Compassion in the Time of Coronavirus

By Akshaya Pavanje

It is now what seemingly appears to be the nth day of home quarantine, as the Covid-19 virus spreads  its deadly wings and soars triumphantly across the sky, overshadowing the world and striking fear in every nation. Disease, poverty, homelessness and  ineffective policy implementation are major issues that individuals are dealing with across the world. However, one issue seems to occupy every Gen-Z’s mind: boredom. While everyone feels the pressure to be productive and creative during isolation, boredom seems to be a luxury only the privileged can afford.

One evening, my parents and I were sitting around the dinner table contemplating the situation outside, when I brought up the topic of how the Coronavirus disease seems to spell doom in all spheres of life. My father looked at me and said, “You shouldn’t be so quick to conclude that all this is a curse alone. Think of this as an opportunity for the Earth to take a break from all the burden that it’s been enduring for decades. The roads outside are no longer occupied by vehicles, thus reducing the pollution that’s choking the environment. It is a beautiful sight to stand in your balcony at sunrise with a cup of coffee in hand, enjoying the aerial view of the deserted streets and the chirping of the birds. Crime rates around the world have reduced significantly, and so have the number of road accidents. People feel the need to stay hygienic and obey the authorities.”

His words did make a lot of sense. My mother pointed out that families are coming together and getting to know each other more, just like how it was in the olden days. We are learning to love our family members just as we would if the world was ending tomorrow.

I decided to utilize my time by getting to know myself better and by reflecting on all my actions. Staying at home has become such a tedious task for some, while the homeless dream of a roof above their heads. I decided to do my part in making the most of the situation. I kept bowls of water and leftovers for the birds and strays outside, who are wondering where their friendly human companions have disappeared. I also urged everyone to do the same. The ultimate goal was to stay positive in this dire situation, and be compassionate to one another, as well as to the voiceless.

When we come back from this, we must remember that the air, earth, water and sky without us were doing just fine. Humans are nature’s guests, not their masters.