We are living at a frightening time, when we are not even able to ask the other person, “How are you doing?” As I am writing this, more than 7 lakhs of people around the world have been affected by this Coronavirus pandemic and more than 34,000 have lost their lives.
Here in India, we are lucky so far, because of the stringent measures adopted by our government. The number of affected people in our country is less compared to the density of our population. The 21-day lockdown imposed by the government will prevent the spread of the disease.
Today, my thoughts are on the health workers, doctors and nurses, who, day in and day out, risking their lives, in the various hospitals, isolation wards and quarantine departments, saving the lives of 1000s of people. I wonder how many of them have already died in Italy and Spain while giving health care to the affected people. I think, we better get on our knees and pray for them that their lives maybe preserved. If they become weak, if their hearts and minds collapse, we can’t even imagine what will happen to this world. If they are not kept alive, when we are sick, there will be no one to care for us. While we applaud them, we pray intensely for their safety.
Just imagine, you find it uneasy and difficult to stay home during these days of lockdown. The greatest contribution you can make for your country today is to stay at home and follow the guidelines of the government instead of complaining and criticising the government. Just think about your family, if you or your dear ones get affected and even die; none of them will be able to see your face and you will not get to see them either if they are the victims. That is the state of affairs today in the world and we see happening in Italy. Thus, take precaution today so that you will be at peace tomorrow. Let’s take this lockdown as an opportunity to be with our family, to slow down our life and to take stock of what is essential.
You might say, I am missing out of so many things that I used to enjoy, but remember, you need life to enjoy them. We are fighting for our existence, our life, our survival. If the government has asked you to stay 21-days at home, it is not to make your life difficult but safer and healthy. Definitely, it can be little suffocating as we drag these days along but little suffocation is better than not able to breathe anymore. What I want to encourage you is to accept this situation positively, for your good, and the good of your family and our country.
I am sure as soon as you heard the news of the lockdown, most of you would have stored up enough provisions and maybe hoarding them too. There is nothing wrong with that but it is important to find out, if our neighbours, especially the poorer ones have something to eat as well. It is a great opportunity to share what we have with the poor. At the same time, learning to use them judiciously, making a plan on how you will manage with the things you have and don’t run out of provisions.
Finally, let us remember to pray for the doctors and nurses. Let’s also pray for the police force who are maintaining law and order; out there in the open under the scorching sun, they are trying to enforce discipline so that government directives are adhered to by the people. Let’s cooperate with them to achieve the purpose of this lockdown.
Let’s treat the affected persons with dignity and compassion. I don’t think any of them got the disease through their own fault but got affected without even their own knowledge. Let us follow the rules of social distancing, regular washing of hands, using of sanitizers and wearing protective masks when we are out in the open for any necessities. We should not be the cause of spreading this disease to anyone else.
It is time to engage in creative activities – reading of novels and classics, composing of poems, writing of books and articles, learning how to dance, gardening, drawing, painting, making your own YouTube videos and blogs, extra prayer and meditation, yoga and body building exercises. This is a great opportunity, make it an adventure of a lifetime.