When the world went into lockdown six months ago, there was hope in our collective hearts that it would unlock itself. Some of us felt that the time would come within a week, a fortnight, a month, or at the worst three months. Though the medical world and governments did everything they could to prepare us for the worst, we still had that flickering hope that the doctors were wrong and administrations over-reactive.
Today, that hope appears to be flickering out. And who's responsible for it? No, it's not the doctors or the establishment. The scientists who believe Covid-19 is here to stay and the doomsday predictors who want us to prepare for Covid-19 and 21. The onus of this lies squarely on our shoulders and the reasons are not far to behold either.
You might ask, how in the deuce am I responsible? The government miscalculated, the administration was lax and closed the stable doors after the horses had bolted (remember India's first case showed up as early as January 30, 2020 and we locked down on the midnight of March 24, 2020). I am not even referring to those of us who behaved "irresponsibly" and didn't think twice before breaking the lockdown rules.
If not any of the above, then how did we fall prey to Covid-19? Let me tell you how I got infected. When the lockdown began, I diligently kept note of the daily cases and mortalities. By the time we got to June, I stopped this exercise and began looking at media reports that could signal the end of this pandemic. There were hardly any. Soon, I shifted to WhatsApp groups for my daily dose of information. Unfortunately, this is when I really got infected by the disease - not physically but mentally.
Because most group members were only sharing the "bad news". Why so? Because our minds are tuned to play this trick on us. We generalise a few bad "moments" in a day to convert it into a "bad" day, though the majority of the moments over 24 hours are actually good ones. And once we classify something as "bad", we carry it along for that much longer, ruminating on it and even regurgitating it several times. Like a cow chewing the cud, we bring back the "bad" and chew on it. And unlike the cow, we can keep at it for ever!
And by doing so, we energise the fear (of death and disablement) within us so potently that we start losing hope. And once hope starts fading, the body starts weakening because our natural immunity takes a severe beating. Of course, you may turn around and ask: "How can I be hopeful, when data suggests otherwise?" The answer is simple: If every underdog in a game of sport looked at data, she / he would never win!
No sportsperson goes into a match to lose; no soldier goes into war thinking of annihilation. They go into it only to win. And that's exactly what Covid-19 has taken away from us. That ardent desire to win against all odds. So overwhelmed are we about the "inevitable" that we began auto-selecting data that disproves our beliefs about ourselves, our resilience that helped us through tough times in the past.
So, how does one tackle this? By staying away from information? Not really. Just remembering that the data you receive is regulated by the person who's choosing to share it with you - the media, the scientist and that friend of yours who shared it via WhatsApp. Therefore, we tackle the pandemic by separating the wheat from the chaff when the information tsunami strikes us each day. Strong in the belief that I am safe till I am infected, and even thereafter as the vast majority has proved.
Because, disease tests our strength, which is weakened only by our fear and loss of hope. Healthy Life for a Joyful Living