09 December 2023

Coronavirus : The lesson we should not let slip through egoistic cracks


A severe hurricane suddenly jolted the planet, and all our dams began to crack. It (the planet) began to look like being tossed and flipped like a dry leaf in the hurricane driven by a blizzard.We slept in one world and woke up in another. The sky has become pitch-black with nothing that shines – bereft of stars. Hopes are crumbling into rubble as a day passes by. Lives are taken from the total pool like candies from babies. The silence of fear looms everywhere.Enemy-of-my-enemy calculus seems to have become moribund. Biology of the brain and mind does not seem to be a working discipline any more. The Coronavirus juggernaut forced us to believe that great wars do not need great causes. We are fighting the fire.

Everything got paralyzed, and in days billions of people around the world have been forced by the small virus to be locked inside homes.Geographic borders have been closed, airports are almost dead. In most airports the only sound that can be heard probably is the mechanical limp of the carousel. The airport staff is waiting for one or two passengers to make their day. Schools and Universities are all closed. All these happened in a matter of days. All developments, plans, dreams, and so forth have fallen aside, and the humanity has been thrown off-balance.We are simply hanging by a thread.

This small virus is threatening us to smash our civilizations into smithereens. Everything failed to slow its march northwards, as if its mission is to gnaw the whole human race away completely. It appears that the planet has turned into a powder-keg waiting to blow, and everything is drawn into a maelstrom. This virus which cannot be seen by naked eyes, has frightened us so much as the prehistoric cavemen used to fear the predators.This fear is palpable on the face of all human beings, beginning from the mightiest man on earth (if we can say so) -the US president - down to a homeless street beggar.The panic enveloped the whole human race, unseen and unheard of, in human history.

Our decades-long surprises at mind-blowing technological developments of the US, Europe, Japan, China, Russia and so on, all have been made to appear hollow by a small virus that shuffled the cards and turned the world upside down. Our surprise at the extraordinary facilities that the US president enjoys - his plane with which he can manage a nuclear war, his vehicle equipped with necessary surgical instruments in case of an accident, health personnel, security, and so on, in seconds got blown away when we heard that he had undergone tests twice to ward off the Coronavirus threat. The president, with the nuclear button in his hand, got himself tested twice to make sure that the infinitesimally small enemy did not secretly crawl into his lungs that maysound his death-knell. The mightiest man could have pushed the nuclear button to safeguard himself by attacking the virus but he did not, since he knows that this button, powerful enough to wipe out in minutes at least half of the human race from the planet and to rage the whole of our civilization to the ground, cannot muss even a hair (does it have hair?)from the body of the smallvirus!!!

A virus of a size too tiny to be observed by naked eyes sprawls nonstop over the globe giving a fig to the whole of humanity crossing borders, religions, race, and so forth forcing us to believe that globalization - our greatest accomplishment - is now our greatest bane.We know now that we never truly know ourselves until we are down, and also where the bottom is.We regularly hear that many influential persons in the world, including Heads of States, are infected by this tiny virus -the British Prime Minister, Health secretary, the Prince of Wales, the wife of the Canadian Prime Minister, members of Saudi Royal Family, and many more. The Princess of Spain and the former President of Congo died a few days ago. Let us hope that the list will not be long.

A story about a mighty emperor is in order. His throne was made of the best wood by men with the highest skill who worked day and night until they were sure that the throne was rock-solid and unbreakable. But a small woodworm - completely oblivious of the emperor’s power and with no sense of respect to him - entered the throne and slowly ground the wood until the throne collapsed to the ground into smidgens, and the emperor fell flat on the ground with all his power, looking as the most helpless man on earth.

What is the message? The power one holds todaywill notlast forever. Our life on earth is very short, no matter how long it lasts. Also, when you are happy with your success the world will say ‘Yes’ million times, but when you fail nobody will weep with you, indeed many will gloat.Asmall microscopic virus is tossing us like a small rowing boat in the giant waves of a deep black ocean, and that we may be sucked any time in its eternal darkness but we cannot do anything. How helpless and powerless we really are!!!

Do we need any more evidence to believe that there is SOMEONEmore powerful than we are? Let us ask ourselves –can we assume that we have crossed the red line set by the Creator for the humans, and that has caused His wrath to reach such acolossal height that He sent a zombie apocalypse to ride upon us?

