The world was full of hustle and bustle. Be it office or school or college, everyone was occupied. Every year we would set goals and start chasing them. It was a race with no finishing line. The survival of the fittest was our motto of life. This competitive culture and busy lifestyle had left us indifferent to everyone else.
We were no longer social beings. Our hearts were drained of compassion, empathy, and kindness. Instead of showing concern, we were apathetic towards each other. Our hate transcended basic human values.
Hostility towards people of different religion, race or colour was widespread. Social media was a way of venting hate and denouncing each other while people died of hunger and disease.
We had become so insensitive that deadly conflicts were justified. Mainstream media reported everything else but news. A propaganda machine that started covering up massacres. It was a shame, not the 4th pillar of democracy.
The environment was choking as global warming was on the rise. Mother Earth was being desecrated. Our flourishing existence drove other creatures to extinction.
Everything seemed fine until misfortune started knocking on our doors. Human beings desperately needed a halt and Covid-19 came to the rescue. I saw in the dark clouds of this disease a silver lining.
We are eight months into the pandemic and still learning that:
1. Industrialisation brought prosperity but not for all. It marginalised communities and led to economic disparities. Covid-19 illustrated how fast and stealthily a disease can spread from the poor to the rich or vice versa. So, in the future, if something like this happens again, without a common standard of healthcare worldwide, it cannot be fought. This disease made us realise that good health is health for all.
2. Although there is social distancing fatigue in people, we have been socially distanced for decades now. People had lost track of their families and relatives anyway. Instagram likes and new editions of the iPhone were our sources of happiness. But ‘death’ can bring most remote emotions to life. No one in this world can be as comforting as your mom and as strengthening as your dad. In difficult times like these, having a family behind you is a blessing. Hopefully, we will value this in the future as well.
3. There are people who never care for others. They just want to live in the moment. Covid-19 hit them back. Covidiots were the worst affected. Coronavirus spotlighted our lack of civic sense and social harmony, the prevalence of ignorance and scientific unawareness. The pandemic showed us the disastrous consequences of fake news. We, quite clearly, have been producing uneducated literates by far, and that has got to change.
4. We have been electing unworthy people in the places of power. This collective mistake is being acknowledged worldwide. The worst affected countries have the worst leaders. Our democratic power to vote has to be used more carefully in the future.
5. At last, some respite for the climate. The drastic reduction in pollution levels bears witness to how our activities have devastating our environment. New eco-friendly policies are need of the hour. Our greed won’t suffice for much longer. People have to take responsibility and act maturely.
No doubt Covid-19 brought misery, fear, and death. It separated families and made mothers watch their children die. Absolutely ruthless in nature, this virus inflicted havoc in the world.
But, sometimes, a whip is needed to bring a horse back on track. I hope this becomes our blessing in disguise. The world we were supposed to make our own tossed us upside down. I hope that it flourishes in the hands of future generations.
Those who survive this pandemic should themselves lucky and must not forget the lessons they learnt from it, and from 2020, the year of grief.