Straight to the agenda, this aims to record the tragedies of the COVID-19 experience. However, I don’t consider myself to have the honor to do that, because I am still not exactly among those who are affected with such intensities, so this privilege of extreme degree is deeply acknowledged, to say and be listened when even final calls of help of so many others are not being answered or even heard.
To put on the record an account of the phenomenon of which the recorder themselves were part of requires a much mature ability to detach from one’s own perceptions and produce a distortion less clear picture of what happened, rather than what recorder thinks has happened. So, I beg to ask for my severely inadequate literary skills to be compensated by the reader’s ability to understand and separate some of my own emotions, that would have unknowingly oozed, from the facts and thus, in turn, give true meaning to the text which I wish truly to reflect.
Personally, there is an urge to record some of the miseries that have essentially knocked out normalcy from lives in the early 20s of this 21st century, and in the process a desire to develop a thought framework that basically aims to dilute the sufferings.
Many among us felt the feeling of the end of our world, when we lost a close one whom we talked to just a few days back, when we heard the news of entire family torn apart in handful of days, parents losing both of their children and the child losing both of the parents and many such sorts of devastating permutations. Some deaths were swift, even they couldn’t get hold of fact that they were caught by the virus, the fact that they were infected was only revealed when all their closets got tested positive sooner. Some deaths were slow, they waited for their final moments by standing in lines outside hospitals, some souls left hours after hospitals ran out of oxygen. On top of that, death even couldn’t buy rest to the struggle of the body to achieve the unity, because the lifeless bodies now have to wait lying down in lines at crematory before being vaporized into air or buried to ground into the non-existence. Such are the ruthlessness of COVID-19.
Let apart the physical traumas caused by breathlessness to the COVID infected, it is also hard to put in mere English words the mental traumas of those who luckily remained uninfected. All sets of identities starting from doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, crematory workers, NGOs, public helpers, “true” journalists, and lastly, we the commoners are watching all of this, and the sensations of helplessness and incapacity to change or revert the things that pandemic threw at us, makes the days restless and nights sleepless.
The Alien View
We can go on using the words trying to capture in them sorrow that has been wrecked by the fate or whatever. That may relieve some of us from the agony of it but still don’t allow us to feel any kind of peace with happenings.
Now we aren’t here to entertain ourselves with juggle of words, we are here to address our mental health which is at stake if we expose ourselves to such sensitive ongoings. There aren’t too many things to be so sure of in the world, and one of them is our moral obligation to preserve ourselves “individually” and don’t spin to madness by the pain of knowing of such overwhelming sad ends, no matter how insane it gets.
So, let us just explore if there exists some other angle to go about things. One of them, maybe to have an outsider view of the world, and see if that gives some vantage point. This approach is quite popular in academics, to stop seeing every time the concepts from the same point but sometimes breaking the norm, and wonder if there is something else.
If we look at the things from standpoint of an alien watching the human race right from its early beginnings, we will find that we are in no special event but just another event of a type of which has literally littered all over the timeline. It is an inevitable truth that the pandemics, droughts & famines, natural disasters, cosmic disasters, and even wars have erased entire civilizations overnight with maddening ruthlessness.
How can we forget the miseries of the Black Death Era of the 14th century, which erased nearly 200 Million humans over a span of three years? To put into perspective the world death count for COVID-19 is 3.2 Million at the end of two years of outbreak.
How can we forget the flooding of Central China perishing away around 4 million people in 1931?
How can we forget the hauntings of World War 2 when war prisoners were forced to dig their own graves before being shot dead into them and infants were tossed into air for practicing shooting skills? Total deaths estimated at 75 Million.
Not just ruthlessness faced by an entire community but there has been incidence of extreme savageness unleashed on individuals which have shivered our spines to the core.
How can we forget the miseries of Capt. Saurabh Kalia, whose almost every body part from eyes to nails was snatched from him before he martyred?
How can we forget moments of terror for The Racheal Corrie, when she was pressed into 2 dimensions by a heavy bulldozer, in her fight for peace?
Now, these stories were just lucky enough to find a place in our common shared history, and wouldn’t it be exceedingly over-optimistic to think these were that these are the most severe brutality faced by any prisoner of war or activist across the globe.
We began by looking at our own miseries and lastly ended up looking at others, and realized that in contrast to the title of the essay, the human miseries are endless in their magnitude and existence.
All of this, ours or theirs, is however not so meaningless, hopeless, and rude as it seems to be. In a larger timeframe, every human experience of the tragedy of this scale and such intensity ultimately lay the ground for the widening of our collective understanding of human pain and suffering. Our collective conscience and maturity grow as the stories of our common shared history accumulate over time. Only events of this magnitude bring for us those fundamental shifts in our thinking and behaviors not only as individuals but rather as a species. In the light of that wisdom, we understand the preciousness of human lives and the fragility of life in general, not just in terms of humans but as full home Earth.
We then tend to take life, not as too much of a common phenomenon, and see it always at the brink of extinction but only to flourish at the mercy of nature. These instill in us a deep sense of gratitude and invokes the conservationist within us.
This framework allows, at least me, to remained concerned but still not maddened.
But equally considerable is the fact that even in light of the truth that this is what nature has been or ever will be, we as a society need to empathize ourselves and particularly those who are immediate survivors of the deceased. We bear a duty as a society to compensate the sufferers who lost their loved ones just not due to COVID but due to the incompetence of the system to provide medical support (especially beds and oxygen). Maybe setting up new COVID memorial hospitals and honoring them with lifetime free access to healthcare services there (or at discounted rates), and I can feel it this is too much optimistic. Ground truth is that our public machinery (the Ministry of Health) isn’t generating even the death polls, it seems as if they are feared by some “unknown powers“. Indeed, the political leadership at all levels has to be bought under scrutiny, and reconstruction of our public political philosophy is the need of the hour.
In the end, CEV also feels proud to share that recently our current executives have built an online platform “HELPING-HAND”, where users can get leads about any medical requirements (such as oxygen cylinders, beds, ICU & Ventilators, remdesevir, and plasma).