All isn’t gloomy: There’s also a positive side of Covid-19

The pandemic highlights the effectiveness, relevance and scientific background of most of our lifestyle practices, writes YK Kalia

It is trite to say that 35 per cent of our burgeoning population comprises of young people of impressionable age and now with the recognition of our ancient Indian traditions, established practices of daily life and other socio-cultural stipulations, shall boost up India’s image and standing as an honest, upright, humane, tolerant, multi-faith, multi linguistic model of co-existence in this turbulent world full of mutual conflicts, hatred and strifes. This pandemic shall see the resurgence and worldwide recognition of centuries old and hallowed practices of everyday life, which till now, had been scoffed at, jeered and ridiculed, not only by the westerners, but also by the ultra modern neo-liberal and self acclaimed intellectuals.

The effectiveness and the powerful remedial effect of our ancient mantras, as proven by clinical trials and researches, has enamoured other countries like Spain, Italy, UK, Ireland, USA etc., where these holy chants are reverberating to ward off this pandemic devastating those nations. Likewise, the esoteric effect of individual prayers at a pre-fixed common time for a fixed duration, as espoused by our visionary Prime Minister and also put in action by spiritual masters like Meena Omji, has literally put spread of this pandemic in reverse gear.

Covid-19 outbreak has also highlighted the effectiveness, relevance and scientific background of most of our lifestyle practices, like Namaste (and avoiding hand shake) for greeting, taking freshly cooked home made food (and avoiding all junk, processed, preserved off the shelf foods), avoiding out-of-season fruits and vegetables, observing prescribed quarantine periods (popularly called “sootak”, that is, 40 days after child delivery, one week during menstruation periods and “paatak”, that is, mandatory 13 days after any death, which were hitherto scoffed at as being regressive and archaic. Likewise, the traditional practice of burning the dead bodies, also ridiculed, is now considered prudent and rational.

The prescribed practice of covering head, face and nose and keeping silent during acts of urination and defecation, to avoid any infection, which was trashed as humbug, has now been recognized as scientific. The established practice of avoiding sharing others food/clothes/beddings etc. now seems to have made sense. Washing hands and feet before taking food, entering temples, sleeping chambers, not wearing once used clothes without washing them first, avoiding wearing wet clothes, avoiding using others towels etc., now have been proved to make sense.

Familiar scenes of venerable Jain Munis moving around with white strip of cloth covering their nose and mouth, which were considered as irrational clinging to some irrelevant regressive rituals in this “modern age”, now stand vindicated as propagating highly scientific anti-infection measures. Wearing a life saving mask as a preventive measure has now caught the imagination and fancies of aesthetically sensitive ladies and girls as an “in thing”. Enclosed free hand drawings by Aira, my young grand-daughter are really encouraging for a change.

The alacrity with which the scientific as well as skilled community of this country has been successful in developing tentative protocols for control of such pandemics in the form of immunity boosters, vaccines, PPE kits, innovative quarantine facilities, use of technology in time bound prediction and early warning models, creation of supply chains at the national, state and district levels, dissemination of real time data about the spread of disease, interstate and intrastate co-ordination among the citizens, barring exceptions, of course, has overall been a very optimistic development.

Most of the news presented in the electronic as well as print media deal only with the statistics about the prognosis of this pandemic, but the far reaching benign effect of much needed population control legislation is not discussed. The pernicious effect of burgeoning population and the factors responsible for the creation thereof, are being swiped under the carpet for obvious reasons of being labelled as “secular” in a multi-cultural society. However, there cannot be two opinions about the dire and immediate need for enactment and strict implementation of population control legislation.

Few other developments in the aftermath of this pandemic are: (a) inculcating the digital payment habits, (b) big boost to e-commerce platforms and methodologies in daily life, (c) innovations in work from home and their impact on the social, cultural, professional and domestic lives, as has been demonstrated by the experimental 40-day lockdown period, (d) putting into practice innovative ways of e-learning through TV, radio, apps etc., (e) emergence and use of video-conferencing technology in administrative and justice dispensation spheres, (f) exponentially frightening air, water and sound pollution stands drastically curtailed as a benign effect of this pandemic.

