Covid-19 and arrogance

Covid-19 has finally exposed humans. It is not the war that is killing us, not even epidemic or pandemic, but it seems a rare congenital anomaly present in our DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). With so many people already dead and thousands getting infected is hurtling towards a catastrophe. Although pandemics are not new, they have in one or other form disturbed human settlements since this world came into existence, consumed millions of lives and then also brought under control. So, what’s the big deal about Covid-19? Why it has been given so much of hype? Why discussions swirl around negativity?

When God created this beautiful world and more beautifully the humans, He blessed humans with a distinctive character loaded with a beautiful mind. The most beautiful creation might have put our Lord feel proud of this creation. On the contrary humans took this favour as a right to deserve this special status. The general view that holds humans as a distinguished entity that is superior to all other forms of life may have misled him (humans) that he owns control over entire planet, be it living or non-living creatures. Having dominated the planet with his pervasive influence on earth led to some miscalculations on his part.

It reminds me of a story by great Saadi. A man had attained great excellence in the art of wrestling, who knew three hundred and sixty exquisite tricks and daily exhibited something new. He had a particular affection for the beauty of one of his pupils whom he taught three hundred and fifty nine tricks, refraining to impart to him only one . At last the youth had attained such power and skill that no one was able to contend with him and he went so far as to say to the sultan : ‘I allow superiority to my teacher on account of his age and from his gratitude for his instruction but my strength is not less than his and my skill equal.” The king ordered them to wrestle with each other. The youth made an onslaught like a mad elephant with an impulse which might have uprooted a mountain of brass from its place but the master, who knew he was in strength superior to himself, attacked him with the rare trick he had reserved to himself and which the youth was unable to elude. The master lifted him up with his hands and from the ground raised him above his head and then threw him down. The youth complained that master had not vanquished him by his strength but by a slender part  in art of wrestling  which he had withheld from him and thereby got the upper hand on him. The master replied that he had reserved it for such an occasion. The arrogance of youth led to his shame.

Humans underestimated the power of his Creator; it’s He who created him and its He who takes care of the minutest affairs. Even as humans have exceeded in technological innovations and interventions, a small microbe has shaken the resourcefulness, intelligence and resilience in this unprecedented public health emergency.

Whenever we experience any kind of catastrophe, be it natural calamity, epidemic etc. there is always a lesson hidden in it. However, we are engrossed in ourselves so much that we are only concerned about our safety and our happiness. We are waiting for the vaccine desperately not because we want human lives to be safe but because we are locked down and away from enjoying the pleasures of life. This is the deep down arrogance hidden in human DNA.

Covid-19 too will pass, again we will be on the path of normalcy once scientists come up with a vaccine and flood markets with the desired thing. We will once again forget everything and resume our work without any fail.

But what about those who are dead, not because of the pandemic but because of their own battles with poverty, hunger, diseases, violence etc. This helpless population might not be even familiar with Covid-19 because they are already suffering and ever-multiplying in numbers (of individuals). Of course their primary concern is to escape from the deadly grip of poverty. Their pathetic condition is going to remain same even after vaccine comes out in market. These are the people who actually don’t matter when national or global statistics are carried out. Their absence or presence hardly matters, because they are born to suffer.

Can we feel the pain or even bear the same for a second? When Covid-19 broke initially in China, I would often talk about it to one of my friends. Then one day she blatantly said, “Let’s not talk about the negative things. At least we should be thankful that this disease is not in India.” I might not need to say further, all of us know what happened later. The disease knocked each door forget about the boundaries. One gratitude we owe to Covid-19 is at least it treated all of us equally. It didn’t differentiate between rich and poor, very important people and less important people, distressed and happy, race or caste, colour or nation.

In short, Covid-19 carries an important lesson to learn. Let’s replace our arrogant DNAs with beautiful minds, after all the tacit missive ‘pride hath a fall’ not shame us further.