COVID-19 – It’s A Good Time As Any For A Personal Introspection   



By Zile Singh – Ambassador (Retd.)


“Yesterday is gone, Tomorrow has not yet come.  We have only today.  Let us begin ‘an introspection’. – St. Mother Teresa.


COVID-19 is a ruthless hard taskmaster. It is a Master because it has taught a lesson to the whole world across political, economic, social and religious spectra.   It has earned the title of “Pandemic” from the World Health Organization, one of the most  important agencies  of the United Nations.  Matters are discussed, debated and voted in this World Forum, but hardly any other issue was approved with such a unanimity as COVID-19 was declared  a  Pandemic. After seeing its ferocity as the  time passed, voices have been  raised why the decision to declare Coronavirus a ‘pandemic’ was delayed by WHO?  Such  an enormous has been  its impact  that  it  surpassed all other titles of notoriety. When it attacks, it is feetless and faceless with no rhythm  and no symptom.   Never in human history, countries and human beings   have come so close emotionally to each other than today to find a redress from the havoc played by it. Trillions of dollars have been budgeted world-wide to find its cure and give a hand to the needy and  sufferers.    On the other hand, so ruthless is its nature that it has separated human beings physically from each other  as never before.


So far, no one  has  been able to comprehend its origin. The two main reasons maybe:-


Is it a Wuhan originated animals’  market throttle ?

Or a ‘ghost’ inadvertently escaped from a lab bottle?


These questions are bothering the international community day in and day out. A blame game between two super powers has been unleashed.



COVID-19 has evidently proved that it cannot   be restricted within the boundaries of nations, political systems, high or low status, eastern or western cultures, race, gender or religion. It is neither capitalist nor the communist.  It has taken into its grip persons of all countries, all political systems whether it is dictatorship or democracy; presidential or parliamentary forms of governments;  a Prince, the would-be Heir to the Throne, a Princess or a slum dweller; a city  in  India  or a city in  the US, China, Italy or Spain;   a singer in India  or the Chancellor of Germany; or be it a Prime Minister or the wife of another Prime Minister.  It has levelled all fields irrespective of     Christian, Muslim, Hindu and  Sikh beliefs.   The Pope and the Priests could not close the doors of the churches, temples, mosques and gurdwaras to avoid its attack unannounced and  without any symptoms initially.  It is such an undisputed brute force that all prayers and  scriptures have kneeled down before it. Religious places as well as places of entertainments have become deserted.    It is a universal and  secular demon in its activities.  A mad race that a particular tradition, way of living, food habits including urine therapy and social etiquettes  were the best suited to ward off such infectious pandemic  like Corona will lead nowhere except to a doom.    Such claims, supported by  references from the scriptures have  become a laughing stock as against  medical  and scientific approach. Very sadly,  a 70-year old Priest died of Corona in Punjab  leaving thousands infected and many dead including members of  his own family. Coronovirus has exposed the reality of a world without work.


As per some comments in the irresponsible social media,  a  sense of doubt has taken roots  in some individuals   minds that   they are  hesitant, for fear of contamination, to use the medical supplies donated by a specific country to Canada.   They suspect that such donations have been sent with some ill intention.  Such rumours are  not healthy neither  in public  nor in bilateral interests.


In the context of our introspection on this moment:


Tomorrow’s fate, though you are wise,

You cannot tell,  nor yet surmise;

Pass, therefore, not today in vain,

For it will never come again.


We have to take precautions today. A small laxity today  can lead to huge loss of cash and kind.  If we can become aware of the  moments as they flow by, focusing our attention on just that is required now we can control COVID-19 to a greater extent.  We have to be vigilant regarding misinformation and propaganda through television and social media spreading superstition, medical hoaxes and rumours etc. Banging pots and pans is not going to send ‘vibes’ to Corona.   Contrary to it, we have to reinforce our belief in real news and in sound advice by medical experts and healthy decisions by the leadership in our personal, national and international interests.


Today, midnight, I was woken up in my dream,

Someone was measuring  distance on our bed.

People have started living in  fear and  paranoid,

Will we be cremated not by our own, when dead?


Zile Singh is much respected Link Columnist, writer, a Vipassana Meditator and has a Post-Graduate Diploma in Human Rights.  He can be reached at [email protected]