The hitherto unknown clinical fact of the distinctive naturally occurring unique factor in RNA of Indian blood and its esoteric inherent ability to withstand onslaughts of such virulent pandemics, has further proved the credibility of our ancient culture and its much scoffed at and much maligned commandments of life. This research finding has recently been published by a team of young microbiologists team of KG Medical University, Lucknow led by Dr. Sheetal Verma, which heralds the discovery of a particular protein in the blood of Indian covid sufferers only that reduces the effect and capability of corona virus to one half.

Rise of India as the largest hub of manufacturing and exporting pharmaceuticals and PPE kits. Approval of our generic drugs by the otherwise stubborn/reluctant FDA. Shifting by most of well known International brands in electronics and other spheres, manufacturing outfits from China to India, thus generating lot of employment and attracting FDI. Unemployment levels in India are expected to go down substantially.

As a benign effect this pandemic shall give impetus to tourism in general and medical tourism in particular. With plenty of sunshine, newly created tourist attraction hotspots, easily available, very competent and cost effective treatment packages in surgery, medicine, organ transplant, yoga, naturopathy, homeopathy and other indigenous systems f cure, which have gained fame for their effectiveness. With the threat of further outbreak of other strains of viruses, like SARS, Swine Flu, Bird Flu etc. affecting mostly the respiratory system, use of Pranayam and indigenous immunity boosting foods and medicines, will make India as the first choice for tourism.

Allopathic system of medicine, which due to western influence on our culture and life style, had produced frightening deleterious effect on our time-tested healthcare management with costly treatments, thus draining our resources heavily. The alternative systems of medicine, viz., Homeopathy, Unani and Sidhha, which besides our ancient and clinically robust Ayurvedic system, all of which besides being easily available and cost effective, had backing of the masses, but due to lack of official backing, had been languishing so far, shall now occupy the centre stage, courtesy the Government backing. As an aftermath of this pandemic imbroglio, the alternative systems of medicine shall get a boost.

Some other cultures in the most effected western world, such as the USA, UK, Italy, Spain, which have hitherto been impressing the perception of our neo-pseudo-intellectuals, as an iconic way of life, has, in fact, helped this virus to spread. In Italian culture, many generations live together, and the young mingle with the elders. Spain is highly densely populated, and the country is becoming a popular tourist destination after the bombings in many European countries. In North America, the model of long-term care facilities should rethink their future strategies, as these facilities are clusters of the most vulnerable people who need assistance with their daily routine in a very private/invasive way. The culture of retirement homes also needs to be reconsidered in terms of their services, resources, and personnel.

Pandemics like the 2003 SARS and the 2015 MERS, which technically, were also corona viruses and had wreaked havoc in different regions of this world, however, the virulent magnitude of present COVID-19 pandemic and possibilities of identical outbreaks of more such pathogens, has forced the countries across the globe to focus on reducing dependencies on the international supply chain.

Such a dismal global scenario, has corroborated the efforts of our visionary Prime Minister in making swachhta abhiyan (cleanliness drive), imbibing yoga practices, water conservation, solar power generation, electric vehicles use, shifting focus from global economy to local economy. This Covid-effect induced paradigm shift in future planning will certainly put India at the top in world order. Recently our Prime Minister has also outlined an identical road map for revival of our economy.  

With the strengthened collective will of our citizens and resolute action shown by our government in the aftermath of current pandemic, India is bound to be prepared for such potential health crises in the future as well. Though having improvised upon an outdated Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897 by a more comprehensive law known as the National Disaster Management Act, 2005, yet the same remained only an academic exercise till now. The timely, resolute and proactive steps taken by the government have resulted in reducing the negative impact of a health crisis of colossal magnitude.

