Covid Crisis is an opportunity to learn and do course correction. We are wiser today than yesterday and we simply can’t let these lessons go waste
By Namrata Kohli
By Namrata Kohli
They say that experience is the best teacher which is always late to school. It is our experience during Covid 19 pandemic, through the “introspective” lockdown phase, that has taught us a thing or two, about what we were doing abysmally wrong. Things we have known forever, but had not committed ourselves too are now threatening our survival in the present and will determine our future. Some of the things that we were forced to implement in our day-to-day life during the lockdown can actually pave the way for a brighter future.
Take the case of Hygiene. Lakhs and crores of money and efforts went into sensitizing Indians towards cleanliness through the Swachchta abhiyan campaign. But the learnings were actualised only with the Covid 19 pandemic. Today we find ourselves spending not minutes, but hours on hygiene- whether it is cleaning, washing, sanitizing -everything from our bodies, homes, surroundings, city- deep cleaning everything to the minutest detail. The lesson that we learn is that cleanliness is no favour, if at all- it is a favour unto ourselves.
Also, it doesn’t work to keep your homes sparkling clean and dump the garbage in the neighbourhood- this will strike us back and how. The idea of community is another lesson. Today, one Covid patient in a housing society puts the entire community under quarantine and risk. One man’s meat is no longer another man’s poison- it is poison for everyone. All our notions of “I, me, myself” stand demolished. We are so dependent on so many people locally and globally- man is nothing without other men, without community. We need to be sensitive to our entire ecosystem because what impacts them will impact us- we are nothing without others. We are dependent for our very survival on vast networks of co-operation.
Minimalism is another takeaway. For long, we were wasting money and resources and giving into the wrong idea of abundance “ye dil mange more”. The lockdown has been the best illustration of how we can live frugally and cut down to the minimum, the bare essentials. Where is the need to impress anyone with new clothes. Or cook extra. Just cook enough to satiate hunger and stay healthy. What is the minimum that it takes for us to survive- be it clothes, food, energy, resources. Like Gandhi ji said- God has made enough for every man’s need but not for even one man’s greed. Minimal is in, Maximal out and we have been taught by lockdown how we can effectively cultivate thrifty habits. With a “less is more” approach, we can focus on the more important things in life rather than wasting away on material things.
Many say that the Covid 19 pandemic comes as mother nature’s response to human transgression. The Covid 19 Lockdown has given control back into nature’s hands- look at the skies turning blue again, stars becoming visible at night, birds chirping. So what is nature telling us – Mess with nature and your life will be messed up. For long, climate change was staring into our face but we were plain ignoring. But no longer this. Today, we need to balance environment and development and pro-actively work towards our new objective – that of becoming a carbon neutral and nature positive economy. A focus on nature could provide opportunities to recover from pandemic and prevent future crisis.
Indeed Covid Crisis is an opportunity to learn and do course correction. Let’s not let it go waste.