Who would’ve thought that instead of Kim Kardashian’s married life and Bengal elections, these keywords would be trending for a better part of 2020 and perhaps 2021 also? COVID-19 has brought the world to heel and the animalistic side of humans out in the open. For the past one and a half years, every one of us has had nothing but survival on our minds.
From Oscars and Rahul Gandhi’s memes, the tea-time discussions have moved to vaccinations, social distancing, and ancillary medicines. The sales for sanitizers and masks are through the roof and all big and small businesses are trying to ride the Corona wave.
However, slowly but steadily a trend can be seen emerging amidst the noise. Ever since India’s corona numbers have started declining steadily, the rest of the world is asking but one question.
What is India doing right that other countries are not?
While the ruling party in India is lauding their early lockdown decision and stringent implementation rules, the opposition is trying to shift the focus and is presenting people’s own willingness to socially distance as the winning move. The truth is however far from all the political agenda.
In early 2020, as we all know, India was at the peak of a decade-long stride to copy the lifestyle of the supposed developed nations. Our pants had become jeans and expensive organic food decorated the grocery store shelves. Our English had unfounded accents and our children wanted to learn French and Italian, not Sanskrit.
March 2020 forced us to return to our roots. As soon as COVID-19, a mysterious and highly contagious respiratory illness entered the Indian subcontinent via foreign nationals, we started the home remedies. Tea transformed from a respite to a purveyor of medicinal herbs like adrak (ginger), laung (clove), and elaichi (cardamom).
As Coronavirus pressed its talons on India’s population, our mothers brought back the infamous Kadha into the fold. Full of ayurvedic herbs and spices, a daily dose of kadha made sure our throats as well as minds, stayed clear of any unwanted viruses. As Corona dealt the pneumonia card, Giloye, a power-packed natural antibiotic made a comeback. Ramdev as usual tried to fool people with his pseudo-knowledge of Ayurveda.
At this point, you should be asking yourself:
“Is this all that is behind India’s success against Corona?”
While Corona has been a terrible ordeal for all of us what we need to focus on instead is a step towards the positive. Corona has killed over half a million people all over the world and is ready to gulp even more. But one of the few positives that can be found in this unprecedented pandemic is how people have started paying attention to their health.
Stuck in their homes, the pigeonholed people have started to take care of their health, significantly more than pre-corona. Earlier people went to the gym a meager one or two times a week. Then too after 30 minutes of cardio and 1 hour of random chit chat, they came back with nothing but a sore shoulder.
What this pandemic has achieved is something no one else can boast of. It has forced the emulative group of fitness fashionistas to accept the Indian way of gyming. Critics of yoga grudgingly accepted it as a savior to release the unending job pressure stemming from working from home for a year.
Corona has also brought with it some much-needed family time. While the United States is reporting a drastic and rather comical increase in divorce rates, India and perhaps many other countries have taken advantage of this unplanned pseudo vacation. I know many of us don’t give enough credit to those 15-minute chai breaks with our family but we all can acknowledge that it has filled a hole inside our restless souls.
No doubt there are many negatives to this unrelenting disease but focusing on them will do us any good. We can only come back stronger from this experience by acknowledging what we lack. In these dark days, we should be focusing on the bright side. There is a shift from a cavalier attitude towards health to taking good care of our body and mind.
I acknowledge it is mostly out of fear but whatever the reasons, Coronavirus has helped us 9 to 5 generation to take a breather and try to change our priorities in life. Whether it is yoga or home gymming or alternative medicine, it has taught us to take care of ourselves more. We know now that the next pandemic is always around the corner, and what can save us, in the long run, is not some magic herb or a new vaccine every year. It is our body, our immunity, and good health. Perhaps we can continue this trend and try to remember every second what is important and most importantly what is not.