The Covert Significance of COVID 19

While there have been several more dangerous threats to our survival, this one has been endowed with higher visibility and a more urgent call to action

Around the time when offended citizens were busy protesting across continents to gain the attention of seemingly aloof governments, COVID 19 quietly slipped across borders and de-escalated that divide by refocusing attention on fatality and survival, changing the dialogue  from ‘them and us’ to ‘we the people’. When humans cease to honor each other, and the chasms between hearts become impossible to bridge, nature intervenes in creative ways to heal the tragedy of antagonism and separation. Suffering is rarely seen as a good thing, but it has its curative effects. Perhaps we are being invited by this occurrence to draw inspiration, once again, from John Lennon’s dream of, ‘imagine all the people, living life in peace’.

Considering the infinitely divided world we live in, it’s a relief to finally agree on at least one thing, the unanimous desire to escape COVID 19 and make it extinct. In the somewhat twisted ways of the universe, the separatists have been brought together in a concerted battle against a greater invisible force, compelling us to be more responsible. Thanks to social media and awareness campaigns, we are now happily adopting old school habits, covering our mouths when we cough, admonishing people who spit in public places, and diligently washing our hands every few hours. In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, sauch or cleanliness has a direct correlation with shuddhi or purity, making me wonder if this could be a symbolic symptom of humanity’s need for purification. 

And while there have been several more dangerous threats to our survival, this one has been endowed with higher visibility and a more urgent call to action. So, while fear mongering and over caution  captures our perception, compelling us to hoard sanitizers, facemasks and even toilet paper, it may be relevant to ponder about how the sudden emergence of this virus could perhaps be a ‘tempering operation’ designed by nature to contain humanity’s harmful indulgences.

Regardless of how panic stricken we may all be, there are hidden merits to this pandemic. Take the go-getter workaholics, trapped in the ‘success at any cost syndrome’, who can now focus on things closer home due to the company embargoes on travel. Less time traveling can allow for more time with family. For a species being increasingly afflicted with the plague of disconnection and apathy, the Corona virus effect can be a useful antidote. Travel is increasingly being used as an escape from the disconcerting realities of life and unhappy relationships. What if we are being called upon by nature to review how much we have sacrificed responsible connection for the lure of adventure?

Universal laws are not swayed by human sentiment but are purposed in maintaining equilibrium. As the stock markets head southward, wiping out millions each day, the question we ought to be worrying about is not how our profits are dwindling but how our greed has become so unquenchable? Have we become too attached and driven by money alone? What matters more, luxury or courage in the face of fear? Is it time for us to examine how much of ourselves we are investing in money making instead of virtue building? 

Each time we read a message or article about how this dreaded virus can kill us, do we stop to think about how we are increasing the collective mania on the planet? Fear feeds everything we don’t want to see happen including disease, division and deception. It weakens our immunity against everything that disrupts and dishonors life. Perhaps nature wants us to use our human potential to think and reason in solving human and global problems, not only with blind belief, but more so with creativity, empathy, understanding and faith.     

That it takes a dreaded virus to improve our personal and social hygiene, make governments cooperate and unite people in prayer, is clearly a benevolent outcome. I can’t remember the last time companies so compassionately encouraged employees to work from home and tend to their coughing family members. With the speculation around eating and ordering out, I’m hoping more family members will use this opportunity to huddle around warm kitchen fires, cooking, laughing and talking. Parents may temporarily regress to classical parenting methods and check in frequently with their kids, reminding them to wash hands before meals and eating together. And so, while we wait for the virus to vanish, let us choose to focus our attention on these more positive side effects of COVID 19 and allow them to have a purgatory impact on some of our vices.   

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COVID-19 health care Suzy Singh


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