Vice President of India and Chairman of Rajya Sabha M. Venkaiah Naidu has underlined the need to adopt new ways of living in corona times and suggested a 12 point framework for this new normal to deal with the virus, learning form the lessons so far taught by the corona pandemic. He stressed on the need for new attitudes towards life and humanity amidst indications of the virus likely to stay for longer than earlier expected.
Soon after the announcement last night of lock down 4.0 with restrictions substantially relaxed, Naidu wrote on Facebook, a detailed 1,539 word article dealing at length the philosophical and moral issues thrown by the COVID-19 pandemic and the way life needs to be lived henceforth. The main thrust of Naidu being that life can’t be lived in isolation and the virus outbreak highlighted the inter-connectedness of lives. He said; “..what affects one person anywhere affects everyone everywhere, be it the disease or economy”.
Giving an account of the nature of life ‘Before Corona’, Naidu stated that man has emerged a loner in his quest for happiness and material advancement reducing the family and the society to being mere adjuncts and his confidence bordering on arrogance made him believe that he can live alone and all by himself, unmindful of the lives of others. He wrote; “Stacked with better tools to fight the epidemics than when the pestilence struck humanity earlier and empowered with gene editing, Artificial Intelligence, big data etc, man was seeking to play God”.
On the life ‘After Corona’, Naidu noted that it has shaken the fundamentals of living by oneself and highlighted the need for living in harmony with nature and fellow humans. He observed that “The invisible microbe once again proved that life can change very quick. It brought into full play the uncertainty that can co-sail with life”.
The Vice President felt that the pandemic raised questions about the meaning and purpose of life including the nature of relationships with fellow beings and moral issues connected with the current pathways of development given their impacts on nature and equity. He said; “The virus has highlighted the consequences of economic fault lines in societies created by development pathways in terms of the impacts. Uncertainty continues to haunt the people. Uncertainty is the known source of anxiety which can lead to psychological issues. How to deal with this problem? To stay calm and be confident and adopt a new normal of life”.
Stating that the goal of any civilization is to enhance the likelihood of survival of human beings, Naidu stressed that the corona challenge is more a civilizational issue than that of individual lives and new norms and ethos of living should be evolved to save the present civilization.
Noting that life can’t be lived for long in confinement, Naidu welcomed the new relaxations for lock down 4.0 announced last night. Referring to the people living with HIV virus that had no vaccine for long time by changing habits, Shri Naidu urged the people to learn to cope with corona virus by changing the habits and attitudes towards life and fellow humans, if the virus stays with the people for longer than expected.
Naidu suggested a 12 point new normal of living during corona times. This include; Living in harmony with the nature and fellow beings, Knowing that safety and security of lives are interconnected, Rationally analyzing the impact of every movement or action on the spread of virus, Not responding impulsively to the situation and instead living in confidence keeping faith in science which can come up with a solution to the problem, Strict adherence to the behavioral changes ushered in so far like wearing mask, maintaining physical distance and ensuring hygiene, Preventing stigmatization so that the infected volunteer for treatment, Checking disinformation and prejudices against fellow citizens as carriers of the virus and Replacing the sense of collective helplessness by the spirit of the virtue of living interconnected with shared destiny.
The Vice President urged the media of all kind to disseminate correct and scientific information about the virus and the disease instead of presenting them as a catastrophe.
Venkaiah Naidu called upon the people to “Live differently and live safe”.