Ever since the plague of Corona Virus or COVID-19 hit the world, I have been following events all day, at times peering outside my window staring at the empty roads and by lanes that just as back as yesterday were beaming with noisy, heavy traffic. I find my self stuck in my OYO rooms hotel due to a nationwide lockdown called by our beloved PM. The state of Maharashtra has made sure that no one ventures out. Social media is full of drone shots of major megacities around the world currently under lockdown, it’s eerie chilly feeling straight out of a Night Shyamalan film. Cities across the world have fallen silent as the whole of mankind remains locked indoors, distancing them from one another, just to remain alive and uninfected by the disease that just chokes you to death. We are witness to nature’s way of doing a mass culling of human beings and it is doing it in its own subtle way without firing a single bullet, through an unseen virus. First confused, then denial, followed by mass panic to lockdowns and even politicization of the derided plague has taken place. The media creating, even more, fear and panic amongst the masses as one after the other stories of the lockdown and the spread of the disease come to us.
Infected health workers, the high death toll in the US and Europe have caused many to think that this could be the end of the world. That may not be true, but it has forced us all indoors, in a way giving us time to reflect what we have done wrong and not abode by the laws of existence and nature. This universe is not only ours to rape, pillage and Destroy. The consequences of man’s greed can be harsh and we are only learning that now. In few weeks 40,000 dead worldwide and nearly a million infected Corona spreads fast and exponentially around the world as doctors, paramedics and nurses try to comfort the sick while trying to manage the outbreak. Everyone is in the fighting mode, the virus is our number one enemy currently and must be stopped Corona ko Rok na, everyone wants to stop Corona. I am bombarded by videos, messages and interviews my celebrities on how we must protect ourselves from the virus and stay indoors, one after the other politicians and Bollywood stars stand in front of us folded hands negging us to stay home and follow social distancing to stop the spread of the virus. Tik Tok is full of humorous jokes and videos on the virus spread, they even have an anthem called Ghar Baitho India, which is very popular amongst the teens. The hunt for a vaccine to fight the virus is on, with rumors of companies starting clinical trials of a vaccine as well. There is a huge industrial effort to manufacture sanitizers, masks, gloves and protective hospital gear for staff to fight the virus. Corporate houses and big family-owned business houses have come forward to donate money or otherwise to back the stop Corona drive. Religious institution including Gurdwara’s has been feeding the poor and day wage laborers with free meals.
It had been a time for us all to introspect where we are headed as a species and figure out a new role and understanding we need to have with nature. We need to understand and keep in check our greed and rampant disregard for nature the very mother that protects and natures us, otherwise it will consume us. It is an opportunity to shift the consciousness of the world up a few notches, with man locked indoor’s birds, animals, and other flora and fauna have come out to play. It is a great time for nature, with no traffic and noise pollution anywhere. Mother nature has slapped man through this calamity and put us all under mass detention like we use to get in school when we got out of line. But will we as a race lean from our reckless mistakes, it yet has to be found out. But one thing is for sure it has put fear in our hearts, unlike the fake and non-existential crisis we have been forced to look inwards. We have to ask ourselves difficult questions, can we go on living like this and destroying our own planet, saying it someone else problem. We are all connected and the virus does not discriminate between rich and poor, strong or weeks, black or white it just kills the body that hits it by causing a respiratory disorder by attacking the lungs, it just kills. I am sure those who have monopolized all the money, wealth and resources of the world must be in deep introspection, the virus kills indiscriminately and no amount of wealth and power cans ave you if it’s your time to go.
The recent twist is the religious twist the virus has got, with Hindu right-wing claiming that there was a mass infection case during a Muslim prayer meeting in Delhi. Now we have a Hindu and Muslim virus also. But then this is India and the virus is further dividing us on religious grounds. With a mass exodus of day wage earners, laborers and the poor to their villages, the fear of the virus spreading to villages far and deep into India has also intensified. The police are stretched trying to maintain the lockdown, help patients, and catch and quarantine infected people. The effort still goes on the fight to Stop Corona. The elite and the rich realize that they have to take a lead in kick start the economy as the world moves into a recession with major stock markets around the globe including our own take a hammering. With China being the epicenter of the virus the logistics and manufacturing hub lies paralyzed and useless. With the speed in Europe and the US, the top post economies of the world will be hit hard and there will be mass erosion of wealth and equity as we move into the third phase of the virus outbreak. The grim and slow economic forecast will remain for some time as we will experience a grim bear market with very low consumer sentiment, no purchases, no outdoor entertainment, and no family dinner outings. I feel people will get more spiritual and turn inwards in times like this now that they had free time with themselves at home. With so much pressure outside, inwards is the only place to go to derive some strength and meaning into what we are witnessing around us, these are indeed unprecedented times. In a strange way, it is also bringing us all together as the world fits the virus globally, each country supporting the other with, aid, food, medicines or support through information. The advantage we have that in a connected world we have acmes to case histories, infected numbers, and learnings from doctors and filed workers fighting the virus, this can be exchanged freely in real-time, and that will help immensely.
Although this is the beginning of the epidemic it is something we will not forget and look back as one of the key truing points for humanity in its evolutionary path. As I patiently type away this article I can hear the Azaan, the evening Muslim call for prayer coming to from a roadside mosque. When all else fails them is Allah! The almighty to protect us, in the end, we are at his mercy and only he can redeem us and bring humanity out of the difficult and trying times in our history.