- Sarpreet Kaur

Ah! It’s here again. 2020 was a tumultuous year that questioned the power of human beings- who thought they were mightier than all. It taught us how important the balance between nature and development was. And the most important of all it showed us that- we are nothing- just a speck of dust and if nature wishes, the whole lucrative glittery world of homo-sapiens could tumble upside down in a matter of seconds. We learned a lot and we thought we have won over the deadly war. But Alas! It’s here again.

Our TV screens show ‘on the loop’ scenes of burning pyres echoed by gut-wrenching wails and mind-numbing numbers being flashed accompanied by a piece of dramatic background music.

It’s bad, the conditions are really bad as the second wave has hit and it has hit hard. The administration is working round the clock requesting everyone to stay indoors and venture out only when utterly necessary. And it is our moral duty to follow the rules and be a cog of the wheel named INDIA and make it reach the destination of well being. Yes, Information is being circulated at a tremendous pace but there is one thing that is being circulated at a much greater pace and halting the real progress.

That is FEAR.

Is the usage of the tool FEAR really necessary? Isn’t this tool doing more harm than the intended good?

Every individual has to be cautious and aware to break the chain and emerge victoriously but this method of generating fear among the masses so that they follow the rules is making us pay heavy on the large scale.

COVID has many physical repercussions but the most haunting ones are the psychological effects. Yes there are umpteen people critically ill who need urgent medical intervention and we need to do all we can to help the unfortunate ones. But in here I am going to talk about the other section of people where psychological effects led the patient down to the path of doom.

When COVID entered my place my dear one had no severe physical ailments fortunately but what haunted her the most was the fear that was generated around her. The words that “She is positive” and news, media and other means telling her what could happen to her made her quite weak psychologically. Rather than concentrating on her present condition- which was well and improving, she was in constant fear of what could happen.

One of the studies presented by BBC mentions that “The constant feeling of threat may have other, more insidious, effects on our psychology. Due to some deeply evolved responses to disease, fears of contagion lead us to become more conformist and tribalistic, and less accepting of eccentricity. Our moral judgements become harsher and our social attitudes more conservative when considering issues such as immigration or sexual freedom and equality.”

According to another psychological study by eminent scientists in a research paper titled “Psychological resilience and post-traumatic growth in disaster-exposed organisations: an overview of the literature” it has been mentioned that- Although there is no definite epidemiological data regarding the psychological effects of COVID-19 on individuals and its effect on public health, the results of the studies show that the fear of getting COVID-19 leads to intense emotional and behavioural consequences such as boredom, loneliness, anxiety, sleep problems and anger.

India is home to many yogic shastras which entail detailed studies about the power of the mind in self-healing and what our body is capable of. But the easy internet access is taking this power away from us due to unwanted circulation of information 24x7. And if not curbed the recovery rate won’t increase despite many efforts by doctors and administration alike.

On 24th April 3,49,313 people tested positive in INDIA and the same day 2,15,962 recovered.

On 23rd April 3,45,147 people tested positive in INDIA and on the same day 2,20,513 recovered.

On 22nd April 3,32,503 people tested positive in INDIA and the same day 1,92,200 recovered.

This last figure showing recovered people though less in number but is still substantial in a sense which glimmers a small ray of hope that can do wonders for hundreds of patients quarantined at home or elsewhere in India. If these many people can recover then I can also recover: And that’s one of the many things we need right now.

However, it is of utmost importance here to mention that not being fearful does not mean being irresponsible. There is a very slight difference between courage and idiocy. The responsibility of every citizen is to be very much aware, not venture out and most importantly stay at home with a happy heart, not a fearful one. Teach your kids the same. We have been using fear as a weapon for centuries, now is the time for a change.