The latest challenge that Humanity is facing is the unfortunate outbreak (and now a pandemic) of COVID-19 or coronavirus which has baffled the whole world especially the medical fraternity with its widespread outbreak and its ‘yet unfigured’ incubation period. While epidemiologists, pathologists and medical researchers around the world are working day and night to understand this disease and bring it under control, common masses in the affected countries are struck with panic and the result of this panic is drawing a distasteful picture of humanity.
The last few weeks have seen unusual trends in the availability and prices of a particular type of retail products i.e. those necessary for preventing the spread of coronavirus or COVID-19. Shops, even pharmacies, have suddenly run out of the mainstream brands of hand sanitizers, masks, and now even toilet papers. Sellers and Distributors are raising prices of such products, as they can. People who are hoarding sanitisers for themselves, must realise that they need other humans to also stay clean and sanitised in order to control the spread of the disease. It’s in times like these that humanity’s true worth is tested and by that standard, we’re not doing well so far. COVID-19 has come as an unprecedented crisis that the world has to fight together. Even if one isn’t much interested in the wellbeing of general public, it’s an utterly stupid idea to hoard a medical necessity in demand. Out of a self-centred approach, people are often inclined to save themselves and their families first in the time of crisis and it may seem normal to some extent at first. But when such behaviour becomes extreme and widespread, it takes the shape of a horrible vice. Such hoarding and stockpiling by even a few individuals/families can prove detrimental to the public health especially in the middle of a health crisis like this.
According to the concept of the Tragedy of the Commons, when people draw from a shared pool of resources out of self-interest instead of the common good of the community, the resource pool eventually depletes leaving behind a shortage of the necessary resources. This applies to the current situation through and through. If people, collectively, choose to take responsible action of using resources judiciously instead of apocalyptic stockpiling, the situation would normalize and the panic would reduce as well. Ensuring the wellbeing of all is the right way to ensure the wellbeing of each individual.
There is also a moral concept in Indian Vedas, that all humans must look after their families, society and nature. Over time, human morals have dropped so much that we rarely look beyond our families any more. Everyone in the current pandemic situation is also still looking after their families and companies at most; not many are thinking about the society at large and nature at all.
For example, if you are a corporate and you are giving work from home to your team, have you considered doing something for the local tea, snacks, juice vendor who typically serves your office??? I hope we realise that he cannot work from home.
Most workers in “gig economy” shall struggle in current times and we should consider about them too. It’s a time when each one of us must rise above the ‘myself and mine’ approach. This crisis can be averted and life can go back to normal if we all collectively take responsible steps to counter the situation. Only when we help others, will we be able to help ourselves in the long run. We must keep some important things in mind and act accordingly.
So beyond following the general government and corporate advisories, can we follow some moral advisory too?
- Understand that all human lives are just as important as you and your family. Lets try to understand and act according to the spiritual “oneness” . A sample explanation in the egg video.
- Buy only as much you need, and avoid hoarding and stockpiling/panic buying necessities.
- Try to help those who cannot afford to buy or access the necessary medical and food supplies. Help at least a few people in your society, neighbourhood, local vendors, your maids families, etc.
- Depending upon your available resources, donate more to the needy
Most of us have a habit of passing the responsibility to others like Governments, Corporates, Hospitals, WHO, etc. We may choose to realise that we are also part of the society and have a role to play. There’s no challenge in the world that cannot be overcome with united and well-intended efforts. Humanity has the capability to overcome even the greatest of the crisis but only when people work together for the common good of all. What the world needs today is selflessness instead selfishness and controlled and planned efforts instead of panic-driver actions. Together we can and together we will overcome COVID-19.