3_Personal thoughts/Experiences of COVID 19 (April 4 2020)

3_Personal thoughts/Experiences of COVID 19
(April 4 2020)

Personal thoughts/Experiences of COVID 19 (continuing thread and updated periodically)

The accessibility of others experiences can help individuals to understand, what they are experiencing, and not feel that they are alone in this situation. It will also help in learning from other individuals experiences.

Further, it will also build an understanding the INDIANS responses to the pandemic.
Please note that this is a compilation of experiences and opinions and not an endorsement of any one point of view.

Please feel to share your thoughts/experiences through my email: smurthy030@gmail.com Your contributions will be added to the thread.

The common theme of this list of experiences is one of connecting to the larger world-nature, spirituality etc. I found it inspiring. Thanks to all the contributors.
21. Pandemic by Lynn Ungar
(emphasis added-Murthy)

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.

And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

–Lynn Ungar 3/11/20

How do we find inner peace of calm in the midst of the storm?
by Lynn Ungar

(emphasis added-Murthy)

And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(you could hardly deny it now)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely that has become clear)
Do not reach out your hands
Reach out your heart.
reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Stay safe and well

22. Impact of Coronavirus pandemic and coping – Ms. Annie Alexancer, Social Work. Bangalore

We are highly social and interconnect being, and lockdown brought PAUSE to everyone’s lives. Now I see the world only through media. The media is filled with Coronavirus news. I feel this COVID-19 is like a nuclear weapon that came to destroy our health, finance, emotional, and social wellbeing. I was overwhelmed with ‘FEAR’.
Fear of what the world would face?
Fear of what would happen to my loved ones?
Fear of what would happen to my patients they fall under a vulnerable population?
Fear of unable to achieve my goals and dreams set for this year?

I felt that my life is upside down.

My everyday schedule was hampered like my work, connecting with my loved ones, sleep, workout, diet all went for a toss.
I was disturbed, and I told myself to let me slow down.

I created a new schedule for my day:

1. I would journal my thoughts and emotions every day for 15 minutes with that I would be aware of myself.
2. Usually, I would go for a walk every day, but now I started doing a home workout.
3. Every day I would connect with one person, that would be my family or friend through phone or video call.
4. I would set a time for my spiritual reflection. Usually, I would visit church three times a week for my spiritual growth. Now I started to watch online talks or read a blog on spirituality. Then I would connect them to my current scenario. For example, there is a bible saying, “so don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will have its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own”. If I am worrying about tomorrow, I can’t enjoy today. I am missing today’s blessing. It’s okay to plan for tomorrow, but I have to live for today. So previously, I would worry seeing what’s happening in Italy and USA. If it happens to our country, how would we manage? Because we don’t have enough medical resources, and we have majority of them with illiteracy and low socioeconomic background. I started reframing and reasoning out by saying that things seem to be under control; our government is putting its effort. Let me believe in God’s grace and strength. Right now, I need enough power for today.
5. I limited my time in watching the news, just 15 minutes 2 times a day in an authentic resource.
6. I also listen to music and watch movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime; this makes me feel lighter.
7. I constantly go back to my goals and dreams, which I had set for this year. I assure myself that I would be able to achieve them. This pandemic too with pass.

It took more willpower to stop worrying and believing that nothing will work perfectly in life because life is a constant change.

So I started looking at how adaptive I am to change.

Once my mentor had told me that in the context of changes happening in the world that we need to do three things.

That is, you should know you are capable of change, learn new skills and adapt according to society.

In current scenario, I draw the strength from the universe force that I am capable of the change, I do almost all the activity through online, and I am following the lockdown as the society continues to do so.

We will get through this trial; one day the coronavirus crisis will be a part of the history. And there will be more challenges to face and adversity to endure. This is the reality of life, but we always hope we would see the light.
23. Just reflecting: Learning from Nature-Er.Prasad,R. Engineer, Bangalore.

