The ongoing pandemic caused by coronavirus or COVID – 19 is not showing any signs of slowing down and it is spreading at an alarming rate. It will surely bring a huge loss to lives and also create a severe dent in our world economy. And this economic slowdown is already predicted to be much worse than the 2008 worldwide economic crisis caused by the collapse of the investment bank, Lehman Brothers.
The corona pandemic has resulted in an international travel ban and almost all the countries are under lockdown to combat the spread of the virus. Companies are being shut; the people locked down in their own homes, on one side a grappling fear of the imminent danger and on the other side boredom, panic for not having enough supplies, loss of jobs, loss of wealth, and loss of businesses has engulfed us; causing a massive physical and mental trauma in the world.
And this is just the beginning, much more extensive devastation, pain & despair looms. It will leave irreparable scars for the many decades to come in the future. Our world economy will fall back years and result in a catastrophic global recession, halting the sustenance & progress of the worldwide markets.
Speaking about the pandemics and epidemics; they are not new to earth, several religious scriptures speak about them. There is a mention of bubonic plagues, plagues of pneumonia & locusts in the Bible. Quran speaks about plagues, violent storms, and rocks showering from the sky as condemnation from God. Several Hindu scriptures refer to various Avatars incarnating on Earth, whenever there are too much sin and injustice, to restore the balance.
If we quote some from our historical records - Plague of Athens ( 430 – 426 BCE ), Black death ( 1331 – 1353 AD ), Spanish flu ( 1918 to 1920 ), and the more recent ones like Pandemics of Cholera, SARS, MERS, Swine flu have claimed several million lives at various points of time.
All of these have been followed by several warnings to humanity to correct themselves and their ways of life. And we humans have always disregarded such calls of warning and only seem to learn the hard way. Time and again we have borne the brunt of the universe due to our stubborn selfishness and apathy towards anything or anyone other than us. And yet we need a reminder every time in the form of widespread pain and suffering to keep correcting us.
Early studies of COVID – 19 show some respite as well. Apart from obvious health altercations, few early studies as reported in the media claim “80%” of the cases fall under the “mild to moderate” category, without causing any severe harm to health or life. While the rest of the cases, combined with other ongoing health issues are the riskiest; also, the severity depends on the individual cases & sturdiness of one’s immune system.
On an optimistic outlook, due to these nations' wide lockdown and the ban on travel/movement, we have been provided with an opportunity to self reflect, spend time with our families. Finally, after decades, people are, even if forcefully, are returning to their roots, visiting their parents & families; getting in touch with the nature & basics of life. These tough times will reveal what & who matters to us most. Perhaps our perspectives, thinking patterns, mind frames, biases, prejudices, bad habits will change for good. We will be forced to live a minimalist life, having experienced these critical times, we will be more considerate & compassionate.
Few scientific observations show a remarkable decrease in air pollution, our rivers and water bodies have clearer water, cities are less noisy, deforestation is temporarily reduced, and the ozone layer is repairing itself after decades. There is peace in the animal kingdom, few wild animals have been spotted in various cities across the world, birds like sparrows have returned.
Economies, markets, businesses & organizations will undergo massive upheaval and the whole set of new potentials and solutions will make way. We will be more aligned with our true selves, the level of consciousness of the earth and universe as a whole will rise. All of this will be accomplished gradually over the years to come and only our positive outlook and attitude during this phase can catalyze the whole process.
Every time a pandemic or an epidemic is inflicted on humanity the causes have been our own doings. The universe assumes such a harsh course of action only when we fail to heed to its repeated warnings. Such drastic measures have been time again proven to be successful to force humanity to re-access itself, re-evaluate, understand the consequences of its own doings and ultimately realign itself with the original plan of the universe, as intended.
On an ending note, we can say that life, death, happiness, sorrow are all outcomes of our own karma. This is a chance to redeem our karma and positively seek the lessons these situations are trying to teach us. This is an opportunity to give back to society, whatever the universe has blessed us in excess, perhaps a chance to be humans above all else.
And more importantly follow the guidelines issued in the interest of the public, of social distancing, hygiene & taking care of our nutrition, health. Let not be our callousness the cause of danger to us, our families or society.