Sometimes, it feels rather unbelievable that we are re-living the horrors of the pandemic once again. Last year, this time, we were left in shock while the human race came into the grips of a global crisis. Everything in our lives changed overnight. What really compounded our troubles was the fact that everything that happened was basically unprecedented in the history of the planet.
As powerful nations reeled in shock and terrifying statistics showed us how fragile our lives were, we found strength in fortitude, grace and compassion and most of all, that sense of gratitude within us, to help tide us through the crises.
For a while, it seemed we learnt our lessons and, so when 2021 arrived, there was a newfound sense of hope and optimism that 2020 was a tough year but 2021 will be different because, we all thought, we had learnt our lesson. We believed what happened in 2020 wouldn’t happen again, because it was behind us, right? And, of course, having gone through the worse already, we were prepared this time. The fact that the vaccines were now ready perhaps might have played a big role in upping our confidence levels. But did things really change?
As it turns out, nothing could be farther from the truth.
Whilst it is true many of us learnt our lessons from having lived through 2021—a tough year on many counts, that turned our lives a full 360 degree, it is equally true that a larger number of us did NOT learn anything at all. Safety regulations were thrown to the winds, social distancing and masks were no longer considered necessary by many and as was expected, this time when the virus has made a comeback in the form of a mutant strain, we’ve turned mute spectators to scary statistics once more.
Why did we not learn our lessons? Why did we not heed the warnings? Why did we become so callous and irresponsible?
Ironically, history tells us that we never seem to learn our lessons!
There are speculations galore as to how the virus is once again set to spread its’ tentacles all over the planet. Apparently, none will be spared this time. I am forwarded videos with scary statistics by the very same people who have been ignoring social distancing norms and attending weddings and functions everywhere. These were the very people who never missed a chance to mock the odd person who chose to wear a mask at a supermarket where everyone around seemed to be walking mask-free. I don’t know what to say to them. Each one of us had a responsibility to follow the rules that were flouted. And now, when things have gone out of hand, the blame game is on, once again.
Our lives are again wrought with uncertainty and fear but, now, armed with the knowledge from 2020, we now know that come what may, we absolutely must refrain from slipping into panic mode.
We need the power of positive energy now more than ever. Many sensible people that I know of, are being inadvertently caught in this net of fear and anxiety, which is affecting either their mental or their physical health, and sometimes, both, in equal measure.
While it is important that we learn to accept that uncertainty will be an essential part of life, yet, ruminating over it and constantly surrounding ourselves with scary statistics will be counter-productive. Staying safe is paramount, but we must also find ways to keep our stresses at bay, especially with the explosion of new cases every day.
Once we have filled our cup, we can then go on to fill that of another, by becoming part of a growing support system to those who need our help the most at this hour of crisis. We could perhaps reach out to a friend in need, or provide assistance to elderly people who live alone, away from their children, who are based overseas. We can share Covid help requests on social media, linking organisations with communities who need support with all aspects of patient care be it at home or in the care centres and hospitals. We can also do our bit for friends and families who are in quarantine and help them with their daily food and other supplies. We can especially check in on those who are struggling with numerous health conditions and drowning in big overwhelm, with lockdowns only aggravating the very same nightmares that we ourselves encountered in the past year.
As it happens, the need of the hour is to stay strong and hang in there, in the hope that things will be better soon! That’s all we can pray for, at the moment!
I have always believed that the Universe listens to us. It does. It will.
I believe we’ll make it through this, once again.
Written as part of our #SoulfulSunday freewriting exercise—a concept ideated by Vinitha, Shilpa and yours truly.