Fighting an invisible force, the COVID 19 has brought the world to a stop as we know it. News headlines are about medical terms, exhausted medical personnel on the frontlines of the pandemic, fear and uncertainty among people, ill prepared health systems even in advanced economies, and governments at disarray.
Many of the news reports are heartbreaking and compel you to think about the fragility of human life. It has shaken established belief systems and forced populations to think about life and living in a very different way. The lockdown has brought to life the knowledge that if you die from the virus, you die alone. There is nothing beautiful about death anymore. You’ll be dealt with professional care where you cannot even identify who is looking after you. Doctors, nurses and medical staff in PPE gear are putting their lives at stake to look after you; but among the multitude of afflicted, will you even register. And when you die, there is no one you love holding your hand. An end that is stark and devastating to those you leave behind. And among the living, COVID 19 has forced people to isolate and stay apart.
The lockdown makes me think of many things but honestly the market is not one of them. I know the anxiety of economics, of businesses that will not survive, of investors and markets that lay latent, the crisis of recovery, the ambiguity of time, unemployment, but in the face of this pandemic I question most the value of human life. And I think with trepidation what if the numbers in Nepal grow. We do not have either the expertise or the sophistication of infrastructure… what will this pandemic really cost us? Times like this bring out the best and worst in human beings, and I wonder where we failed when I read about the corruption.
Despite all that I hear around me, I know that the world is never going to be the same again. This is not just a war of strength and resilience, its goes deeper. It will change the world order, it will test character, it will change people at an intrinsic level, it will reset how we live our lives and where we put our energies, it will teach us about forces far greater than we know.