Chanakya Thoughts: Three golden tips on how to stay afloat in Covid crisis

"When will all this end?” This is the question in everybody’s mind.

Year 2020 was unprecedented with the pandemic changing everything — from the way businesses were run, meeting with family and friends and also dealing with life and death.

We hoped that 2021 will be better and almost Covid-free. We wished that all that was lost would be recovered and revived. And then came the second wave of Coronavirus. India was badly hit with the number of cases increasing rapidly and fatalities shooting up.

Although all of us will eventually get vaccinated, there are speculations about vaccines. Discussions on the third wave have already started and it is frightening to read that children will be affected the most.

A deep sense of anxiety, depression and uncertainty have hit us. The big question, “When will all this end?” Can we take a break from worrying and take a deep breath? (It’s good for our lungs and will give us ample oxygen supply, which is required in these times). Can we just take a dispassionate view about the whole situation and think what exactly each one of us can do in these trying times?

Here is where the valuable advice of Chanakya comes in.

“A calamity of a constituent, of a divine or human origin, springs from ill luck or wrong policy” (8.1.2)

When we go through the details of the crisis, some questions arise. Where did it all start? Was it a leak from a research lab or vet market? Or was it that we were the actual carriers of the virus as we did not abide by social distancing and other safety rules?

Chanakya clearly says that whatever be the calamity (like the pandemic), it is either created by an unknown force like nature or by human beings. It can also be due to some wrong policy of the government or even bad luck.

So, we can keep analysing the situation from various angles. But then, what is the solution?

Get the policies right

Let us start with the government first. It is essential that leaders should chalk out the right policies to tackle the situation. Be it the vaccination drive or EMI of bank loans, keeping inflation under control or saving jobs, the government has to make people-friendly policies. The government should step up to bring the economy back in track.

Individual preparation

Let the government do its job. We can do our bit. Discuss everything with your family. Make a plan for coming out of the crisis. A family that prays together stays together. In the same way a family that plans together, fights the crisis together.

If some people have lost jobs, the others in the family should support them. There is strength in unity. If we fight the battle alone, we will perish. If we stand together, we will emerge winners.

Get your mind under control

Let your mind not get out of control. Yes, in such situations it is possible that we can lose our mental balance and let fear, anxiety and depression get into our mind. But, it is important to watch the mind and make sure it maintains a certain equipoise.

Meditate, pray and stay positive. Let the spiritual force that is already inside you be awakened. That will give you the inner energy that is required to emerge out through these difficult times.

As the Indian army says, “Tough times don’t last, tough people do”. So, be a tough person from outside and a spiritual person from inside.

(The writer is founder director of Chanakya Aanvikshiki Pvt Ltd, a best-selling author and an expert on Chanakya’s teachings. He can be followed on his twitter @rchanakyapillai)

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