The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic holds many lessons for life, spirituality, religion and humanity.
First, humans are powerless victims before nature. We’re fortified with a whole range of technologies, weapons, rockets, satellites, missiles, but a microscopic virus has subverted almost every human endeavour around the planet. The Novel Coronavirus reminds us, in glaring terms, that humans are impuissant before nature.
Second, viruses don’t think about rich/poor, male/female or any other class distinction. It treats all equally. It has voluminously damaged countries across the globe, with all its crusading impulses. No one is privileged. It has a masquerading effect.
Third, the virus’ damaging effects are contingent on individual capacity to resist. Its well understood by now that COVID-19 causes high body temperature in all. Yet, some might recover and others might not. The evidence so far suggests that around 5-10 % of the total victims have been dying because of fever. Death or recovery depends upon immunity, and not age. That’s why we can’t say who might bear the turbulence and who might not.
Fourth, we’re not habituated to live in isolation. We meet people at our homes, outside, at the market, and at our workplaces. In short, we meet a whole range of people on a daily basis. We rarely spend our days with a single person. But the virus has compelled us to live with the same people for a significant amount of time. We are, in many ways, under detention (or house arrest) and we can’t even complain about it. There’s no authority to listen. We’re in this stage perhaps because we didn’t obey the advisories before. COVID-19 is an all-pervading force, echoing the supremacy of the almighty.
Fifth, the virus has forced us to reevaluate the philosophical underpinning of our lives. Ordinarily, we ponder over our lives and the purpose of existence, why were we put on to this planet, what really is the basis of our existence, what’s the cost of service, friends and social life. COVID-19 has snatched all of that from us. In a one go, it has taken up our will, choice and what not! As I said earlier, we are powerless victims. We’re being forced to recall the things that used to irritate us, like going to the workplace or university. We are missing things that we perhaps didn’t like. We’ve realised that they are inevitable. They make our life dynamic and colourful. All those colours have been trespassed by the virus and our lives have been reduced to stillness.
Sixth, COVID-19 is an assault on our economy. Economically, we are at a historical low. The market is down. The whole system has been irreparably damaged. Be it primary, secondary or tertiary, no sector is working. Its truly is a war-like situation in a time of peace.
Seventh, the virus is re-exposing political and social privilege. Despite repeated warnings by health experts, a section of the political elite is playing its own tune. They are venturing out every now and then, thus putting lives at risk. We’ve seen the powerful and the wealthy flouting quarantine and testing rules and regulations. Ego continues to play the fiddle.
Thus, the pandemic has been a great learning process for our race and society. It has recalibrated and reemphasises the core values of nature, life, introspection and cooperation. During these testing times, there is little that we can do but trust the system and the almighty. The Creator can’t be too cruel to her creatures. This too shall pass.
Vishal Kumar is a student of law at the Campus Law Centre, University of Delhi.
Featured graphic from Pixabay.