At least 160 nations, 16,596 deaths until this very moment, 3,83,008 affected worldwide, millions bluntly exposed, here has come a virus, a microorganism that has revealed how defenseless man truly is. Whilst we convene large crowds to fight for human rights, the exponential growth of the COVID19 conundrum has exposed how deceptive our lives truly are. Fenced within the four walls of our homes while the cutting-edge machines we built fail to redeem us, strange times have surely befallen us. It is time for man to absorb the lessons the Earth, our home has been trying to teach us for decades.

bangalore janata curfew
In some places, residents came out to the streets beating drums.

With global death tolls attributable to the COVID-19 outbreak reaching unfathomable numbers, spells of racism against people remotely looking like the Chinese being witnessed worldwide, the market collapsing like a mere pack of cards, some irresponsible individuals still negating government protocols and safety measures, some pertinent questions arise. Who is to be blamed for this epidemic? Who is responsible for the wildfire like the spread of this deadly pandemic? When will man learn? Will man ever learn?

Agreed, Beijing's mishandling and negligence has directly enabled the spread of this pandemic, but are they to be blamed entirely? This Sunday, when India's Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had appealed to his fellow citizens to express gratitude to the workers battling the Coronavirus on the frontlines, little, did he know that despite having known to maintain social distance from others around, his beloved nation will raise a racket to come 5 pm.

Trains shut, flights halted, borders sealed

In some places, residents came out to the streets beating drums. Firecrackers too were burst in several localities that lasted much longer than the entailed five-minute limit. I ask you, can a country, the world's 2nd most populous, with a population of 1.3 billion afford to play into the hands of the virus so effortlessly? Are the very foundations of social distancing — the most integral element of the fight against the coronavirus — worth ignoring? Is it thus OK to call this collective suicide, recklessness and finally thoughtlessness?

Trains have been shut, flights have been halted, borders have been shut, all for one reason, right? To prevent the spread of the deadly COVID 19 virus that has been wreaking havoc across the globe. While lakhs of doctors, nursing staff, airline crew, police, government staff, paramilitary, army and journalists are risking their lives every second to ensure you and I stay safe, some unwise decisions and vehement violations of the law, may nevertheless put you and I in jeopardy. Who is answerable? Are you?

Bulletin boards have been rife with news of how the Chinese government has fashionably avoided any accountability or liability by redirecting culpability and suppressing criticism since day one. When the virus had been detected in November and had China warned the world of the apparent outburst, today millions of lives could have been saved. But the complication complicated. Instead of notifying its own people and the world, about the threat, the Chinese government contributed directly to the global pandemic we tackle today.

Politically motivated manipulation in concert with active propaganda, China lost crucial weeks. Yes, it's in the nature of a totalitarian state like China to conceal anything that might require them to take responsibility, but how is that going to help? Is the instinctive blame game against one nation and its people going to a. exterminate the virus b. restraint its spread and c. bring back the departed loved ones?

Like everything else, the coronavirus has toppled industry after industry like a pack of dominos. From the stock markets to the airlines, from everyday groceries to vegetable markets, from big conglomerates to insignificant kirana stores, there is not one industry that has not been disturbed by this epidemic. The market situation is worrisome and has only multiplied with the pandemic now looming on every country around the globe. Markets in India have been adversely affected and the unpredictability continues. As governments and world organizations are taking stock, measures and methods to handle this outbreak, the battle seems to be long drawn at this point.

Obviously, as an investor I am worried. I am questioning myself, my logic and my reasoning as I have seen my net worth being eroded by such a significant sum in such a short span of time. The economy has slowed down and the mayhem reflects one thing – a microorganism, a virus, a germ invisible with the naked eyes can generate such pandemonium.

Scientists, inventors and experts are concocting plans to colonize Mars. But, as we journey into the unknown, into the darkness today, one thing is certain, no matter how advanced human beings become, no matter how much we advance in the fields of Artificial Intelligence and study the nuances of Deep Sciences and Blockchain, one minute organism has exposed how vulnerable our lives truly are. Why weren't our technologies and automatons unable to detect the disease? If our machineries are so potent, why are we contained by restrictions and being quarantined at the drop of a hat?

Basic protective measures against the new coronavirus
Basic protective measures against the new coronavirus.

In the hands of a calamity such as the COVID 19 catastrophe, we are mere puppets. No matter how much you and I plan the future, are we sure of what is in store for us the next moment? In the face of the ways in which, as a lot are saying, Mother Nature's way of cleansing and vaccinating the Earth through this pandemic, our lives, painted on a canvas are unpredictable, washable with the mere wipe of a brush.

However, beyond the social distancing, the fear of the epidemic, the conventions we have been required to follow, this epidemic has come with its own set of rewards. When was the last time you had sat with your family at the dining table and had a warm dinner together? When was the last time you had read Two Silly Goats to your 4-year-old and shared a laugh rolling onto the floor?

When was the last time you spend 3 long hours couched on the lounger to watch a blockbuster on Netflix? When I reason out with myself, I clearly understand that although no one can predict how long the pandemic is going to last, it is in human nature to overcome difficulties, innovate and progress. In the era of nuclear families, a disease has got us together, in unison to fight it, to defeat it. Today, we have a common enemy, an epidemic, an unknown adversary and we have to wage war against it.

Yes, we are all worried. We all have elderly parents and small children at home, whose lives rotate around us, reliant on us. Panicking and accusing the person next to you will not solve the problems we face. As you shrink from your neighbor, staying at home, meditating, playing, exercising together has come as a boon in disguise. We do not know when this pandemic will end. It can last days, month or even years, thus, do not let your sabbatical go waste.

The question remains. What should we be investing our precious time on? Building a world that is yes, technologically and scientifically exceedingly innovative and advanced, but regrettably cannot detect the presence of a predatory virus slaughtering millions? Or forging strong relationships, being compassionate to one another, identifying and recognizing the true identity of what being a human necessitates? I leave you with this thought.