In the “Age of the Corona Virus” by Mukund Acharya
In the “Age of the Corona Virus”
By Mukund Acharya
I sipped my morning coffee and browsed through the media. Spain declared an emergency and locked down. The situation was still dire in Italy. Testing was woefully inadequate in the US and published numbers were the tip of the iceberg. Toilet paper, cleaning supplies and frozen food could not be restocked fast enough in markets across the country to keep up with waves of panic buying.
Three other items caught my eye.
The Times had a heartwarming story. Italians nationwide – under lockdown to prevent spread of the coronavirus – were singing and playing musical instruments from balconies and rooftops, with “piano chords, trumpet blasts, violin serenades and even the clanging of pots and pans spilling from people’s homes” to demonstrate solidarity and thank all medical personnel on the front lines fighting the spread of the virus.
A good friend in Switzerland sent a WhatsApp message. “People are hoarding toilet paper here,” she said, “empty shelves.” She also forwarded a video (that probably took multiple forwards to get to me) showing a young man in a coffee shop paying for his coffee with single sheets of toilet paper, and the barista asking for one more sheet, as Abba’s classic song plays in the background. Money, money, money, must be funny, in the rich man’s world.
And then I saw this post on the social networking platform for local communities, Nextdoor:
“I’d like to take a moment to reflect on our current situation by bringing up a quote from the author C.S. Lewis. It’s from an essay titled “On Living in an Atomic Age”. I’ll let Lewis say what he says best:
‘In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”
In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation…
This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.’
“On Living in an Atomic Age” (1948) in Present Concerns: Journalistic Essays”
We must heed these words Lewis wrote 72 years ago. Let’s not panic. Let’s be sensible, use common sense, adopt common courtesy and pull together towards a common cause.
Carefully follow the sensible advice of healthcare professionals. Wash your hands, Maintain social distance. Stay indoors and avoid contact with others as much as possible. Sacrifice some needs for the common good. It’s not just for you. It’s for everyone around you, and for everyone around them.
Together, we will eventually emerge victorious from the “Age of the Corona Virus.”
The Above video is one of the entries from “In Time of COVID19 Video & Essay Contest”
We believe that the pandemic has generated a treasure trove of interesting stories, valuable and relevant contents about humanity in all its spectrums. Stories about generosity, heroism, kindness and outstanding services to fellow human beings on the other.
Ding Ding TV (Silicon Valley Innovation Channel and Voice of Asian Americans) , CLUSA together with 16 partners presented “In Time of COVID19 Video & Essay Contest” bringing these stories to our community and simultaneously acknowledge and honor their creators.
The contestant should read and follow the Contest Rulers published on May 10th 2020 from following link:
The contestant acknowledge Rule 5, 6
5) If background music and other visual, verbal and sound (reference) material are used from internet, the contestant must possess copyrights or have explicit permission to use such material(s).
6) By entering this contest, the contestants will have given DingDingTV and Contest Partners explicit permission to distribute the video widely on media channels, the internet and social media sites such as Youtube, Facebook, WhatApp, WeChat, twitter….etc.