About 10 days back, I saw a tree in full bloom, near to my house shedding a lot of leaves, and on going closer to observe, I saw that the tree was infested with caterpillars, which were crawling all over it and eating away at the leaves and crawling all over the place, it was a disturbing sight and under the present situation I did not know what to do, I thought maybe I should light a bonfire below the tree to destroy the caterpillars, but could not do anything,

Then over the next few days as this was going on, I saw a lot of birds of different species coming to this tree and having a feast of the caterpillars. It was an amazing sight to see so many birds, chirping and tweeting.

Today, I happened to go to the terrace of my house and observed the tree at close quarters, and was amazed to see that the caterpillars had almost vanished and in their place were a lot of cocoons, which in all probability would turn into butterflies. The tree still had around 60% of its leaves still.

What a drama nature was playing out in front of my eyes, though most times we are so busy we are not aware of it. There was this tree in full bloom, then out of nowhere came these swarms of insects, which looked as though they would devour the tree itself, then came the birds which devoured the insects and brought about a balance , and wonder of wonders, once the insects , had their fill , they converted into a different form and are going back into a cycle of pollinating the very trees ,we though they would destroy. And the tree itself , will once again grow back the leaves it has lost within a few weeks. Amazing. Why did this happen, what was it all about. Who won , who lost ?

What about the tree itself, when the swarm of caterpillars attacked it , it had nowhere to run, it was deep rooted, it could not do anything to repel them, it stood its ground calmly maybe it knew that THIS TOO WILL PASS and nature would take care,what ever it is,it would exhaust itself,just as a storm comes and goes. Something to reflect about isn’t it. Strange are the ways of nature.

24. *Coronavirus Letter To Humanity*
Vivienne R Reich

(emphasis added-Murthy)

The earth whispered but you did not hear.
The earth spoke but you did not listen
The earth screamed but you turned her off.

And so I was born…

I was not born to punish you..
I was born to awaken you..

The earth cried out for help…

Massive flooding. But you didn’t listen.
Burning fires. But you didn’t listen.
Strong hurricanes. But you didn’t listen.
Terrifying Tornadoes. But you didn’t listen.

You still don’t listen to the earth when.
Ocean animals are dying due to pollutants in the waters.
Glaciers melting at an alarming rate.
Severe drought.

You didn’t listen to how much negativity the earth is receiving.

Non-stop wars.
Non-stop greed.

You just kept going on with your life..
No matter how much hate there was..
No matter how many killings daily..
It was more important to get that latest iPhone than worry about what the earth was trying to tell you..

But now I am here.

And I’ve made the world stop on its tracks.
I’ve made YOU finally listen.
I’ve made you take refuge.
I’ve made you stop thinking about materialistic things..

Now you are like the earth…
You are only worried about YOUR survival.

How does that feel?

I give you fever.. as the fires burn on earth.
I give you respiratory issues.. has pollution fill the earth air.
I give you weakness as the earth weakens every day.

I took away your comforts..
Your outings.
The things you would use to forget about the planet and its pain.

And I made the world stop…

And now…
China has better air quality.. Skys are clear blue because factories are not spewing pollution unto the earth’s air.
The water in Venice is clean and dolphins are being seen. Because the gondola boats that pollute the water are not being used.

YOU are having to take time to reflect on what is important in your life.

Again I am not here to punish you.. I am here to Awaken you…

When all this is over and I am gone… Please remember these moments..

Listen to the earth.
Listen to your soul.
Stop Polluting the earth.
Stop Fighting among each other.
Stop caring about materialistic things.
And start loving your neighbors.
Start caring about the earth and all its creatures.
Start believing in a Creator.

Because next time I may come back even stronger….

25. Differing ways of responding to the Pandemic- R.Srinivasa Murthy, Psychiatrist, Bangalore.

This morning(aPR 4) in The Hindu paper there are three different news items. These three news items reflect on the differing levels of responding to the pandemic.
Firstly, there was the news of Prime Minister Modi speaking to the Nation and requesting :
In an address to the nation, he noted,
“There is no bigger force than our conviction and resolve. There is nothing we cannot achieve with these forces.”

