The GLOBAL PANDEMIC: the visitor friend of foe?

Someone took a world tour

And lo! Behold the ‘hullabaloo of the corona virus pandemic’. An invisible minuscule invader.Yes, the arrival of this speck of a virus lulled the entire world, quarantined from the outside. Not just that, it appears to follow the give and take rule and has thus,ceased the existence of many and is considerably leaving behind its trails on the rest. It all began like a new years eve present and has made its presence felt there on. Gradually but with a determined fervour it has paved its way across towns, countries and continents until it had the entire globe under its sway.

It is believed to have originated from a place of magnanimously vibrant culture and heritage – China, the virus has travelled across latitudes and longitudes on account of the global interdependency of a modern society.So here is how it works, viruses like other pathogens don’t produce symptoms as soon as they come in contact with humans. First they go through an incubation period during which it multiplies and replicates to a desired threshold; necessary to produce symptoms in the host. during this time the human body also goes through multiple immune responses with the goal of restricting the virus below the threshold limit, thus if it is able to do so no symptoms will be manifested. Effectiveness of an individual’s immune system in responding to the virus plays a vital role.This incubation period of the covid-19 virus partially explains how the disease spread so widely without being detected. Having had the best transport system, it’s surely been easy for it to travel around.

On numerous occasions our ignorance on hygiene seems to have taken us through some long benighted months. Furthermore, transmission was found to be even through indirect contact with surfaces in the immediate environment or objects that were contacted by an infected person. As many of us already know this pandemic was classified airborne, the reason being the saliva of the infected person having with it the particles of the virus present with it being forced out in the open air if no proper hygiene is maintained.

As the virus keeps proliferating due to the negligence and ignorance, along with it flourishes the fear in the minds of many. There being a connection with emotions and immunity, studies have proved that the fear can degrade an individual’s immunity thus making them vulnerable to being infected.

Amidst the human impact, world leaders and health care individuals are tirelessly working overtime in the service of humanity trying their best with the resources at hand to find a solution, a way to bring the global situation under control. Gradually, as slow as it seems things have started to come under control at least to some extent. After all, the cure does lie in our hands, yet.

Contrary to the shackles of race, money, class or religion which we keep ourselves tangled, this unbiased corona-kind has unburdened us from all these restraints and made us realize that however far we go, humans will always be connected to each other; biologically, physically and chemically. Being a time for empathizing with one another, everyone was obliged to abide by the safety protocols set by the government and health centres which would help contribute to the containment of the virus.

Given the idea of empathy and solidarity. Yet, it doesn’t take long for those cruel mindsets to bring back the idea of discrimination in relation to race. It has been witnessed that in several countries, Chinese nationals and persons of Asian descent, particularly those with similar features, faced attacks, xenophobic attacks due to the pandemic. There has also been an increase in the number of cases reported of hostility and discrimination. This proves racism and also highlights the enormity of hate imbibed in people’s minds. It is unfortunate for such cases to take place even in the present scenario.

With many addressing it as the ‘Chinese virus’, racially profiling it, makes the Chinese nationals more vulnerable to being targeted and harassed. Furthermore, it also increases the already imbibed xenophobia in some peoples’ minds. At a time as crucial as this every word can hold uttermost value and regard.

With all the visible chaos and waves of fear and death, there has been some ray of light on environmental issues which should have been acted upon long ago. Studies have shown drastic drop in pollution levels in the environment to a considerable extent. May,the peak of carbon emissions due to the burning and decomposition, is said to be recorded to its lowest levels of pollutants in the air since 2008. Water bodies have also been reported to have gotten clearer. In addition a number of animal sightings were noticed. Today, many of us may think of these sightings to be something unusual, but this unusualness was their usual until we encroached and interfered in their land, hence the pandemic made it convenient for these animals to move on the streets on account of the withdrawal of human activity.

Despite the mandatory self-confinement in our respective homes, the pandemic brought those distant families closer. Parents who hadn’t had much time to dedicate to kids now had a chance to do so.

Being GEN ‘Z’, passing time this pandemic wasn’t much of an issue thereby soaring the profits of various entertainment companies such as Netflix,Hulu,Amazon and other T.V networks to quite an extent.

India v/s Covid-19

As the entire world was getting enveloped by the wrath of the corona virus and its innumerable effects India too was instilled by the fear of covid-19 and the possibility of losing their dear ones .

State by state until the entire nation had its now known, invisible visitor. As the cases gradually increase and so the fear, is it really the virus that we should be afraid off?? Yes! we are fighting this unseen enemy, with no definite cure in sight and lots of misinformation and disinformation being circulated via various media platforms. Isn’t it from here that most of us claim to have been informed so?? Then how sure can we be that all that we come across here is true? or how much of it portrays the truth? Then isn’t this “accidental” spread of misinformation and disinformation that we unfortunately believe in something that we should be most afraid of.

