Banish Fear to Conquer Covid

The best way to conquer the pandemic is to banish fear and take responsibility, individually and collectively, says OSWALD PEREIRA

Two daughters took turns to give their mother mouth-to-mouth resuscitation after the hospital where she was admitted for treatment of Covid-19 ran short of oxygen. This was an act of unconditional love for their mother and required great bravery and fearlessness. The daughters had banished the fear of getting the disease by their action, which was inspired by their selfless love for their mother.

The brave, loving act of the daughters also showed that they took things into their own hands and thus became self-reliant rather than depending on others to save their mother’s life. Whether the mother survived is not known, as there is apparently no follow-up on the touching story covered by the media.

The incident teaches us some lessons and raises very pertinent issues in the midst of the nationwide Covid-19 crisis ― one of the worst human tragedies in living memory.

The first lesson is fearlessness. When faced with an emergency or crisis, should we be filled with fear and retreat to a corner to escape danger? The answer is obviously, no. Covid-19 is not going to go away if we run away from it. It will also not go away if we are fearless and not afraid of it.

But if we banish our fear of it, there are greater chances of us conquering this dastardly disease in due course of time. Fear is known to weaken our immune system. So by all means, follow Covid-19 protocols like social distancing, wearing masks and gloves, frequent washing of hands and use of sanitisers, but do all this because it is sensible to do so, but not out of fear of contracting the disease.

Be optimistic, be positive; if you don’t like to chant, sing your favourite song to keep up your spirits. Eat well and be healthy. Exercise once, even twice a day. Sit silently. Meditate. Practice self-affirmations such as: I am strong, healthy and blessed. These are all great fear-busters.

The second lesson that we can learn from the daughters is self-reliance. We can achieve an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) by depending on ourselves and not leaning on others, including the government. We can’t set up our own health services or build our own hospitals.

But we can build within and around ourselves an environment where no virus dare enter. This may sound a bit idealistic, even utopian. But I believe it is better to wish for health and happiness rather than fear the virus.

If the coronavirus hits us, we may survive or die. But if we live in constant fear of it, we are dying a thousand times of cowardice before it even touches us.

The third lesson that we learn from the daughters is unconditional or selfless love. When a dear and near one is struck by Covid-19 shower her/him with more love than you always do. Don’t hug the infected and take all the necessary precautions. But don’t shun them either. Do attend their funeral service within the permissible numbers by taking the necessary precautions. I know of children who have not attended the funeral service of their parent who died of Covid-19. Sad, indeed.

But Covid-19 is not a sad story. It is not a happy one, either. It’s a story of irresponsibility ― individual, collective, institutional and governmental. The harm has already been done. The best way to conquer Covid-19 is to banish fear and take responsibility, individually and collectively.

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