Coronavirus – A Clarion Call to Revisit our Roots

Sanjay Sehgal Mar 23 - 4 min read

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I’ve been pondering the Coronavirus pandemic like most people these days, and I feel unsettled and discomfited with hundreds of social media posts and thousands of WhatsApp messages. I will not go into the details of what we all have been reading in the news and all these posts.

But the fact that this planet has survived many disease outbreaks over the last couple of centuries fills me with hope and positivity. The correct mix of present-day medical advancements with past experiences would put us ahead of the curve. Bill McKibben, the famous environmentalist during a Forward on Climate Rally in DC in 2013, said, “You are the antibodies kicking in as the planet tries to fight its fever.”

The advent of globalization powered by technology advancements has generated new revenue sources and created so many new jobs. Likewise, we’ve witnessed cutthroat competition to achieve professional laurels. In some ways though, the web of connectivity has snared people, overwhelming them, and dragged them far from reality. We call this process the race for survival, but in hindsight, perhaps it’s alienated us somewhat from simple everyday things. We’ve become more nuclear. And while there’s no denying of the fact that today we enjoy a higher standard of living encapsulating luxury and comfort than our parents, we’ve paid a specific price – hypertension, anxiety, depression, and aloofness.

At present, Coronavirus is pushing us towards urban-isolation. And, since this is out of choice, it is giving us all the jitters. But, there might be bliss in this enforced isolation. We might come out of this as more gregarious, more social human beings, appreciative of those around us, and thrive on interaction based on trust and mutual respect. Maybe, our future fondness towards social liberation after stymying the virus could re-ignite feelings of empathy, well-being, oneness, and compassion – for every living creature.

The contagion isn’t contained yet, slipping into the canyons of finance and business. The freak fall of the share market has put global commerce in the middle of a storm. However, taking cues from similar scenarios previously, I believe that the economic crippling will fall in line eventually.

My greater fear or rather, my dilemma isn’t about the economic breakdown. I am thinking, “is this Coronavirus outbreak a clarion call for humans?” Is this a threshold point by Mother Nature to check the actions of humans over the last couple of centuries? Increasingly we’ve heard of the movement to halt or slow climate change, and this may be a desperate call by our beloved planet Earth – to humans to introspect our interaction with the ecosystem.

I am optimistic that on the other side of the Coronavirus pandemic, we as a society will be more amenable towards a sustainable future. The level of mindfulness and heartfulness will be an all-time high. And, this will be the time to amend our lifestyle, perhaps, making it more holistic— a blend of science, spirituality, and prevention. Indeed, today is a great time to revisit our roots. As a Native American proverb says, “We do not inherit the land from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”

For now, it is crucial to keep patience and adhere to the norms of social distancing, to flatten that curve, and slow the spread of infections, and to boost our immunity. It is equally important to avoid panic, spread facts, not fear, and remain optimistic. Follow guidelines laid out by the World Health Organization and the CDC.

I urge you to utilize this time to:

Rediscover Yourself with Solitude – Gather yourself. Steer clear of unwanted pressure and align your mind with the real you. Seek solitude to give your inner self some self-care. Meditate and introspect.

Get Close to Nature – Smell alfresco to sterilize your inner body and bask in pure sunlight. Nature can be sometimes be the best healer.

Covid-19, your days here are numbered.

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