It has now been almost 6 months since Covid-19, more popularly (or unpopularly!) called Corona and wreaked havoc on our dear earth! The mighty nations have been brought to their knees, with the global economy almost coming to a grinding halt, thereby bringing both the rich and the poor in some sort of level playing field, with the levels defined as per their own standards. The rich are probably ruminating the fact that their net-worth is declining, while the poor are fretting over how to get the next meal! The rich is waiting eagerly for “Business As Usual” so that their coffers can start getting filled once again, while the poor are eagerly waiting for “Business As Usual” so that they can have peace of mind with the assurance of those two meals a day. So, as you can see, neither the Super Rich and not the Poorest of the poor are much concerned about what damage Corona can do to them personally!
 
It is only the huge middle-class population, whom Corona has really impacted in a huge way. There is something unique about the middle class (me being a proud member of the same). We get swayed quite easily. Also, it is easier to sway us, if there is an easy target to put all the blame on. Taking the case of Corona, it has been established beyond any doubt that it is actually a poorer cousin to some of it’s more illustrious and deadlier viruses like SARS, MARS, etc., who capacity to kill human beings is much more than Corona. Then, how come Corona has been more effective in bringing our usual lives to a halt, which, in terms of economic losses are probably even more gruesome that the World Wars and the Great Depression! It is simply because Corona is unique in terms of spreadability. The other Viruses needed a non-human carrier, i.e., pig, chicken, mosquitos, etc. In the case of Corona, human beings themselves are the carriers. So, to save ourselves, we have to keep a distance from fellow human beings! I suppose this is a challenge that mankind has seldom encountered.
 
What this ended up doing is it rudely dissected human psychology, which is akin to opening Pandora’s box! This brought out both the goods, as well as the bads out in the open. Unfortunately, the bads outnumbered the goods. Let us look at the goods that we have had, for which we should actually be thanking Corona from the bottom of our hearts, shall we?
 
  1. With reduced vehicular movements and forced closure of polluting Industries, the Air quality improved by leaps and bounds. When we walk out today (without masks, of course), we can feel the fresh air rushing through our nostrils into our lungs, and we feel better than ever! The birds are back, and we can again hear them chirping. Mother nature seems to have regained her composure.
  2. The rivers and seas are much cleaner, resulting in the aquatic creatures having a field day. The marine life has improved substantially.
  3. People have started realizing the difference of “must-haves” and “can sustain without them”. The expensive practices like going on holidays, going to movie theatres and amusement parks, dining out, etc., have been rudely stopped. In spite of that, people are still alive and kicking! In the bargain, they have ended up saving a lot of money, which, otherwise, would have been spent in pursuit of forced happiness!
  4. Suddenly with plenty of quality time at their disposal, lots of us are honing our skills on this which are either new pursuits or passions, which has been gathering dust since probable childhood. We now have so many budding speakers, singers, and video makers emerging out of nowhere! The YouTube uploads are at an all-time high, and so are the Facebook and Instagram posts (not that I am particularly happy about it!). The point I am trying to make here is, the gap that Corona forced in our lives is quickly getting filled up with creating sojourns. What this does is, it boosts the confidence, and increases the happiness quotient, unless one is hankering for Likes and Comments on their posts.
  5. The lockdown, as enforced in different degrees almost all across the globe also gave people some quality time to think of where they stand currently, and when they can be in the future. Depending on whether one is an optimist or a pessimist, it can either be a boon or a curse. Assuming that the empty mind does not turn in Devil’s workshop, there are a lot of opportunities that have their field day.
Now let us look at some of the “bads” that Corona has enforced upon mankind. I would not be focussing on the usual stuff like Economy, Medical Infrastructures, etc., which has become cliched by now. I would rather focus on its impact on human psychology.
 
  1. Empathy suddenly seems to be available at a premium! Self-preservation is overworking, making lots of people showing an absolute lack of respect towards humanity. I am of course not talking about the noble social media posts and the associated likes and comments, which seldom reflects the ground realities! I am talking about what I see around myself. I am talking about the Gated Communities, who, in their zeal to protect themselves, are often behaving inhumanely towards fellow residents, who are simply unable to live a healthy life without the support of outside. I know of a couple of families of senior citizens in one complex, who are totally dependent on the Nurses and Hired help for almost everything to lead life. The other residents, without paying any heed to their genuine requests, simply disallowed the outside help to enter the complex, resulting in severe hardships to the families. In one such complex, they even stopped the Gas and Water Delivery guys from entering the compound and had them dump the cylinders and Water Jars at the gate for the residents themselves to carry it. Imagine a family with two senior citizens aged 82 years and 75 years, carrying a Gas cylinder for over 100 meters! Common sense seems to have taken a hiatus!
  2. Trust between people just nose-dived! And social distancing is not responsible for that. Rather than working towards keeping selves secure by taking all necessary precautions, a lot of people are keener on playing the roles of vigilantes and police on whether others are following the guidelines that have been stipulated! The fact that “rules and for people, and people are not for rules” has been conveniently forgotten! My concern is, we would soon get used to Corona, but would we ever get used to the neighbors who acted so inconsiderately during the time when we all needed to come together to help each other!
  3. Fear is the most potent of emotions, overriding the others! A section of the population, irrespective of their caste, creed, religion, or color, just lurks for opportunities to just make merry! Not that all have financial interests in mind! Just spreading baseless rumors to stoke the fire of fear seems to give them sadistic pleasure! Such rumors result in loosening the social fabric even further and create unrest in the society. The unsuspecting consumers of such rumor-mongering just submit themselves to the emotions and act irresponsibly in spreading the rumors even further. So much for the human intellect.
  4. In the initial days of this pandemic, the political systems were not making their presence felt to that extent. But as the days go by, the players have started going overboard with various narrations that suits them! This again contributes to the loosening of the social fabric.
There are so many such points that I wanted to talk about! But then I thought, I would give the readers a breather and exhort them to think on their own, and not consume any cooked thought recipes! Let humanity prevail. We may actually end up thanking Corona for showing us the mirror and improving the conditions of ailing earth in the bargain. Hail Corona.
 

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