The Positive Side of the Pandemic

Monday, 21 September 2020

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The Positive Side of the Pandemic

Saurav Somani | July 25, 2020 13:06 hrs

“I am positive!” exclaimed a friend of mine over the phone. Instinct taking hold, I reeled back in panic even as I asked in haste, “How come? What? When?”

“Oh, don’t worry…” My bemused friend corrected me quickly, “I mean I’m positive about my new business venture. I wasn’t talking about Corona! I’m still negative as far as the virus is concerned!”    

Well, that’s the irony of how things are nowadays in the world of Covid-19. The word “positive” has a negative vibe about it and, equally and hilariously, the word “negative” has a positive ring to it!

Coming to the point, let me assure you all that: “Corona Virus will soon end completely this year. That’s the simple truth of it. Believe me, our lives will bounce back to normalcy. It sure will.” 

Now, I’m pretty sure many of you must have rolled your eyes or even gave a mocking smirk when you read the above lines. This is probably how your mind responded:

“Yeah yeah, why not? As if he knows better than the doctors!”

“Oh, is it? Show me the proof, boy!”

“These writers will write anything! Give them a bull, they will make bull****!”    

But then indeed, few of you must have thought, “That’s really an optimistic notion. How upbeat!” 

I’m not blaming anyone. That is how most of us respond nowadays. Believe me, there is a peculiarly funny tendency to easily accept things that are pessimistic but be in much doubt when things are really going optimistic. In fact, humans tend to be more skeptical by nature than readily accept anything. And in the present era of fake news, unreliability and corruption, being skeptical or cynical has been hardwired into us.  

This gives rise to several questions: Should we stay optimistic all the time and ignore the reality? Is being skeptical really bad for us?  Being ‘realistically optimistic’ is what one could strive for. This means: 

Accepting what is: This is to accept the present reality around us. For example: Yes, the world is in a state of pandemic right now. However, while accepting this fact we must abstain ourselves from exaggerating (for example the world will end soon or other such nonsense!).

Having Hope: After accepting the reality, cling on to the branch of hope. Have hope that despite the worst of situations, the best can happen. 

You can cling on to this fact: the recovery rate of Covid-19 cases is way much higher than the mortality rate. The vaccine/medicine is on the way. 

Take Action: Be alert. Take the right action. Sanitize properly, stay fit, have immunity boosters, avoid organizing any reckless gatherings or social functions, etc. And lend a helping hand (Not literally; maintain social distance) as much as you can.   

While being realistically optimistic, these are things one should be mindful of: Stop being condescending. It’s quite an unpopular trait. Avoid dim-witted statements like, “How’s your job? I heard your company has fired many?” or “You must be feeling sad because your wedding got postponed. Isn’t it?” or “The number of corona cases in your area is far more than in our area! How come?” Such offensive, opinionated statements will leave a really bad taste in the person. Show some care.

When we are talking to our relatives or friends, we tend to discuss much about Corona or about those recent suicides or imminent wars, right? The rising cases, the immediate case in our neighborhood, and so on. 

In fact, we tend to enjoy it. Morbidly! Avoid such discussions. The media is already griping with such facts. Instead, discuss something different. New ideas, hobbies, good deeds, etc. In the end, the conversation should leave you and the listener with a more pleasant state of mind.

Cut off the news hours. I agree we must stay updated, but staying constantly being exposed to news about the pandemic, etc may make you painfully paranoid. Instead, watch inspiring shows, read good books. Pump yourself with positive vibes.   

All in all, every crisis is a coin with two sides: being overly pessimistic and realistically optimistic. The good news is that we can flip this coin and even choose the side. How wonderful, isn’t it? So guys, choose wisely!

(The author is a chartered accountant by profession and a writer from heart. He has authored two books till date. The views expressed in the article are his own)

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