Mr. Modi made it very clear that the coronavirus threat could only be combated with the full cooperation of people, and that the collective strength was what would take the country out of what he termed “darkness that engulfs us” in the form of coronavirus.He futher added:
“We have to take our poor bretheren towards the light and certainty. To defeat this darkness, we have to shine the light in every direction” .

He concretised this sentiment by asking the countrymen to demonstrate a collective will to fight coronavirus, a token demonstration of which, he said, would be to light candles, lamps and hold mobile phone torches for nine minutes from 9 p.m. on April 5.

There were many responses to this inspirational speech, under the headline: Modispeak is disappointing, says opposition. Here are few of the responses.

“Listened to the Pradhan Showman. Nothing about how to ease people’s pain, their burdens, their financial anxieties. No vision of the future or sharing the issues he is weighing in deciding about the post-lockdown. Just a feel-good moment curated by India’s Photo-Op PrimeMinister!” tweeted Mr. Tharoor soon after Mr. Modi’s video message.

In a series of tweets, former Finance Minister P. Chidamabaram questioned why the government had not announced a second Financial Action Plan even after the lockdown entered its 10th day.
He said every working professional — from a business person to a daily wage earner — expected Mr. Modi to announce steps to arrest the economic slide and re-start the engines of economic growth.

CPI General Secretary D. Raja said that people expected the Prime Minister to come out with substantial measures to guard them against COVID-19 as well safeguard the economic interests of migrant workers and daily wage earners.
“He could have announced full ration for the migrant workers or wages to MGNREGA workers,” said Mr. Raja, adding: “Mr. Modi could have also considered the financial assistance sought by the Chief Ministers to deal with this health emergency.”

The Congress, at its official online media briefing, also claimed that the supply chain for transporting essential commodities has nearly collapsed and prices have skyrocketed in the past 10 days.
“Of the 12 million kirana [grocery] stores of the country, only 2.5 million are open. The rest are shut because of disruption of supplies of essential commodities. The Centre’s intervention is a must,” said Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera.
“The tomato, which is available in the mandi at ₹18 per kg has become ₹50 to ₹60 per kg for the consumer. Likewise, the potato, which is available in the mandi at ₹16 per kg has become ₹50 per kg for the consumer,” he added.

The third ITEM was The Hindu, Editorial, under a catchy title LIGHT AND SOUND which can be interested in many ways. It noted:
Full of sound and piety but signifying little, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s third and latest address to the nation on the COVID-19 pandemic hardly calmed frayed nerves.
Further it referred to the challenges of the times:
They did expect a reassuring action plan from the Prime Minister and a clear picture of the challenge ahead. They expected some clarity on the post-lockdown course for the country. They hoped for more mitigation measures, beyond those announced by the Finance Minister and the Reserve Bank of India Governor. Chief executives of many democracies have personally addressed the people with detailed and material plans of action since the outbreak. They have also kept the interaction alive, and two-way. The political leadership at the Centre has largely remained aloof. Mr. Modi himself continues with his monologues, shunning all questions.

There was also recognition of the need to inspirational at a time like this.
Rhetoric to rally the nation in a moment of crisis can actually do good. Unifying and galvanising the country is very critical in combating the pandemic. To the extent that it sought to achieve those goals, the Prime Minister’s message was purposeful.

My reading of the Editorial is that it was criticizing the PM.

If words are all one has, the virus is not going to be kind. Nor is an economy going to stop its free fall at the sight of candles. Symbolism is infused with meaning only through corresponding action.

My observations:
It is difficult to find fault with any of the viewpoints about the pandemic.

Yes, it is a source of enormous social and personal suffering.
There is urgent need for relief.

However, it is equally relevant to remember that during periods of uncertainty, physical needs are not the only need.
There is need to view the current situation from a larger perspective.
The larger perspectives both in individual life and in the collective lives is always symbolic and inspirational.

The FOUR postings (21-24) illustrate this point.

Reading each one of them, I did not get my food, money or medical care, made sense of the pandemic from a larger purpose and found solace for my soul.

The debate and discussions will continue, till we reach the other side of the Pandemic.

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