Musings from the study of Man
Lifting the lockdown doesn’t mean we are safe… in fact, we are still vulnerable, perhaps even more than we know. It is an economic compulsion, for a prolonged lockdown may cause immense hardships on people, especially the vulnerable. Once the lockdowns are lifted, we should be more cautious than before because our risk of exposure will increase manifold as businesses and their supply chains open up and the people come back into the ecosystem. Human contact will increase after this social hiatus, probably with a vengeance, for man is, after all, a social animal, but being guarded in our every step is extremely important. Social / physical distancing norms and all the other regulations will and should continue. We will have to keep fighting the spread as masked warriors, avoid social gatherings, sanitise our surroundings and keep doing whatever we have been doing so far, in fact more stringently, as we allow ourselves into the social “wild” out there post lockdown.A vaccine is our best bet, but is at least some months, or probably a year away, and may require some more time after successful human trials for production on a gigantic scale to reach every country and every citizen. Even as a rigorous research is underway to develop robust treatment protocols prevention seems to be the best option right now, and sometime to come.We need to keep ourselves and our families, elders and communities safe till we defeat this scourge. There is hope because we did not allow ourselves to be defeated even once since we have evolved. There is hope because we have an extraordinary ability to adapt, which made us stand tall on the pedestal of evolutionary success.Humanity should remember, as we step into a new tomorrow, that our past and the present owe more to our social and cultural behaviours than our biological capabilities, the latter still threatening us with its vulnerabilities. Ours is a species that developed technologies to prevent its own extinction. We have overcome many challenges during our long journey spanning over two million years. We will this time too.Be a “sapient”, and let wisdom prevail upon impulse, because it is the learnt knowledge that kept us safe and will continue to do so. Let knowledge shine over ignorance, and help us adapt to the new normal, which is redefining the standards of our social behaviour in the context of this calamity.Let’s stay safe and as always, stay blessed.
Wed Apr 29, 2020
Dr. Kartic Godavarthy
Anthropologist, Mentor for Civil Service aspirants, Film-maker