During the last 200 years, due to advances in technology, travel, internet and instant communication, the world had already become flat and truly a global village. In a global village people, care and share with each other and live happily. The recent coronavirus has brought us even closer.
The Covid-19 pandemic does not see race, religion, color, caste, creed, language or geographical border before striking and everyone is affected equally. It spares no one and is a great equalizer amongst rich and poor, weak or mighty and ordinary or VVIPs.
This coronavirus outbreak continues to sow tragedy on countless scale. Many lives have been lost, the economies world over have been turned upside down and life as we know has been dramatically altered.
For the first time there is an awareness that we all are inter and co-dependent. In fact we all are entangled with each other.
Unlike previous moments in history, when countries or societies faced off against each other, today we are together facing common challenge. The future will be about togetherness and resilience.
In spite of untold and unimaginable tragedies and sufferings (which still continue), there are some silver lining; some temporary and many permanent. A new world and paradigm are emerging.
Let me share just a few items of this change.
- In these times of stay-at–home orders and social distancing, politicians are using digital and social media for campaigning to get their message out to the voters.
- There is a significant decrease in money laundering and online drug sales.
- Telemedicine has taken off during this crisis. The shift is advantageous in many ways. Telemedicine in many cases offers a viable and sometimes cheaper alternative. It can also help control potential shortages of hospital resources by giving patients options beyond the hospital and the emergency room, while also providing more choices for residents of rural and sparsely populated areas where access to doctors can be problematic. The virus crisis is rapidly accelerating the transition to telemedicine.
- As educational campuses closed, many also moved online. Online learning can also breakdown barriers for many who want to go to college but cannot afford it or live in remote locations. It can also level the playing field for students from all backgrounds and for those with disabilities.
- There is a sea change how people are spending their time and coping with this pandemic. In spite of the fear of the epidemic and economic hardships, tension, stress and worries, people are spending more quality time together with families, doing more creative cooking, and eating at home (instead of going out which they cannot), doing more yoga, meditation, prayers, poojas, swadhayayas, study, contemplation, watching several old TV serials of Ramayana and Mahabharata, and calling near and dear ones on phone, social media such as WhatsApp, Facetime etc. Thousands of people have taken to webinars and conferences on ZOOM, etc. and discussing myriads of topics of life and other subjects.
- Since this pandemic is a worldwide disaster, millions of people world over are engaged in “People Helping People.” Many, truly feel karuna, compassion, daya empathy to their fellow human beings They are providing hot meals, medical help, clothing, transportation, care and love to those in need. Many corporations are doing their best too in taking care of their employees and communities in which they live.
- The world right now seems to be a much calmer and quieter place. The number and intensity of wars and strifes have come down significantly. Enemies are cooperating together.
- The incidents of arson, theft, shooting, and car accidents are down significantly.
- Suddenly the air, water and earth are cleaner. In India, Ganges and Yamuna look much much cleaner.
- People appear to be much friendlier as everyone recognizes that we all are in this together and not alone.
- The Covid-19 crisis will change us. We will work online from home more often, will travel less and probably ZOOM more.
- Scientists the world over are working together as one team more than before to find cure/cures for this virus and that too ASAP.
For centuries Indian sages preached ‘Vishva Dhaiva Kutumbhakum’, meaning the whole world is one family. This coronavirus seems to have moved the world to this famous aphorism.
Dr. Sulekh Jain
Past secretary and president of JAINA