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Coping with Coronavirus

As Coronavirus is confirmed as a pandemic by WHO, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to our mental health in these times of gloom and doom

Coping with Coronavirus

Bushfires, riots, terror attacks, a deadly virus…the world truly seems to be imploding. Perhaps we are suffering the collective bad karma of sycophantic world leaders who have failed to protect the earth's flora and fauna. Perhaps this is nature having its vengeance on mankind for living years unsustainably while sucking the 'life' out of its surroundings. We lived, worked and prospered but only at the cost of denigrating our environment. Our greed has resulted in the gradual destruction of the earth's resources. And its nature's fury that we face every year in the form of earthquakes, landslides, forest fires, floods, torrential rains, etc.

But COVID-19, you inexorable killer! Your charge has single-handedly made us forget communal disharmony, economic slowdowns, trade wars. All of us around the world are now obsessed with replacing shaking of hands with 'namastes', cancelling large public events, and washing hands. How quickly our priorities change when it becomes a matter of basic human survival!

The news from every part of the world is vexing. I join thousands around the globe who feel dejected at the medical emergency that is unfolding. Countries under virtual lockdowns, thousands affected by the deadly virus and many more liable to contract it in the near future, I find it increasingly difficult to get out of bed every day. Were the grim happenings emanating out of India any less joyous that we needed a pandemic unravelling before our eyes!

First, I looked at my personal loss. A cancelled work-trip to China, a scrapped much-needed annual vacation, junking of domestic trips to keep the virus at arm's length. But then you realise, as I have in the last few weeks, that this is so much bigger than all us. The repercussions will reverberate for years should the authorities around the world fail to curb it. This feeling of being completely powerless depressed me much more than my frozen funds that lie under moratorium in beleaguered Yes Bank. Once we rise above our own fears, the larger picture can be quite disconcerting.

It is important today to pay attention to our mental health, for I am sure, there are thousands like me that are subconsciously suffering. It's highly recommended to seek help or at least speak to loved ones if you're suffering from depression. Let us also focus on spreading awareness about Coronavirus, busting myths, helping our neighbours especially the underprivileged ones. Let us be careful but not so overly cautious that life comes to a complete standstill.

Much of the world has deescalated from the initial panic-stricken action of hoarding masks and hand sanitisers to silently resigning themselves to scary times ahead. I believe in energies, you know. For instance, the energy of a hospital makes me uncomfortable. You may have heard a lot of people saying that they don't like hospitals. I believe that it's the collective energy of too many unwell people, sadness, and fear and eventuality of human loss that contribute to a hospital's energy and that makes us feel uneasy.

Now, juxtapose that with the serenity of a place of worship. The evening aarti at a temple, the stillness of a church, the smell of incense sticks at a dargah, the mellifluous kirtans at a gurudwara, places of worship exude positive energy. Here too it's the collective energy at play where we express our devotion to the higher power and even though we selfishly pray for ourselves, it's still a positive act. Let us together with our gathered positive energies create an atmosphere that can fight this pall that's been cast over us.

So, let me ask again, what do we do when all seems dismal and destructive, and gloom and doom seem to be the order of the day? We pray, we hope, we survive, and most importantly, we cope.

The writer is an author and media entrepreneur. Views expressed are strictly personal

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