Work from home. Major trains cancelled. Flights cancelled. No hospital visits unless emergencies. Tourism shut. No online deliveries. Malls, restaurants closed. Social distancing. No maid support. Stay at home all day. Lockdown for 3 weeks, for now.
It seems like a surreal situation. Yes. But there’s a clear message: slow down. You may like to see it as (economic) slowdown, as a noun. Or, see it as slow down (humanity), as a verb.
By now, we have made sufficient strides in science and technology. And, our life has turned simpler with these. The world is one stage and that is a global village where distances have shrunk. We have played with the mystic formulae of nature. We have tapped into the powerhouses of natural resources. But we have also upset nature by encroaching on the very lifelines of civilisation: water and land. Poaching and hunting have grown unabated both above and below the water surfaces. Deforestation, amongst a host of other factors, has taken its toll on the environment globally, and all this in the name of development. Who hasn’t heard of aspects such as global warming and climate change? Most human beings want to keep up with the Joneses, forgetting to enjoy the present. Ahem!
As it seems, from nowhere, Corona has made its way with a plonk to the universe. It is asking us to slow down in terms of the incessant struggle of meeting the demands of life, sometimes driven by one’s personal desires and sometimes by the incorrigible norms of society. It’s high time we spent quality time with our own selves by reflecting upon and introspecting on what has happened to the planet at large. In this quietude, we may end up marvelling at how peaceful can we be with ourselves in the present situation of “live and let live” and at nature’s power to reenergise and rejuvenate. I already hear of marine life and wildlife roaring back to life with abstinence from human activities. I get to listen to the melody of the birds chirping even in the thick of an urban setting I am a part of. I somewhere get to see some equanimity and subtle order in the crests and troughs of life.
While the world faces an economic slowdown with many businesses coming to a standstill, it’s up to each one of us to behave with responsibility in terms of following these 3 Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle. Go around your home and see if there are any unused consumables you may have collected over a period of time. Use them. Reduce buying. Stop accumulating.
Pursue your hobbies. Reach out to the Internet to learn. Engage in some meditation. Dive into positive thinking! By the way, at least for now, eat to live and not live to eat! 🙂
In the same breath, my heart goes out to the innumerable healthcare professionals, sanitation workers and police personnel who are putting their own health in jeopardy to help tackle the mighty power of the microscopic virus. They are true unsung heroes at the moment. Hats off to them! Of course, a word of gratitude goes to the suppliers/sellers of essential goods and services. By staying indoors and by being doubly sure of hygiene practices with frequent handwashing using appropriate soap, we shall be able to deal with this pandemic—a scale of this sort last seen about a 100 years ago.
– Rukma Vasudev