Covid that Caused Coveted Changes

img1 Dr. John Edappilly
24 May 2021

A virus that created critical crisis in the ever interacting human society, Covid 19 pushed people to self-distancing and safeguarding individual existence even in the intimate circle of family. Being a global crisis creator, Corona has been understood as the villain in the human society.

Crisis management was the primary concern of humanity, using masks, sanitizing the body and distancing oneself in isolation to alleviate the virus attack.  Things could not stop at these negative precautions. Humanity soon realized that it cannot just shun the Corona factor, it has to live with it. So from the stage of crisis management, human creative thinking began to explore positive ways of self-development in the challenging context of Covid-19. This creative phase has made people to go for a lot of self-corrections of past and unprecedented perfections for future. The stage of crisis management has given way to unprecedented creative innovations for humanity.

Proliferation of positive outlook took a while to be expressed. Curious terms like tele-texts, video-instructions, teacher-less-class-rooms, tele-schools, tele-universities etc. were introduced as future realities almost three to four decades back in the field of communication sciences. But its realization came at snail’s pace. Surprisingly Covid-19 made it a reality in the academic circles within a year. If it were to be introduced in the existing system of education, it would have never been fully realized with the resistance of teachers, reluctance of students, lethargy of parents, opposition of teachers’ associations, organized resistance of political parties, and opportunistic attitude of government authorities. But today digital class rooms, on-line teaching, self-search learning, parents’ acquaintance and assistance, teachers’ commitment, management’s efficiency, government’s decisive leadership … all became a reality within a year. Truly, the silent agent behind this revolution is Covid-19.

Impossible break became plausible venture with the Covid pressure. Due to the workaholic mind, nobody had even a spare moment to sit back at home to share or bear the emotionally charged issues of the family members. Children cried about it, wives grumbled, parents complained, but a spare moment was an impossibility. But Covid-19 made it a reality with positive results.  It changed the whole working system of earning. For a long period you could not go to any work place but had to be confined to home. Spending the whole day back at home changed the family relationships with multiple benefits by understanding and accepting the emotions and needs of other members. Thus, Covid saved many families from the verge of break-down.

The whole system of work has changed. People realized that going to offices and spending prescribed hours are not important, but what matters is the work you do either from home or on travel.   

The fact that people squander a lot of time, energy and money just to wander around was not very convincing until we read reports that more than three lakhs of travel pass applications were received by the police during the lock down, but they could identify only about thirty thousand of them as genuine for issuing passes. That means we waste a lot of money, time and energy for unnecessary travel.  

Covid-19 could convince and correct unnecessary extravagant expenses on marriages, birthdays and other social get-togethers when the maximum number of participants was restricted to 50 or 100. Again, social drinking has been changed to family drinking experience with control. These subtle changes considered impossible in the pre-Covid times easily became possible with Corona power. 

The social awareness about the poor and needy, the hungry and famished people living around has made people to be more generous and helpful, more charitable and supportive. This prompted people to run community kitchens, supplying free food and taking care of the rejected persons. Its international version could be seen in the donation of medicines and health services that came from abroad.  

Religion and spirituality got corrected positively due to the tiny virus. Highly institutionalized, traditional rituals and celebrations of the established religions, which often led to scandals of financial misappropriation and mismanagement, got corrected as few people visited temples, churches and shrines.  

In the recent past, spirituality and holiness had been hijacked by voice-polluting preachers and self-made god-men. Another phenomenon that flourished was the retreat centers with their extravagant conventions, recurring retreat sessions, continuous mission tours and special social worship forms. Covid-19 has effectively liberated the poor faithful from the clutches of such self-proclaimed panic preachers. 

Thankfully, spirituality has now become an encounter and commitment of the self with the Divine within oneself in silence and serenity. This has helped people to realize the Divine within oneself and eventually to change oneself from evil to good, to sacrifice selfishness, and to sanctify oneself by serving others. This helped humanity to save itself from exhibitionism, enjoying the inner Divine intimacy. Now prayers, rituals and sacrifices have become more of a personal choice and sincere communion, often with the support of audio visual leads. Corona is the silent power that transformed spirituality to take its true and objective form.

One of the predominant peculiarities of our modern media-mediated culture is the uncontrolled celebration of the accidentals of reality at the risk of killing the inner substance of humanity. The sole purpose of any established system is more of disproportionate celebration of the accidental enjoyments even at the risk of losing the essentials. This had been the indomitable passion of the society practically impossible for correction. This myth has been exploded and reworked by the silent power of the Covid-19 crisis. 

If we look back at the changing life situations and values, a serious question comes to our mind: Is Corona a villain or hero for human society? True, Covid-19 came as a villain inflicting calamity to the society. But the positive and creative Divine power in man worked out in pro-active terms to change the calamity as a covetous opportunity to bring an awful lot of bright progress for the benefit of humankind. Promote the positive in human kind even in the midst of a negative calamity is the process of making it Divine. This is the emerging face of human spirituality. 

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