It’s time we took the control back and steered past the virus with extra precautions and guards.

 

A random clump of atoms get together and start dissipating heat to level the thermodynamic equilibrium—entropy. The eminent quantum physicist Erwin Schrödinger argued that this is what living things must do. This is how the latest theory of life is assumed to have started. Started! Well, that was millions of years ago. The motto today is survival.

Year 2020. Life has been upended, twisted and tossed in ways unimaginable. An invisible micro, yet a deadly clump brought the whole world (another clump of atoms) to a massive halt—from so called superpowers to measly nations, all have been forced into a lockdown. So while we wait anxiously to get appropriately equipped to deliver a lethal blow, we need to find ways to live with this wretched enemy. As we continue with our tirade against this sinister being, we need to now focus on new skill-sets to help us survive the onslaught, in fact not just survive but thrive.

Though at present much uncertainty remains and fear keeps us captive, it’s time we took the control back and steered past the virus with extra precautions and guards. Adapt as soon as we can as this virus doesn’t believe in squandering time or respecting any boundaries. Not just that, it challenged our health systems and crippled them, it had a far more collateral damaging effect on our economy.

So it gets imperative and compelling for states to roll down lockdowns and for us to step out. Yes, on the same earth, same routes and same familiar places, but as if we are in the land of the untouchable where hiding half our face is the new entry ticket. It’s a real-life test but we are expected to be more virtual in our approach.

Not that we have not been challenged in the past and not that we have forgotten our winning trait, only, we need to jolt ourselves out of the overwhelming effect of this virus which has decimated us. Let the virus also know that it’s up against a resilient breed and all its high hopes will be quashed soon. No longer are we an easy quarry and mutation is not a unique trait owned by only the virus, we know how to mutate, even faster and with stealth. Like it or not, the world around us has begun to change and better not to fall out of line and be an easy prey.

The virus imposed lockdowns have ushered in an era of “new normal” and perhaps maybe some long lasting changes in the way we live, work, worship, travel and socialise. Our new normal will revolve around two major changes. One, our homes will don a new avatar. Home will also be offices, classrooms, places of worship, gyms, dine-in-restaurants, clubs, discos and even unfortunately summer vacation destinations. In a nutshell, a place where we will spend more time than ever before. The second major change will be innovation driven—never before have been our instincts to innovate been challenged in the face so brutally. Innovation will be our driving force in whatever we do, as not a single activity or place has been left virgin by this sinewy virus. Probably now is the time when we have to stay in the box but think out of the box.

Let’s adapt to this new world, where we once roamed unchallenged, reached for the moon and other planets, debated on parallel universes to the smallest quirks. Let the virus know, in this interspecies war, it’s against a species that has the ability to destroy the earth, pollute the water, scorch the sky, melt the glaciers and make acid pour as rain. In essence, let it know it’s a fight of the equals, we too are a species that decimate our surroundings for our own good, and when we are done, we move on to the next place and start all over again.

Dr Swati Maheshwari is an Internal Medicine specialist.