Let’s See the Other Side of the Lockdown and Try to Understand What Covid-19 Has to Teach Us

Little girl who is 10 years old, after observing for about three months asks her grandfather out of curiosity, “Dadu, where is your food-packet that you used to eat thrice a day after tea despite Mom warning you that it causes cancer? Dadu, is cancer less risky or coronavirus more dangerous that led you to finally stop consuming it? I’m asking because you were not scared of cancer all these years but just within three months coronavirus taught you that cancer is dangerous and you can still survive without consuming it. Is coronavirus that powerful Dadu?”

Listening to the questions asked by his granddaughter, the 70-year-old man was speechless, and while looking at his daughter-in-law, he felt the pain with self-guilt and self-regret for avoiding her words all along.

Acceptance of our own mistakes is the key to unlock the good within self and move forward to “Restart Once Again”. Then he responded to his grand-daughter, “Yes Dear! Coronavirus is that powerful to make me accept my mistake and regain the self-confidence that I avoided intentionally all these years. I promise you the new habit of not consuming that packet food will continue forever even after the lockdown gets over.” And then there was a smile and sense of satisfaction among all three of them. The little girl was the one with the cutest and innocent smile.

Let’s take a ride to witness some priceless moments and opportunities gifted by Covid-19 to the humans.

The happiness to witness the growing years of their little angel instead of being informed by their wife in excitement, “Hey, she uttered the 1st word to she took the 1st step”, fathers are gifted during this (pandemic) time to shower the infinite love they carry, that is often left unexpressed, to relive their own childhood, to teach their young kids how to walk, and to witness the word “Papa” uttered for the first time by their little angel.

Imagine the wave of limitless joy in a family when their daughter, getting ready to become a daughter-in-law in another family, was to soon leave the place where she spent her golden years since childhood but is now held back due to the pandemic. Did the nature answer her prayers of spending some more time with the family while she accepted the fact that she has to leave at some point. The nature gifted her more time to create memories, to spend more time with her family, and to feel the happiness when she is pampered. The parents may not explicitly say it, but they are happy their sweetheart will be with them for some more time. While talking with their daughter and adoring her presence in different ways, they thanked nature for awarding them the most unexpected gift.

How about the sweet newly married couples of late February or early March when the Covid-19 was raging across the world? It may be that the urge to build the strong base of understanding for the long coming years seemed quite difficult as it was fiscal end 31st March was approaching, and as a reward for their prayer, work from home was announced! Can they ignore the time that has been gifted to them for having together all the meals daily? Instead of calling twice a day, now they can have in-person conversations with that special person, nourishing the new relation with more love, care and understanding – isn’t that beautiful?

The time has arrived once again to feel the unconditional love of our grandparents. Remember, during our childhood when our parents used to warn us and our grandparents would shield us all the time. After growing up, getting busy in our life of colleges, office, friends and spending time doing parties and going for hangout we forgot our oldest best friends – the grandparents. The conversations we had with them, the way they story-tell Ramayana and Lord Krishna while teaching us most valuable lessons for upcoming life, and the moments they would share their feelings with no one but only us because they knew we are going to be there with them forever – but are we there with them today? Does living together with them in the same house also mean ‘being’ with them? The answer is No. Let’s be true to ourselves. During our adulthood, our grandparents were getting old, and we may have failed to understand the other side of the coin – the responsibility we have towards them and the time we owe them. Today, let’s do rectification of our lapses, and talk with them as we have unlimited time. Let’s protect them if anyone comes ‘warns’ or ‘ignores’ them. Let’s share with them how times have changed, technology has advanced, and ask them about their favourite food and try to cook it by ourselves. Let’s understand this is the time when they can revisit their childhood and stay patient with them. During this lockdown (or unlock phase), let us unlock our oldest memories and relive them. This time is a ‘one-time’ offer – either avail it and understand its value or pass it living the monotonous life that we were already living before the Covid-19 entered our life. The pandemic may be making us aware that no matter our bank accounts are filled with 5 or 10-digit amounts, at the end of the day what matters the most is our relationship with the loved ones.

While we all know the ‘Yug’ we are living in is known as ‘Kalyug’ meaning the worst era of generations as per Indian mythology. Our grandparents may have said during our childhood that people may ignore good for the bad during the Kalyug. But who could guess the power of ‘Nature’? While there were some initiatives to clean Mother Ganga, there were multiple projects undertaken with huge investments that work against the very cleansing. When pollution reached its peak, it may be that the Nature undertook cleansing Mother Ganga mission by itself. Let me clarify, I am not against development or our economic growth, the only thing we need to understand is that in the long run, “Our Healthy Nature and Wealthy Bio-Diversity are the Two Strong Bases of our Economic Growth”. For those who want to get philosophical – what we gave in the past, we are receiving in the present as the Covid-19 pandemic. So, let’s be cautious going forward; otherwise, if we don’t mend our ways, we may receive the same again, probably another pandemic.

Humans are known as the best creation of God, but are we justifying it when we need to play the most vital role in these pressing times? Humans are bestowed with several precious gifts by Nature – an ability to express emotions and feelings as compared to other living creatures; power to think; and manifest their dreams into reality. Let’s make use of these gifts by extending a helping hand to those in need, going out of our way through sharing the food and water, and understanding the emotions of those who cannot express through words. As the unlock phase 2 begins (as announced by the Indian government as of this publication), let’s grab an opportunity to understand our role in much wider sense. Let’s understand the unspoken words and unexpressed feelings of the needy, and do whatever we can to help our fellow citizens, sustain the Nature, and contribute our bit toward the nation (re)building.

As scientists and medical fraternity work 24X7 to invent a vaccine or create drug for Covid-10, it is also time for us to step back and realize that health must be our highest priority. Whether it’s yoga, meditation or some physical exercise, let’s make it a daily practice as it would increase our immunity and will become an inbuilt software for humans to combat Coronavirus or other microbes. The efforts put by the government and Corona warriors shouldn’t go wasted, and it is essential we develop healthy habits not only from a diet perspective but also from a physical and mental outlook.

When the normalcy returns, instead of passing the life, let’s apply the learning from our new teacher and reset our lives.

-Vishakha Ghaghada (One of the prize winners of Covid-19 Article Writing Competition in the 25-34 years age group)

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