COVID-19 Image Credit: Pixabay

COVID-19: Think greater good during the pandemic

It is evident that during these unprecedented times, a lot of individuals are going through stress, anxiety and panic situations (“COVID-19: How Dubai residents are keeping themselves safe during the pandemic”, Gulf News, August 17). When a disaster strikes, we get lost in fear as our thinking patterns change in an emergency mode. Most of us start thinking about only ourselves, and try to get the better of others. People rush to stockpile masks, sanitizers, and grocery stuff, denying others who are also in dire need. On the job front, the scenario is no different. Everyone is protective about their job, salary, and not really concerned to help those who have been ousted from their work. Some bosses are so obsessed with the fear of contracting the coronavirus that they shun even the slightest interaction or document handling with an employee. Irrespective of position, status, or religion; each of us is vulnerable to the virus. This silo approach of 'me and my safety' will not help humanity in the long run.

It is time we think for the greater good of all and practice mindfulness. Keep your fear and panic in control and do not react out of irrational emotional reactivity. Maintain an air of calm, and try to calm down others who are feeling anxious. Time is tough no doubt, but the nature of dwelling on the problem itself is not going to open a door out. Though we are all in this together in the same ocean, our boats may be different while we commonly face the storm. The rich are less affected, whilst the downtrodden of the society are in misery and complete disaster, struggling to make ends meet.

Practice compassion, lend some essentials or donate to alleviate the suffering of the poor. Those who have lost jobs are fanatically searching for new opportunities. Should you not have a job to offer, at least refer to some employer who has a vacancy. Try and empathise, put yourself in the shoes of another. Helping others is a great way also to make yourself feel better. Lend some groceries to a neighbour in need or ask your older neighbours if you can fetch some list items they need. Show gratitude, thank those frontline workers who are facing the greatest risk during these times of uncertainty. Lend a thanking note or offer a smile to the supermarket deliverer, the nurse, or doctor who is still treating you for your ailments, despite the risks posed to them and their families. Salute the security guard, sanitisation worker, or the garbage dumpster man with a clap, a cheer, or simple thumbs up. Do not forget those teachers who are yet struggling in their homes, with their familial obligations, yet upbeat to research new ways to teach the students.

While practising physical hygiene to lessen the chances of spreading infection, also practice social and emotional hygiene. Practice equanimity, empathy, compassion, and kindness. Reach out to those in anguish and depression. Offer total support and use the language of encouragement in any way you can. Stay calm ourselves, be grateful, and remember common humanity to make the world safer for all of us.

From Ms Alvina Clara


India: Srisailam power plant accident in Andhra Pradesh highlights the need of safety measures

The recent tragic fire accident in the Indian state Andhra Pradesh Srisailam power plant and the staff members death was sad (“Six bodies recovered after fire hits electricity plant in south India”, Gulf News, August 21). If any security lapses are found in the probe, the guilty should not be spared. Mines, power plants should be periodically monitored for the safety measures to safeguard the staff members. What makes the accident more disturbing is that it comes as another shock in a season of disasters. Accidents have wracked industries and power plants in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Srisailam, the fire appears to have started in a control panel during maintenance. The victims were unable to make an exit through an escape tunnel and were overwhelmed by smoke, while others at a different level could flee in time. Going by official accounts, the smoke made it difficult even for rescue personnel to enter the four-storeyed structure. However, compensation was given to the victim's family. But nothing can lower the pain of those affected families.

From Mr K Ragavan

Bengaluru, India

Humanity lost: Rising instances of animal cruelty in India

I have no words to express how bad and shaken I feel whenever I read cases about animal abuse (“India: Twitter outcry after viral video shows man who ran illegal dog-fighting ring, crushed a stray under his car”, Gulf News, August 19). The incident where a dog breeder mercilessly crushed a stray dog under his car is very disturbing. I mean how anyone can do such violent act so easily. Of late many cases are coming in light of animal cruelty; poor animals pay for the price of some human’s ridiculous and selfish behaviour. I believe how we treat animals and how we keep our pets say a lot about us. Animal cruelty is not new and happens around everywhere. But, it is very important to educate people and our kids regarding the connection between animal brutality and violence which takes place in our society.

There are incidents where people fed dynamite laced food to elephant and cows and that badly harmed the speechless animals. Some people trouble animals just for fun or to make a viral video, which is obnoxious and highly condemnable. Also, in many cases, animals are sexually abused as well, which is unbelievable but true. I feel people involved in such acts are sick inside and heartless. People who have an aggressive nature and who are violent are generally the one who loves to trouble poor animals. Animal abusers must be punished and fined heavily.

Fortunately, there are many animal lovers, NGOs and animal associations who help these poor creatures and raise voice against such acts. However, I would like to say that many pet owners treat their pet like a family member and show full care and love. But some are just the opposite. Neglecting your pets need like proper shelter, food etc. is also cruelty.

Now, our laws are changing to protect the innocent animals. Also, many animal welfare foundations are speaking against animal abuse. These groups rescue helpless animals and promote different awareness programs. American poet and singer, Raegan Butcher once said: “Anyone who has no feelings for animals has a dead heart.”

From Ms Renu Kala

Uttarakhand, India

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