Fear, hope and courage

Our brains that are so used to being stimulated by electronic stimulus, people, social influencers and the like, are lying barren and are fertile breeding grounds to construct conspiracy theories.

Published: 21st March 2020 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st March 2020 01:49 AM   |  A+A-

Good morning, Bangalore.

If I have someone quote one more quatrain of Nostradamus’s work, I swear I’m going to have a screaming epidemic! Doomsday pundits are reading meaning into his convoluted words and trying to fit it into the current pandemic scenario. For heaven’s sake! The man lived in the middle ages and even if he did see visions, he probably couldn’t decipher them. He probably couldn’t understand his own quatrains because his visions of the 21st century must have seemed like he was in the middle of a boiling cauldron! I’m pretty sure his prophecies of large iron birds (aeroplanes) destroying a city of man-made mountains (NY, we think) must have scared him more than the coronavirus scares us. Add that to his woes of being tried as a heretic and burned at the stake during the Inquisition if he was discovered, must have scared him silly.
My point here is simple; we have all time on our hands now to be angry, bored, frustrated and scared.

Our brains that are so used to being stimulated by electronic stimulus, people, social influencers and the like, are lying barren and are fertile breeding grounds to construct conspiracy theories. Right from bio-warfare to global economic mastery by a particular country that was the epicenter of this pandemic… I have heard them all. Miracle cures ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous have hit the market. It ranges from Chinese herbs (oh! the irony) to bodily waste of sacred animals to miracle stones and even mantras!
I have never, in my lifetime, experienced this type of global panic. My son, who is a post-graduate student in the UK, caught the last flight out from London and my daughter arrived from Mumbai and we are spending time with each other under voluntary self-isolation, with no symptoms of any kind.

Why? Because it is the right thing to do and one doesn’t expose oneself to put more strain on an already over-whelmed medical infrastructure. I come from a family of doctors and have friends in the medical profession. They are always in the forefront. These are the times we need to shift the focus outward and see how we can help them by helping ourselves.

Perhaps, this is a way of nature telling us to go fly a kite! We have used and abused nature, literally to a point of no return. It is with mixed emotions as I see pictures of humans cowering in their homes, while the wildlife returns to their natural habitat and the seas and the air rejuvenate themselves, free from the pollutants that we relentlessly dump on them. Ironic! Especially since we consider ourselves a superior life-form.

It’s hard to know what to say during such unprecedented times. A time in which the entire world is on edge and fearful, utterly uncertain about the future. So many of us are unsure about how we’re going to provide for ourselves, our families, or our businesses. We’re worried that life, as we know it and have taken for granted will now drift further from our reach. But we also know how easy it can be to let fear and worry take over, leaving us feeling paralysed, hopeless, and stuck. In times like these, it’s important to remember what it means to adapt. Adapt to a new way of life, for the time being. Adapt to the unfair circumstances that face you. Adapt your mindset to focus on what you can control rather than on what you cannot.

There’s nothing ideal about “social distancing.” There’s nothing fun about the stress and anxiety of sickness or losing income. Now more than ever before, we need to adapt to our current reality and not dwell in it. Remember what it means to be courageous. Courage is not living without fear. Courage is living in spite of fear. Without fear, there is no courage.

Rubi Chakravarti

writer, actor and funny girl

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