Get Long, Yet Get along
Author: DR. N K VENKATARAMANA, Senior Consultant Neurosurgeon
Keeping a distance of “one meter” is a norm for vehicles as a traffic safety measure. Now, with the coronavirus pandemic, it has been extended to all of us to maintain a safe distance from each other. This doesn’t mean separation, rather a serious call to come together intellectually at all levels, despite the physical separation for a stipulated time.
The human mind is generally studded with a variety of fears. In fact, all of us knowingly or unknowingly grow up with different kinds of fears all the way from childhood. These fears exist at various levels starting from individuals, families, societies and nations. As an individual, one is likely to encounter fear of darkness, hunger, security, job, success, public opinion etc. These could be conscious or subconscious ones constantly or intermittently, surfacing and causing suffering at different levels. At any given time the majority will be fighting with one or the other fear directly or indirectly.
Even at a national level, division of countries or provinces, border disputes, water disputes, air space dispute, insecurity demanding military actions, poverty, financial inequality and trade-related disputes are becoming the order of the day. In fact, often, fears are socially induced to either induce discipline or gain controls, and even law enforcement is linked to fear. Above all, one common fear for all is the fear of death, barring the few who are truly enlightened. The Covid 19 has produced sudden unexpected fear across the world by causing fatal respiratory infections, making people run away from the social world. Of course, it became mandatory to remain in closed doors as a public health measure to contain the spread.
Astonishingly one small invisible virus could reduce the human mind to such a level, to run away in fear with an anticipated uncertainty. Many theories are prevalent about the origin of the pandemic, but the community spread is need of the hour is unified global action. Philosophically it proves nature’s superiority and reinforces the concept of unpredictability. But it is our responsibility to take suitable measures to combat the threat but in conjunction with nature. Understandably, everyone wants to live without fear of any kind, but unfortunately, all our actions worldwide are only creating and facilitating the fears of all types. This needs a global introspection by the entire human race for their own welfare. A certain amount of fear is probably justifiable to maintain regulation and norms. But extremes will be surely self-destructive. Total fear makes us crumble, paralyzing all faculties, and fearlessness can lead to all kinds of violations. These pandemics also teach us that we can’t live in silos, despite the artificial, man-made divisions and borders.
So every human action has a global implication affecting human welfare some way or the other. Apart from the spread of infections like Coronavirus, we have several other common concerns like global warming and the loss of the Ozone protective layer that need to be solved rightfully by coming together. While we sit as individuals in isolation during the crisis, it is time to think, meditate, and pray for everyone’s well-being around the world. “Sarve Jana Sukhino Bavantu, Samastha Mangalani Bhavantu” are some of the greatest prayers implying global welfare. In fact, this chanting generates a powerful thought, intent that can give strength and provide providential help as a collective consciousness. Once the crisis is over, all our actions should be compulsorily focused upon global welfare by formulating unified ideas and actions.
The brain works at its best when it is not in fear. Fear produces many Neuropeptides and hormones that are detrimental to the body, mind, and immune system’s functioning. Therefore, one must thrive on creating a congenial fearless society. On the other hand, if everyone decides, fear can be converted into love for themselves and with equal empathy to others. Then only, rightfulness, righteousness and unconditional happiness will ensue around the world automatically. Only then we can expect a better world to live in. Such unified strength will pave the way to solve all the problems that the human race faces today.
Apart from natural calamities, these pandemics are responsible for the global threat to human existence that occurs periodically. In such a crisis, the medical professionals do contribute a lot to the front line of battle, like the army in the war, taking the pivotal responsibility. We have the commitment to identifying the pathogen, finding a suitable vaccine, drug and other timely solutions, and treating the affected and above all to prevent the spread and contain the problem’s magnitude. Timely guidance and advocacy is yet another important responsibility. Governments must have short term and long term plans and implement them effectively apart from supporting the medical professionals. Apart from human loss, the world will have to face many other challenges during and after such events. The media must constantly educate people without inducing fear or panic. The public must become responsible for themselves and to others.
My sincere appeal to everyone is to strictly follow and implement all the precautions as advised, refrain from social activities and travel for a certain period to prevent exposure to the virus, in case of infection, report as early as possible without any hesitation or social prejudice. Get treated by the specialists at the designated centres.
Finally, by all means, make sure that you do not spread it further. Additionally, healthy food, vitamin supplements, adequate sleep and being without fear can keep everyone healthy and their immune system at its best. Fear can only suppress your immunity. The elderly and all other susceptible groups need extra precautions. Hopefully, we will be able to contain the menace soon and regain freedom soon.