Edit/Op-Ed

Conquering Fear in Times of COVID-19

Fida Hussain Sodagar for BeyondHeadlines

The oxford dictionary defines “fear” as the bad feeling that you have when you are in danger or when particular thing frightens you. Fear has both the root and the reason. This time the fear that has gripped the entire world because of the Noval Corona Virus.

COVID-19, the deadly virus has bruised the world. The nations have been turned into the mausoleums. The dead bodies are scattered roads and streets of most affected countries. COVID-19 has other dimensions too. There is a psychological crisis in the minds of the people.  The poignant fear has taken over the task. The pandemic has a long history, but the psychological fear has a history of destruction. Fear is a mystery that accelerates the tragedy. Pandemic mixed with the fear is a deadly combo. It is in itself more venomous than the cruelty of the virus. Fear is okay, but exhaustive fear kills the brain and soul. It demolishes the spirit.

There have been instances where the world has defeated fear first. Conquering fear captured the pandemics. A line “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” from US President Franklin Roosevelt’s 1933 inaugural address to the nation in the economic fear of the great depression fits the scene. We have to fear the fear. “A life lived in fear is a life half lived” are the words of the character in the 1992 Australian film “Strictly Ballroom”. The words are self explanatory. The life lived fearlessly is better than the life lived under the encumber of fear. The famous physicist Marie Curie once projected “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less”. Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it is about learning how to dance in the rain. When the world is running down, we have to make the best of what’s still around. As an aphoristic philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche said “that which does not kill us, make us stronger”. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill endured “If you are going through hell, keep going” because as the situation intensifies, more things may fall apart and further call on our resolve to power through.  No doubt we have to keep ourselves safe. We have to take every precaution. We have to overcome it. But we have to be mentally fit and fresh. That is the secret of victory.

Keep calm, stay safe and carry on. We have to break the chain of COVID-19. We have to do it without any fear. There is no other option. We have to quarantine ourselves in times of the COVID-19 pandemic. But we also have to create a chain of healthy and constructive activities for robust mental fitness. This too shall pass. Sun will rise. Sun rises after the sunset. Dawn comes after darkness. Winter will be dead. Spring will blossom. A couplet from Mirza Ghalib sums up the entire ambience.

Guzar Jayega ye Daur bhi Ghalib

Zara Itminaan to rakh,

Jab Khushi na Thehri

to Gham ki Kya Auqaat Hai

Author holds a P.G in Mass Communication and Journalism and writes on diverse issues. He can be reached at ummushaanu@gmail.com.

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