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We Shall Overcome

Posted: July 21, 2020

A message of hope during hard times

Corona! Corona! Corona! This is the only topic that has been grasping the headline of every newspaper, news channels, social media platform, whatsapp status etc. The people might not be ready to follow the norms and guidelines set by Corona but everyone is terror stuck by it. Due to Corona, the world has come to a standstill, deadlines have been shifted, and priorities have changed. The world’s overview towards life has changed. Nature has proved that nothing is stronger than it and human beings have been waging a war against nature and thus the befitting respond to humans have been given.

Apart from disrupting our lives, COVID-19 has broken open the facade of ‘social structures’. In one fell sweep, we learnt what social anthropology meant by ‘de-familiarization’- the rendering of that familiar into the unfamiliar. Our daily taken for granted routines, are no longer routine nor can we take it for granted. Lockdown has disrupted the seamless flow of goods to our neighborhood shops.Due to Corona, the approach had been changed, work from home had been initiated, the staes having highest cases had been declared as Red, Orange and least had been tagged as Green.

In order to keep oneself safe people were asked to stay at home and step out only when necessary. Washing hands with soaps frequently and use of Sanitizers and masks have become an integral part of life but amidst all this there has also been increase in the number of thefts, marital discords and psychological issues. It is no secret that due to the economic blow there will be loss in many sectors, the rate of unemployment will increase. The tragic stories of our migrant laborers walking back homes, some dying before they could reach home have painted a dark picture and it will be remembered for decades and ages.

Mental Health Crisis

The Indian Psychiatry Society (IPS) has noticed a steep rise in the number of patients suffering from mental illness after the outbreak of COVID-19, in India. A recent survey conducted by them revealed that there has been a 20 percent rise in mental illness cases, with at least one in five Indians suffering from it. Due to Lockdown women facing sexual harassment cannot go to the police, the fear of being further tortured by their husbands and partners keeps them away from taking any step. Men who had to be indoors and could not go for work vented their anger and frustration by physically assaulting and sexually harassing the women. People having anxiety attacks, depressions and feeling of loneliness and hopelessness had made its way and thus the already handicapped society was further crippled.

The Govt might have come up with online portals, doctors with whom one can speak online but the impact of recovery might not be the same as that when one visits a clinic or psychologist’s or the mere company of being amidst the near and dear one. The chain of dependency is so strongly rooted in our system that when social distancing, isolation was implemented for the benefit of larger mass for many it became confusing, unacceptable.

Rethinking Priorities

Things cannot be taken for granted and to revive the whole eco system everyone has to be given equal importance.

This too shall pass but for each one of us to survive we have to help one another and walk together. Selfishness has already caused us much it’s time to show some love, affection and care and try and understand that mental health is a major issue, people with psychological care needs attention and care. Migrant workers can be helped with free food, water and basic needs that might help them make their journey better. People who can afford should come forward. Time may be tough but we can be tougher if we try. Together we can and we will survive. Human’s just need to be a little more humane!

I am a Humanitarian/Social Worker by profession. Working closely with the people from the

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