Covid-19 : A Once-in-a-lifetime Pandemic?
It has been over a month now since Covid-19 outbreak was announced as a global pandemic. This will probably be the once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic for many of us. Its fatality risk and transmission rate continue to bring threats to all layers, from individuals to world leaders around the globe. While local and global authorities continue to work on measures to protect the people and minimize the impact from this novel virus, a thought-provoking question would be – what role and responsibility does an individual has to play? More importantly, what is the paradigm that one should adopt to sparkle such thought and its perpetuating consequences, even after the pandemic is over.
A human being is part of the whole called by us universe … We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness … Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty … We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive. – Albert Einstein
The transcendence of fear and uncertainties
At a time when there are no specific vaccines or uniformly successful treatments for Covid-19, adhering to restrictive measures imposed by authority seems to be the best and only action one can embrace to help prevent the spread of the disease. Being subjected to limited actionable steps has caused many individuals to fall into the state of fear and vulnerability, left alone the bombardment of news updates and information about the disease on a daily basis. While some would argue that this is absurd, many agree that this is completely comprehensible as normal human natural behavior, especially when fear is reinforced by the loss averse attitude that most people possess.
Subtly, we give permission to all the news surrounding the risks, challenges, and uncertainties to continue weaken us even when we are equipped with masks, armed with hand sanitizers, and have been distanced and isolated socially. Perhaps it is true that clinging to fears almost inevitably take away our inner strength and caused us and those around us to be more vulnerable. Imagine this for a second – At individual level, when a significant proportion of people are in the state of fear and anxiety, the emotion spreads and influences those around them. In no time, there will be more who may start sharing and living with the same perception, creating a tremendous impact, collectively. Once again, it is totally reasonable to feel fearful and anxious; in fact, we are all connected with this emotion.
But, how does fear serve us towards a positive collective consciousness?
The totality of beliefs and sentiments common to the average members of a society forms a determinate system with a life of its own. It can be termed the collective or common consciousness. – Émile Durkheim
Confronting the fear within
This fear isn’t just relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, it goes much deeper into the uncertainties and doubts that we all face. Fear are thoughts with emotion that we project ourselves into the future occupied by unpleasant moment and circumstances. To allow fear to stay in us, we disengage ourselves from the present moment, allowing our mind to ponder on the troublesome future, In other word, most people have lost mind to the external influencing factors and struggled to be in control of the situation.
“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” – Marcus Aurelius
Now, the blessing is that we are all aware of this fear. At challenging time like this, keeping cool, calm and collected might be the essential skill we require to manage this emotion. Since we are conscious about our fear, and as a blessing out of this adversity, let’s allow this awareness guides us to tackle this fear,rationally. By doing so, we permit ourselves to bring our “self” back to present, be in control and rebuild the resilience to face the distress. Perhaps in the same process, we help liberate others to transmute this anxiousness into positivism and productivity. Hence, let us all contribute a positive and optimistic attitude to this collective consciousness because we are all connected.
“Let us all do our part to help and encourage one another. Together, we will overcome this trying time and emerge stronger,” Prime Minister LHL
Despite the fact that we all come from all walks of life, our mental attitude matters as it translates into action that counts. In response to the question put up in the beginning of the passage, it boils down to how people of today’s generation(s) think and deal with the challenges and opportunities presented. It will be a Herculean task to ignite the enthusiasm to engage members of the society to start playing individual responsibility unless one realize that their actions do not only impact them at personal level, but capable of producing a butterfly effect to their surrounding. For better control of the Covid-19 pandemic situation and the life after that, let’s be mindful of our thoughts and be responsible for our actions.
“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.” – William James
*The above are humble opinions and in hope to spark positivism during this challenging time.
*Please note: Due to the novelty of COVID-19, there is no absolute research data being published in regards to the effectiveness of dietary or lifestyle interventions for its prevention or treatment. Your individual and unique circumstances during this challenging time are well respected and empathized.The above information / recommendations are not specific to COVID-19 and are not intended to replace medical consultation with your healthcare provider.
*Reminder: You should always seek medical advice immediately from clinic or hospital if experience signs and/or symptoms related to Covid-19.