COVID-19 has shown the world that nature does not discriminate against people based on human-made distinctions. Neither military power nor wealth could stop a virus from spreading across the entire globe. The global health community declared a global pandemic.
The modern world, which sought to control everything, stood disoriented and ill-equipped to combat the virus. This public health crisis generated social, political, economic, and psychological consequences and evidence of the interconnectedness in many levels: supply chains, technology, communications, and travel.
Lockdowns were imposed in all the countries to break the chain of COVID 19. Today, it has become the “new normal”. Amidst all the negativity, fear, and fatality, the novel Coronavirus has taught us to appreciate and be grateful for a few things we have taken for granted and made us recognise the new social inequalities .
Importance of Family: Lockdown has helped in strengthening the bonding among family members. Eating healthy home-cooked meals together, playing indoor games with loved ones, sharing stories, engaging in recreational activities together and having dinner conversations knitted the families. Doing household chores has made us become more empathetic and appreciate the efforts of our domestic helps, which went unnoticed or were taken for granted. Lockdown has rekindled the beauty of voice calls with our loved ones.
Importance of Health and Hygiene: COVID 19 capitulated us into the journey of sanitisation, personal hygiene, masks, and touchless living. The mandate of COVID 19 protocols has surely taught us the importance of maintaining personal hygiene. The pandemic fuelled the demand for anti-inflammatory and immunity foods. The simple yellow root became the most ingrained spice, and the plain Haldi Doodh as “Turmeric Latte”. Kadha, the humble mixture of tulsi, honey, turmeric, ginger, and black pepper, the age-old secret to building body defence mechanisms, became the “King of Corona Times”. Traditional ways of maintaining well being using herbs became alive in every household.
Importance of Environment: Human’s devastating impact on nature led to declining biodiversity, ecosystems are affected, mass extinction of plants and animals, deforestation, overfishing of seas, climate change, plastic, toxic sludge, fertilisers, and garbage covering the floors of the oceans. Mother Nature has struck back with vengeance reminding us that we belong to the Earth and the Earth does not belong to us. We realised once more that we need to reflect on our actions to protect the environment.
Social Injustice: The Indian health infrastructure completely collapsed when the pandemic hit the previous year. The health sector grappled with a shortage of beds, ventilators, ambulances, and oxygen. It reflected the loopholes in our health system and policies. Thousands of people lost their lives gasping for breath, which was a clear case of violating the “Fundamental Right to Life”. Images of migrant workers walking barefoot to their hometowns showed a grim picture of the lack of social security net measures and labour laws. Despite being the top contributor to India’s GDP, the informal sector faced the most devastating impact. It brutally exposed India’s social inequalities. Fighting for social and economic justice should be the top priority.
The pandemic is a reminder for appreciating small things in life, acknowledging the importance of scientific knowledge, embracing nature, and showing gratitude. As responsible citizens, let’s learn the lessons that the pandemic has taught us and be socially responsible while appreciating our loved ones and contributing to reducing inequalities.
Photo Courtesy: Matt Seymour