The invisible enemy – COVID-19, a perilous pandemic has been a global health crisis and one of the most deplorable challenges the world has ever faced before. Beginning in December 2019 from Wuhan city in China, the novel Coronavirus has now spread over 187 countries. India has registered more than 4 lakh COVID-19 infections across the country and the cases are rising at a massive rate. The contagion disease is ravaging human lives in big numbers and the important criterion to contain the deadly virus is to prepare, respond to this health crisis effectively and recover from it. The novel Coronavirus outbreak has been jeopardizing livelihood by the escalating level of socio-economic impact in the vast swathes of the globe. With hard-hit headwinds at all levels of society, a sea of change happened in the post-corona time, there has been changing forms to conduct day-to-day life. The norm setting for every action has been mandatory. The extended and easing of lockdowns conditioned every aspect viz social distancing, shuttering of the economy, change of working patterns, virtual education, thousands losing jobs, poor left homeless and host of other challenges. Norm setting is an important action of the human behaviour mechanism. Human behaviour mechanism has brought a profound change of societal structures of economic, technological and cultural frameworks of the world that has been overlaid by negative effects of globalization. Progression has changed the perspectives and it remained to alter from time to time. We have been witnessing war, conflicts, terrorism, climate change, human rights issues and so hence and so forth. Every aspect reflects our identity as a people and our place in the world. Today the world’s diplomacy is focused on war and conflict. This is the time people must understand their responsibility to act in a civilized manner to emerge strongly from this carnage. This period has allowed everyone to re-visit, re-think and re-evaluate the way life has been carried on pre-Corona time. Nevertheless, the pandemic has unbolted the consciousness of all, created a room to think about what counts in life and discover our priorities for a true being and for a beautiful world. As the crisis is unfolding with distressing health concerns across the globe, we need to reflect on the important lessons learnt during this tragic time and the most important aspect to review is self-discipline.
Self-Discipline and COVID-19
“With self-discipline most anything is possible”. All that requires is a strong will with a sense of responsibility not just towards oneself but towards the nation as well. At this critical juncture of COVID-19, the key factor is how people behave in responding to this crisis that will count in slowing down its effect. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises the value of human behaviour in managing pandemics. The onus of self-discipline should be marked at all levels, from people to government. During this unprecedented challenge, countries, partners, governments and all across systems must provide social and economic protection to a vulnerable and marginalised population.
Heralding the nuances of Mahatma Gandhi, we need to recalibrate how our country and people behave in building a more just society. Gandhiji’s Swaraj movement mobilised the entire nation which was sustained through self-discipline. It is imperative to exercise self-control and self-discipline by leveraging the collective efforts of the people for real-time progress. Self-discipline to a far an extent has corroded and it had been continuing for many years. Despite the value system and the right environment, everything is taken for granted. Beyond the absurdity, people are irresponsible in maintaining hygiene, breaking traffic rules, encroachments and an endless list of dismay. One of the most pressing issues is climate change; people have brutalized the environment and left it in tatters without any effective course-correction in place. Individual action can make an impact. With worldwide lockdowns forcing the closure of industries and factories over the past one month, the pollution level has reduced to a great extent. The poisonous emission like nitrogen oxide is declined. This reflects human behaviour mechanism can bring sustainable effect on the earth.
The mechanism of elected governments and the political parties would only be a matter of great pride when they discharge their responsibility for the citizens. The exodus of migrant labours management during lockdown is the apathy of the government that indicated recurrent narratives of ignorance for the marginalized people as they have been excluded. On the other hand, Indians has been evacuated from different countries.
Looking at the depleting liquor tax revenue of 30,000 crores in 45 days of lockdown, recently the government has allowed the sale of liquors in all the cities of India. In the context of COVID-19, the government cannot benefit at the cost of health. According to the WHO, “at times of lockdown during COVID-19 pandemic, alcohol consumption can exacerbate health vulnerability, risk-taking behaviours, mental health issues and violence”. The definition of behaviour mechanism of States must be recalibrated too. Progress is the march of human civilization and not the trade figures only. For an inclusive society, a country’s responsibility is not only to support the underprivileged but to make perfect sense that does not threaten the concept of a united world. We need to remind ourselves of our responsibility to act on self-discipline strata to restructure and fight against the invisible enemy, COVID-19. It is important to understand that as a citizen we need to be the part of the solution and not the part of the problem.