Have we treated others as we want to be treated?

Mounting evidence indicates that people of different religions, race, colour, and so on, in different parts of the world suffered brutal oppressions by other fellow human beings. Sometimes, the oppressors were found to rub their hands in glee while circling the bleeding prey foaming at the mouth. This is likepunchingon the stomach of the victims when theyare already on their knees. Because of our moral obtuseness and skullduggery against the poor and powerless we view them not as people to be supported but as a problem to be solved. Some people are rich beyond imagination while millions are living in abject poverty - starving, sleeping with their families on the streets, no access to water, toilet, no food for tomorrow morning. But this scenario does not drill any hole in our hearts to burst into sobs of pain. OXFAM once calculated that the world’s 85 richest people, roughly the number of passengers that can fit on a double-decker bus, owned wealth that was more than the total wealth of more than3.5 billion people in the planet’s bottom half. Let us remember that we are single individuals among seven and a half billion individuals on a rock swimming in the space, definitely not without a purpose. This perception will engender a creative bonhomie among us that will help us realize that we all are members of a single family.

When the resentment of a populace that results from prolonged oppression reaches the peak and the oppressed is forced to endure the oppression since their hands have been tied behind, then, remember, the Creator unleashes a deadly wave drowning everything in its wake. Will it be unreasonable to assume that the current invisible Coronavirus is this deadly wave that came as the wrath of the Creator? To the Creator, all are His creations, and so the virus does not differentiate between king and pauper, powerful and powerless, rich and poor, murderers and the victims, and so forth, as to who to strike or spare. The earlier we understand the better for us, otherwise, another virus may turn up, andthis time we will be closer to the starting line of the roller-coaster ride (like prehistoric society) living in mud-huts watching the grass grow.

It seems modernity and exposure of human bodyhave become almostsynonymous in many parts of the world,especially in case of women.It can be observed, in many, if not most, social parties, programs etc., many women are scantily dressed while the menbeside them are dressed in suit or its ilk, for reasons hitherto unknown. Some societies approve the‘same-sex marriage’, as well as, ‘living together without marriage’in contravention to every religion’s teaching. ‘Living together without marriage’ is something like a regulator with broken teeth that serves only to corrode the root of a family life. These acts are acceptable in those societies under the ploy of ‘freedom’, but is it not true that the upper ceiling of ‘freedom’ has been pushed slowly and gradually beyond limits over many decadesonly to develop a wishbone,not a backbone?But we know that an overly sweet tooth eventually results in dental decays.If the constructs ‘freedom’, ‘modernity’, etc. can be redefinedproperly a new era will dawn where celebrities will not be made out of almost nothing, and people will run after gold, not after dust.

Most of usknow that faith speaks the language of the heart.Let us ask ourselves - does our heart really approve the ‘same-sex marriage’, and ‘living together without marriage’, given that the Creator does not approve these acts in any religion? Can we say that we have sleepwalked too far into the trap of the material illusions that has tacitly wheeled us world away from His path?

Months and months have melted away and the whole of humanity could not slow the march, even bya millimeter, of a tiny virus with all our might and power, with all our scientific achievements we always boast of. It seems the march will continue unabated unless it (the virus)wishes to do otherwise.

Let us ask: Whose wish is this?’ Do we need a second chance to get the first impression about the power of the Creator of thismicrobe?

Nobody is completely au fait with the Corona system since the virus is somewhat new. Let us hope, by His Grace, our scientists will soon be able to crack the genetic code of the mysterious virus to develop the required vaccine, and He will winkle us out of this global pandemic. But to deserve this favour we need to make a rationally-guided Comebackto our Creator. Otherwise, who knows, we may face another viruswith zillion times more power, and we can imagine the kind of mayhem that may be wrought by this new virus. Of course, asking ourselves to unlearn what we had been practicing for ages is a big ask. But to embrace the truth is it not important that we keep our ego at bay?Also, let us remember that this Comeback has to be only through the path of His choice.

Let the secrecy of our neuroscience wizardry play its role to decide which path is the path of His choice.

* Currently Part-Time Faculty, United International University, Dhaka
Email: [email protected]

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