As you are an English-reading and hence at least a middle class Indian like me, the news about the Covid pandemic in recent months would have really confused you.
On one hand you would be reading about decline in the number of cases at national level and on the other hand you would be hearing about many people you know to be catching Covid.
It is clear that Covid has now moved up the economic strata and is getting closer to home for most urban middle and upper-class people. So, most of us who hardly knew anyone catching it when the pandemic was really raging across India in its early phase are now hearing about many more friends and relatives catching it.
Anyone catching this dreadful disease (especially with the research about a possibility of debilitating long-term effects of the infection now surfacing) is sad news but as we live on a planet that is always keen on killing us (and has a 100 % success rate), we have to rise above the individual tragedy and see the bigger picture.
Every Covid case in your social circle is as good a news as it can be, for you.
With a fairly low fatality rate, more so for those who can afford and hence avail better healthcare, a Covid infection is mostly a mild inconvenience. If the person is reasonably healthy and not too old, it is more of a scare than a disease. So, your friends and relative who are getting infected are just unlucky to be suffering from a virus that has earned a worse reputation than it actually deserves and are most likely to survive the infection without too much suffering.
For you, knowing about someone in your social circle and social strata getting infected is obviously scary because it shows that the virus can reach you too. But the truth is, with each additional person you know getting infected, the chances of you getting infected are actually getting reduced!
In case of the Covid pandemic, we have drawn a lucky card, as it is a viral disease and hence an infection and survival leads to immunity (may be temporary or seasonal), so every person surviving the infection is becoming a closed door for the virus in future to enter and move forward.
So, the more people known to you getting infected means that they will build a protective wall around you and prevent the virus from reaching you.
This happens because, unlike what we imagine the virus to be, it is not omnipresent. The virus needs to be inside a host’s cell to survive for a longer time and hence, if it can’t find hosts fast enough, it will meet its sorry end.
So, when you get to hear about someone getting infected, please feel sympathetic, reach out and help as much as possible and also increase vigil with relation to mask use and hand sanitization; but also see it as good new.
The best way to counter this epidemic is to be informed, careful and most importantly, be positive.
It is scientifically proven fact that being scared, stressed and negative lowers immunity while being optimistic is the great immunity booster. If we stop focusing on getting scared by the disease and instead, start seeing the silver lining around this dark cloud that has enveloped our minds more than our bodies, the chances of the gloom being lifted will dramatically increase.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.