“We are not only fighting the epidemic but the infodemic too”, exclaims Mr.Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director General of the WHO. The motive of such posts maybe intended to simply manipulate people’s minds and to create biases. Some have even used the pandemic as an opportunity to get rich by creating fake brands,such as the one claiming colloidal silver being sold by him would cure the novel corona virus. But the truth is that colloidal silver isn’t even safe for the body!

Today, with the present situation, miscreants have been playing with the minds and emotions of the innocent and have used social media as a medium to propagate their fake remedies and thus fooling the naive into buying their fake products.

Apart from the havoc created on internet platforms the pandemic has hit the poor the worst yet again.Even though the lockdown as imposed was claimed to have brought the spread under control, during this time many migrant labourers many of which may have been daily wagers apart from already facing the crisis and the pressure of saving enough to suffice the needs for the remaining days of the so called lockdown extension they had to now leave for their hometowns travelling long distances and were thus seen on the roads, stranded across the counrty.They not only lost their jobs but their dignity too due to the jolt of the government. Well yes, the government did announce relief packages to help those workers and also small businesses. But from all counts, the additional food, cash and other benefits being offered are insufficient to reduce the insecurities and uncertainties in the people’s lives.

Is really only the poor being affected so bad? This pandemic, the lockdown has also meant the loss of millions of jobs especially those of daily wagers as mentioned earlier and informal sector workers. Large companies across various sectors- aviation, media, retail, hospitality, automobiles have announced massive layoffs and experts believe that small shops and medium businesses are likely to shut shop together.

With the current scenario, experts warn that the economic cost of the lockdown is only starting to get higher. And so the government has begun to ease such restrictions on zones or areas which have reported a lower number of infections, while the curfews are still in places with a comparatively higher number of cases.

Having mentioned the cons, this pandemic did have it pros as well. It was noticed that apart from being stranded at home youngsters as well as many others have somehow discovered their hidden talents right from cooking to household chores.

In conclusion, this pandemic seems to have affected men and women equally. At home, it also forced them, for instance, to share household chores. And so it has given a time for reflection and can be viewed as a golden hour for many to realize the futility of stereotypes and gender norms, materialism, bigotism, classist attitudes that many have mindlessly followed for generations. This small difference will bring along waves of change.

And sooner, after a long fight, media reports pointed that India’s COVID-19 curve is flatter than that of several other western nations by containing the case to a thousands, that too with a population of 1.3 billion….or so we are forced to read.

There sparkles a period of personal growth..

A day during the lockdown seems quite pacifying until it does not. Under usual circumstances, while i’d really wish to take some time off a busy routine and just stay in to reconnect with myelf, i was flabbergasted that I'd been presented with the opportunity.

With more time at hand and having had to stay at home, it wasn’t all a waste. I decided to spend better part of it in a productive manner.

Refreshed my memory on my musical knowledge, playing the piano and learning more pieces and accompanying my brother with the guitar having small sing-song sessions. Caught on with painting a couple of canvases and some different art techniques. Apart from this, I tried cooking a variety of dishes than before. Baking became my thing, trying out different recipes each day mastering them. Slowly as I gained some more confidence, with the help of my parents i started a small venture in the same field.Things went well and I learnt some business basics and exposure in the same.

As economy and stock market crashed due to the lock down, stock investment became the topic of discussion, i too picked up some knowledge from the discussions and some addition reading.

I could spend more time with family during this period. those long gone board games got back its importance to some extent. playing boards games, exercising, gardening together as a family became part of my daily routine.

As the long the lockdown was imposed there was lot more peace and silence in the surrounding that brought me to pause and look around at the wonders of nature which i hadn’t in so long. This helped me introspect and reflect on various things especially myself as an individual. I started spending time on meditation and self examination everyday.

In addition, i decided to take a two week break from eating unhealthy and junk food and cooked my own healthier meals from breakfast until the dinner. This made me look at health and snacking in a whole new and refreshed prospective.

The lockdown took place this summer and being the harvest season for many fruits i spent some of my evening learning about the different fruits and vegetables in the backyard. I also helped in the mango plucking .Gone are the days when children explored the outdoors.It had been long since i had last visited the hills to collect those summer berries commonly know as ‘kanda’, ‘chunna’, ‘chara’ and later that season cashews too.

In many regions with the higher number of individuals infected it probably felt like hibernating, in seclusion for a while. Having relatives around those areas, calling those relatives and talking to them asking them if they are okay, hearing familiar voices and faces if and when I'd FaceTime them not only did they appreciate it and brought joy to them but it brought joy and satisfaction to me too.

However gloomy the situation may have been it did bring about a change that made a difference to me as well as in the lives of many others.It is rightly said," Every bad situation has a positive side, even a dead clock shows the right time twice a day so stay positive."

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