history together.
Written by: Arusha Agarwal
(Arusha is a Third Year student of Hindu College pursuing her Bachelors in Economics)