The economy, which undoubtedly has been badly hit, will take a long time to recover from the impact of this virus. Service sectors of economy like the agriculture, dairy and poultry farming, labour-intensive industries, food eateries and restaurants, daily wage workers and migrant labour, entertainment industry, tourism etc. shall have to rework and re-schedule their work/revenue models to withstand onslaughts of such health crises in future as well. With the nasty experiences of inter-state labour due to emergent lockdown, scarcity of work force in agriculture and industrial sector in certain areas, shall see innovations in to cope with labour scarcities.  

At individual level, citizens shall have to formulate much needed plans to face such health hazards, natural calamities, economic blues at any time in future. Experts from the National Disaster Management Authority shall have to develop more innovative apps and e-tools like the Aarogya Setu App, to cope with future emergencies that may crop up out of the blue. Strategies to maintain workable stocks of essential food items, OTC medicines, self help kits for household emergency repairs, etc. shall have to be kept in place for emergency situations. Overseas and intra-state travels merely for fun and not out of dire necessity, shall have to be discouraged.

Preparations to cope with any such future health related disasters, researches in bio-technology to understand genomic patterns and behaviour of various pathogens and functional means, to monitor emergence of natural or laboratory developed pathogens, like protozoa, fungi, bacteria, bacterio-phages and viruses, shall have to put in place on war footing under the National Disaster Management Act.

Infrastructural development of communication, transport by rail, road, water and aerial routes, management of waste products, like water, garbage, biomedical waste and their effective disposal, development of storage and distribution chain at the national level shall have to be put in place. 

Revamping and modernizing healthcare, energy and service sectors in cost effective manner shall have to be planned soon.

The National Disaster Management Authority has been given omnibus all pervasive powers under the relevant legislation of 2005 vintage. to deal with any disaster, including a biological one. The authority is empowered to (a) act against any government official or director of a company for defying its orders, (b) to detain any person without warrant for defying its legal orders and to inflict a jail term of one year for first offences. This National Authority is empowered to provide for developing national and state level mitigation plans with a clear chain of command. Covid-19 stands declared as a national disaster under sections 6 and 10 of this law. All the constituent states of the Indian Union are required to implement the national plans as a bounden duty.

Besides wearing face masks, avoiding overcrowding, maintaining social distancing, practising personal hygiene and keeping living and working spaces clean at all times, adopting immunity building alternative medicine recommendations made officially and authentically by Ayush Ministry, the citizens can augment and supplement the government’s concerted efforts to recoup the damage done to the national economy by this pandemic.

An ironic, yet controversial revelation is, of our multi-cultural society having been infiltrated by inimical forces, which now stand exposed as deeply entrenched hostile sections of our citizenry, who had silently, surreptitiously and with diabolical designs, been chewing away the ostensibly healthy fabric of our society. Their plans to inflict fatal blows at the right opportunity have providentially been foiled by an unexpected intervention of COVID-19 and blunted their deadly fangs. With reining in of the corona virus damages, we expect to see a complete weeding out of such anti-national saboteurs in the long term benefit of our society.

Sea change that ‘C’ brought!

No one expected that the alphabet “C” would play a Scary role…

Coronavirus (C)

Covid-19 (C)

Case (C)

Confirmed (C) Confinement (C)  Contamination (C)

Containment (C)

Curfew (C)

The most serious “Cs” are:

Cemetery (C)

Cremation (C)

The possible remedial drug is, Chloroquine (C)

The beauty is that it started from China (C)….

But at the same time, GOD smiled, and said…

Cleanliness is the remedy…

Courage is the need of the hour…

Compliance with expert advice…

Contention to overcome the Crisis…

Clarity of thought…

Cooperation with  fellow human beings…

Caring for the elderly & the needy…

and finally


is awaited…in a short while…

And definitely looking forward to a “Cure”!