This year began like any other. Two months into it, we naively believed the pandemic meant an endurance test of a few weeks. Under lockdown, we convinced ourselves that if we locked down or locked up, masked up or paid up, the problem would go away.We had no dramatic event — war, flood or famine — to blame for our misfortune. We had no conventional enemy to combat. Instead, an invisible microbe proved to be a deadly adversary, wreaking such havoc on our lives and livelihoods that it has left an indelible mark on an entiregeneration.As we reach the end of an unforgettable year, it seems increasingly evident that a post-virus era is a pipe dream. COVID-19, like so many infections, is here to stay. The onus is on human intelligence, ingenuity and resourcefulness to deal with it.The ordeal has had its lighter moments. For one, our hands have never been as spotless as they are now. There is definitely more alcohol on human hands today than in the human gut – a phenomenon that augurs well for future health and wellbeing. A nail-biting Coronavirus vaccine race has kept us entertained.My intention is not to trivialise the immense suffering this virus has unleashed. But instead of being passive victims of the viral apocalypse, it is time to consciously craft a new destiny for all of us. The pandemic is a viral contagion; let us transform it into a contagion of consciousness that liberates us from within. If there is one truth to which this year has pointed us, it is just this: In is the only way Out.By Isha Foundation
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