THE EDITOR: We’ve been in partial lockdown since March 30 – recently extended to April 30. A few designated essential services remain open. A pervasive fear and foreboding stalk the land, made worse by the fact of the profound uncertainty about this strange phenomenon – cause of widespread anxiety and worry now dominating, even paralysing, life as we knew it.
The unfolding situation is stoked and intensified by a frenzy of troubled face-to-face conversations amongst friends and family; concerned WhatsApp interactions with contacts far and near; and raging media hype – traditional and social – serving up daily updates, diets of speculative theories and fake news. These all conspire, unwittingly maybe, to spin a web of helpless surrender of mind and psyche.
It’s difficult not to succumb to the mind-numbing narrative, despite fact checking the “news” with credible sources. For sanity, it is necessary to retreat into mindfulness to discover an oasis of hope and comforting calm.
It may well be that we’re looking for relief in the wrong places. The answers we seek may well reside within, not outside ourselves.
Let’s ask a few questions. What is the nature of our relationship with people? Fundamentally, are people valuable to us? And for the only reason that they are fellow human beings? Do we maintain an active social network(s)? When last have we truly interacted with family, friends and relatives with whom we have not been in touch for a long time?
Don’t you find that the distancing mandated by the coronavirus has induced an intense need to re-establish and/or maintain contact with significant others? Hasn’t it sparked an impulse to share messages of hope; convey words of assurance about caring and concern; and participate almost daily in active, mutually supportive, communication aimed to destroy any budding sense of aloneness being generated by the recommended isolation? These questions speak to the essence of human society.
I envision a post-corona world inspired by a surging need to continually reach out beyond self. Humankind will decidedly be in a much better place for the time afforded by this enforced confinement for searching reflection and deep insight about its complex interdependence.
One should never fail to take advantage of the opportunity presented by a crisis. Game on.
WINSTON R RUDDER