COVID-19, a virus that has taken a hold of the world by its throat (quite literally) and doesn’t seem to let go anytime soon. Thousands of people have perished, the economy is in shambles and the need for an extended lockdown looms over our heads. In this hour of need, of loss and a desperate search for hope, what does the uncertain future hold?
Perhaps, we are forgetful creatures and would go back to our own ways once this crisis ends. Or, there is a small chance that we won’t. I sure I am banking on that little chance. We may finally realize our place in the wider world, may even start valuing the small things in life that were always present, yet never attended to. Maybe, this will be a good time to reflect on our lifestyles and realize that we may not need a fancy dinner or that box of chocolates. That smaller things and rather more important things like reconnecting with your family, spending more time with your pets can bring about the same or perhaps ever more happiness than our busy and fast lives, in constant pursuit for greater things can bring about.
This quarantine brings into perspective our exploits, both great and terrible, to the forefront. Cursing that humanity is the actual virus threatening to destroy the world would be a hypocritical viewpoint for many of us. And an incomplete one. Yes, the world is healing, the animals are returning, the skies are blue again and the water is cleaner than ever. Pollution is at a record low – pollution that was allowed to threaten our health by our own decisions.
Noted author Mark Twain, in his essay, “Man’s Place in the Animal Kingdom’ concluded that man is the only creature capable of doing
wrong because we have a moral sense. The ability to distinguish ‘good’ from ‘evil’; and with it, necessarily to do ’evil’, for there can be no evil act without the presence of consciousness in the doer of it.” Yet, the act of polluting our environment isn’t evil. It was a byproduct of progress. The same progress that has helped us fight COVID-19 to a certain extent.
English author T. H. White wrote, “The destiny of man is to unite, not to divide. If you keep on dividing, you end up as a collection of monkeys throwing nuts at each other out of separate trees.” And the world to a certain extent had united against this terrible disease. We have a lot to thank the doctors, health workers, sanitary workers, the police, and many more for risking their lives and serving us dutifully in this time of need. Those who cry about technology causing social degradation are seeing its uses to connect with their loved ones.
This event might change the world, not just economically, or socially, but rather fundamentally. Like a wake-up call, that we as a species are in this together. If united against a single cause, we can achieve a far greater purpose than we can by running after petty squabbles and grudges that divide us. That we might emerge stronger, more efficient, yet humble and compassionate.
Wish all at the university to stay safe and healthy at home. Let’s emerge stronger in post-COVID era.
Dr. Kalyani Trivedi, Professor & HoD, Dept. of Orthodontics, Karnavati School of Dentistry (KSD)
Disclaimer: The opinions / views expressed in this article are solely of the author in his / her individual capacity. They do not purport to reflect the opinions and/or views of the College and/or University or its members.