Choose anxiety or positivity:
What is important, to panic or stay positive?The truth is, the whole world is under enormous stress and anxiety. After all we are experiencing an unknown enemy, a deadly pandemic, spread by a new virus, covid-19. Everyone has the sword of Damocles hanging over their head, living in fear. Despite the crisis of losing jobs, economic breakdown, crippled life, we still have a choice.The choice has nothing to do with what is happening, but, how you respond to what is happening. There are several reasons to stay positive, control our emotion and stay focus.As long as we are alive, utilizing the right natural resources and preserving mother nature, we would be surprised by the amazing gifts nature could usher us with. Definitely unexpected ones, however, it depends on how we choose to behave and bring the change. Shakespeare said,” There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
It’s been a few years I became the resident of India. This year, I made an elaborate plan to visit my family in Iran to celebrate Nowruz, the Persian New Year. I wanted to be there by March 19th as Nowruz is on 21st march. Everyone was excited, including me. What followed was a shopping spree, the flight tickets were booked, I was all set formy vacation. Suddenly, one fine day, like a bolt from the blue, I received a call from my family that the entire country is under lockdown. I literary broke down. The mere thought of not seeing my family for another year or even more, drove me crazy. This is where we feel lost and see ourselves standing at the end of the world. I realized one thing, this is not the end.
During the Pandemic:
This invisible enemy of mankind had massive repercussion on physical and psychology of people around the world. We need to understand a simple fact that, the more we learn about this unknown pandemic, better would be our chances to win the battle. My first strategy was to shift my focus from “me to It”. I started to follow the news, this gave me a better understanding of the pandemic as well as helped me to have an idea of what’s happening in Iran. At first, I was unable to gather clear information about my country. My thoughts were obscured and vision blurred, I was unable to differentiate the truth from an ocean of falsified information across the internet. That is when I started connecting to my friends and families through social media. It was shocking to me why Iranian government took so long to declare the lockdown.As we are aware, that media is restricted in Iran and government censored information on covid-19,to avoid public horror and due to the elections knocking the door. I heard from people that the lockdown happened much earlier than the official declaration. The country was already bleeding because of the virus. One great thing about Indian government is, they locked down the country as early as they could to control the spread of the virus. Later, when I was discussing with friends in Iran, it was evident that they all despised the late decision of the government for lockdown. I made the point highlighted and they regret why Iranian government did not take the step for the wellbeing of its Citizens.
Second major point, which caught my attention was seeing my friends and family posting pictures as they strongly refused to send their children to schools, educational institutes and universities. I was sitting here in India, shell-shocked, why Iranian government did not take the case seriously after seeing people getting affected by the virus and multiple people dying because of the virus. I sat and had long chats with few of my friends and asked about their feelings and emotions on the current situation. All I could see was anxiety and horror. The whole nation was in a state of utter confusion and ignorant about this deadly virus. The worst part is when we know something is out there waiting to kill us,but we don’t know what is it and how to save ourselves. Although, the news came from China, but it was blurry, we were getting news in bits and pieces, making people more vulnerable. The action taken by parents on not allowing their children to attend any classes were so quick that even government could not do anything about it and everything was shut down in a jiffy. The cherry on the cake was the time, whole country was preparing to celebrate Nowruz (Persian New year), suddenly the entire country was in a turmoil. Iranian people started their new year holidays much earlier than what was planned and soon everything got into virtual mode. It marked the beginning of the New Normal.In the education sector, virtual online classes became the new standard and for offices, work from home became the new norm.
I was witness to the fight of Iranian people for survival, everything was about death and how to just survive. Every social media post spoke about survival strategies of every household and were emotionally disturbing. My people were under attack of an unknown enemy which just had a name Covid-19. I could not do much for them, I tried to stay positive and encourage them, invite them for small positive chat. The change started taking place slowly and people were slowly moving away from despair and negativity and were posting and sharing their family pictures under the title of #quarantinetime. Almost all the posts shifted their target from staying negative and live in terror to #stayhome and #bepositive. I saw most of my Iranian friends and even my family members becoming more creative and spending quality time with each other. Everyone shared their lockdown time feelings and emotions with me through a piece of writing or drawing. I was so thrilled to share my moments of happinessand at the same time encouraged my friends to convert this dark time into their best time of life.
To sum up, this unwanted natural disaster would become a memorable milestone for each one of us. A story that can be narrated to our next generation. The global involvement in rebooting its resources had been fascinating. Through the process of survival,we as the inhabitants of earth had a paradigm shift. It is important to shift our focus from the materialist world to a more sustainable society which is in harmony with mother nature.
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