Thoughts of the pandemic

Thoughts of the pandemic

In the pandemic, we hear horrifying tales of the old and young who have died of the virus, some battling it manfully and some succumbing to it helplessly. Life though restrained and confined is still in the fray through various technological devices with constant updates. The existential question raises its head of a future free from the virus or a gradual extinction of life and the arrival of the apocalypse. 

All pandemics arrive in a succession of waves. Albert Camus has said: "The plague bacillus never dies or disappears; that it can lie dormant for years and years in furniture and linen chests; that it bides its time in bedrooms, cellars, trunks and book shelves and perhaps the day would come when for the bane and enlightenment of man it roused up its rats again and sent them forth to die in a happy city.” Likewise with the present virus , every face is suspect, every surface is suspect, a handshake can be lethal and a letting down of the mask can be fatal

It is at this critical moment facing death in the face that we need to be more grateful for all that life has offered, all the good we have experienced, the love and camraderie of family and friends. This is also the time to forget old enmities, and grudges  and dwell on the transcendental questions— Have we loved enough , have we remembered enough, have we forgotten enough, have we forgiven enough? Have we accepted the good with the bad with equal grace? Have we turned our faces away when things were not quite right, have we had the courage to fight back when it was necessary? Camus has also said that for our edification "we learn in a time of pestilence that there are more things to admire in men than despise”

We reminisce about people and events that have long gone, we realise the little wrongs we have done, the little guilts we carry and the conscience we have stilled. We recognise how some of us have risked our lives and health to be with the sick and the grieving, the kindness of strangers, the altruism of those who place the needs of others before their own. Above all through this misery, we realise the uncompromising beauty of nature and its daily miracles, the reassuring sense that  the sun rises and the sky is there. 

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox