We are living in uncertain times. The COVID 19 is at large and chasing us. Have you noticed where has it begun? It has begun first in one of the places in the world which is known for its hyper activities. That is China, a country of fast economic growth.
Then it spread first to those parts of the globe which are known as developed and rich nations. Thereafter, it spread all over the globe. The COVID virus is being studied by the best of biologists and its remedial research is underway. Sooner or later the anatomy of the virus will be studied thoroughly and we shall come to know everything about it. But, that is only one side of the story.
There is another more simple side to it. Why this virus has attacked only the humans and not the other animate and inanimate beings and objects? What about the kingdom of animals, plants and other objects? What about the visible sites of the nature? The hills, mountains, seas, oceans and rivers, rivulets and the likes? Why there is no quarantining of any beings and anything except the humans? Why are they going about their business carefree?
It is because there was an attempt by the humans to control nature for their comfort and profits. Being tortured and defaced for centuries the nature has turned revengeful and taking on the humans now. See what the most eminent American thinker and author Ralph Waldo Emerson said about the nature a century ago:
“It has already been illustrated, that every natural process is a version of a moral sentence. The moral law lies at the centre of nature and radiates to the circumference. It is the pitch and the marrow of every substance, every relation and every process. All things with which we deal, preach to us. What is a farm but a mute gospel? The chaff and the wheat, weeds and plants, blight, rain, insects, sun,- it is a sacred emblem from the first furrow of spring to the last stack which the snow of winter overtakes in the fields. But, the sailor, the shepherd, the miner, the merchant, in their several resorts, have each an experience precisely parallel, and leading to the same conclusion: because all organizations are radically alike.
“Nor can it be doubted that this moral sentiment which thus scents the air, grows in the grain, and impregnates the waters of the world, is caught by man and sinks into his soul. The moral influence of the nature upon every individual is that amount of truth which it illustrates to him. Who can estimate this? Who can guess how much firmness the sea-beaten rock has taught the fisherman? How much tranquility has been reflected to man from the azure sky, over whose unspotted deeps the winds forevermore drive flocks of stormy clouds, and leave no wrinkle or stain? How much industry and providence and affection we have caught from the pantomime of brutes? What a searching preacher or self-command is the varying phenomenon of Health!”
How beautifully Emerson had said it all ! But no, the modern man was not happy cohabiting with the nature. He wanted to win and defeat nature. He wanted to level the mountains and tame the rivers and the seas for his greed and profits. The nature is extremely tolerant and patient. It bears to the last point.
Then it reacts and when it reacts there is nothing else for the humans but to retreat! In the time of pandemic aren’t we all retreating now? However, in the kingdom of nature, the seas, oceans, rivers, animals, plants and all other objects have remained blissful. Even some new activities and initiatives have been observed among them. And among the humans there is an eerie silence everywhere. They are closing down everything and running away. Don’t we need to take a long view of the COVID19? The sooner we take is better for us.
Having said this how are we managing ourselves in this time of crisis? The Central Government has declared a lockdown in the county to slow the pace of the virus. It is a rightful step as there is no alternative. But keeping away from the virus is one thing and surviving its economic fallout is quite another thing which seems to be an uphill task.
After this long lockdown what will happen to the informal sector of our economy which employs about 90% of our workforce? Will it bounce back? Or perish? The experts have been predicting a grim future. As it is all indices of our economy were looking bleak even before the lockdown.
The economists have been observing that the Indian economy is yet to recover from the blow of demonetization. The present lockdown will further devastate it.
The Central government has declared an economic package to deal with the crisis. But we don’t know how effective it will be in salvaging the situation, because wrong policy decisions have already crippled our economy.
At the moment, we are facing two dangers: the COVID19 and its economic fallout. We are facing a situation which we had never faced earlier. Perseverance on the part of the general public and sagacious actions on the part of the government can only help us cope with the crisis.