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Thought for New Year 2021

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JANUARY 2021

Thought for the New Year

The year we just left behind (Circa 2020) will remain etched in memory for its tumultuous nature caused by a viral pandemic that has crippled human life all over the world. The cause of the sudden spurt of the virus is not exactly known though the virus was reportedly emanated from a laboratory in China. It could be a case of gross lack of safety measures expected in a laboratory experimenting with virus. Or was it a case of mere accident? Significantly T H Huxley in an article commented long back that accidents are only aliases of ignorance. Be that as it may, the ultimate outcome was de-normalization of human activities. We are still struggling to recover from the stupor of the pandemic. Scientists have warned that the crisis is not over yet and more such epidemics could be in the offing.

We should not forget that endemics are not new in human history. It happened many a time in the past. But ultimately mankind has overcome their virulent effects by tactful resilience at times when scientific knowledge was not as advanced as of now. Resilience which is the ability to spring back into shape under distress is ingrained in human character. Immediately after the viral spread, scientists in developed countries became engaged in inventing a vaccine to thwart the fatality of the virus. When I write this blog two Indian vaccine–makers are reportedly ready with tried vaccines. It is re-assuring information for all of us.

Invention of vaccines by scientists is an inspirational example of human resilience. I remember a poem written by poet Satyendranath Datta in Bengali many years ago highlighting the traits of Bengali race in general—

--‘Manwantare mori ni amra/ Mari niye ghar kori’ (“we did not succumb to famines and are used to co-habit with epidemics”)--.

The spirit is not exclusive to Bengali race only. It is a spontaneous human spirit to survive in the teeth of enforced calamities and overcome their disastrous effects. We should not therefore lose heart and resolutely try to find ways to combat any calamitous situation in unison. United resilience with intelligent application of knowledge gained from previous experience combined with recent scientific advances will help us tide over any crisis and calamity. This is the lesson of the recent pandemic. Crises bind us together and group resilience imparts strength and hope to stand out against odds. Resilience for a cause is a great human value and a sustainable virtue.