Since we are reading enough grim news about the virus, on a lighter note here are some “not so bad” side-effects of the viral outbreak as well…..
We always believed exams are so important for children, we could not do education without this primitive humiliating ritual on children. Today we have seen it is possible to do away with it completely. Children got promoted to the next class without any stress of an exam…nothing bad happened!
Work from home:
Work from home is an ideal solution for the traffic and pollution problems in most of the cities, but we still believed (mostly the company insisted that) it was important to drive our car, burn fuel, waste a lot of productive time and go to an office to work, every single day. But when the Virus came we figured it is possible to work from home and still get work done.
Clients who always insisted on face to face meetings just discovered it is possible to have face to face meetings over Skype. It saves travel, time, biscuits, water, water bottles, coffee, tea, air-conditioning….so on.
We thought malls are the best place to unwind. Shopping, cinema, food, etc. There was a FOMO if you don’t rush to PVR and catch that stupid film on the first day. Today we found our home is best place to unwind. Especially when our children are around and they have no homework to do.
We believed weddings should be grand, an opportunity to show off our social standing and wealth. Today we know it is possible to invite just 15 people and hold the event with simplicity and dignity.
Funerals are now simple private moments for the close grieving family and close friends.
We have learned to talk to God without actually going to a temple, church or mosque.
OMG! We never thought our children can age without them. Today birthdays are quiet and meaningful family only events, where we celebrate the fact that our children are alive and healthy. Isn’t that what birthdays are all about, unlike a competitive sport among parents as it has become?
Fighting our Demons:
Strange thing with human race, the moment there is a threat, EVERYONE WANTS A PIECE OF THE PIE! Every social media has given rise to numerous experts on the subject. Everyone seems to know everything about COVID-19 now, sometimes even more than standard sources like WHO or CDC! Every single day, the TV shows and Youtube videos are filled with experts busy giving their opinion. I myself have been busy writing in journals, trying to build my scientific fame. But, do we really care what people want to know – what their doubts, fears, apprehension and perceptions are buried in a lockdown state. Let us develop the habit of taking a step backward, and fighting a tough time together rather than COMPETING FOR THE HOT-SEAT! Can’t we?
Distancing from social media:
Was a damn Need of the hour, wasn’t it! Virtual relationships and hobbies were killing our bonds. At least the virus brought us together in reality. The very source of misinformation and rumours, let us develop this long-term habit of distancing ourselves from ‘digital screen time’ and senseless forwards. Old habits die hard, but can be changed!
Traffic is less, city is quiet, families are together, home cooking is back, children are happy, spouses are talking again…it is love in the time of Corona.
We had almost forgotten that it is possible to spend more time with our loved ones too. As the lockdown progresses, let us not lock ourselves down digitally and let the information pollute us. Spend some quality time with your closed ones in proximity, sharing laughter, fear and worries. You have probably missed on this for long time now. Continue doing so, it will soothe your pandemic anxiety.
Starting from the Royal family in England to a beggar stranded on the rural streets of Kolkata, COVID-19 has not made a choice! It might be a good opportunity for us to destigmatize the social strata and consider the world as a larger and a global family. In all these days of flaunting ourselves, this was perhaps neglected too (yes, I speak for myself as well!)
While we fight for which brand of cookies to hoard in our secured homes, groups of migrant workers are either stranded at stations without food, money or even a place to relieve themselves; or walking 80-100 kms to reach their destination from workplace, in absence of any modes of travel.
Such can be the effects of sudden but necessary lockdown! Makes us question, IS SOCIAL DISTANCING ONLY FOR SELECTED SOCIAL CLASSES? While we enjoy our favourite series on Netflix at home debating about the course of the pandemic, let us donate whatever possible funds/resources for those people who do not have the luxury of even affording water to clean themselves, forget hand sanitizers! May be this ‘sensitivity’ of ours can go a long way to prevent the pandemic spread, as eventually these poor people belong to the same geographical area. And as you know, the virus does not discriminate like us!
An inanimate viral particle made us realize that we, the proud and evolved civilization of this planet, are equally vulnerable irrespective of any socio-economic-political-religious-caste-racial-regional divisions!
Let us take this as a lesson taught tough, as a prompt blow by Mother Nature on our ever-evolving pride: The world is ONE, and if in danger, it needs to FIGHT AS A FAMILY! That’s it… Let us inculcate this thought in ourselves for the future, as things learnt now can be defensive in futuristic crises.
The virus will get frustrated of the human race and leave eventually. But we can hope some of these good habits we learnt will continue….. Forever, evolving us into THE GOOD OLD “VASUDHAIVA KUTUMBAKAM” (The World is One Family)!!
What is your take on this opinion piece? Let us know in the comments. Or do You have an opinion piece of your own on another topic related to psychiatry? Get it published here. Drop us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org