The psychological impact of the ongoing lockdown is beginning to manifest itself in people’s lives. This is even more so in the cities, where people are not even getting the opportunity to see the open skies, leave alone step out of their flats or chawls. The close proximity of family members in restricted space is aggravating tensions, even among the most placid of persons. In that context, it was a smart move on the part of Doordarshan to begin telecasting its popular serials of the past that were designed for family viewing. The extraordinarily high TRPs indicate that people are spending a good part of their time viewing them instead of feeling psychologically downcast.
Globally, too, this issue is being addressed by the entertainers. Celebrities are posting creative videos on the internet platforms, utilising their skills to keep people engrossed. There was the ‘One World: Together at Home’ event that brought music from the best and brightest to lighten the mood, hosted by the best of them all. India’s own Shahrukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra also participated. The great Pink Floyd are putting some of their best concerts free of cost on the net to alleviate the mood. And, the hundreds of thousands of ordinary people who have made posting funny, touching or informative videos their profession or pastime are finally coming into their own. Educationists, too, are pitching in to keep children involved and entertained.
There are many lessons to be learned from this about how dependent human beings are on each other, as well as other beings. These lessons should be retained and consolidated when the lockdown is finally over. That almost all political parties and global leaders decided to place human life over every other consideration says a lot about human priorities. There were many who could easily adjust their lives to accommodate the ‘inconvenience’, but so many others have accepted the suffering heroically for the greater good. There are some who have persisted in making a nuisance of themselves in almost every part of the world, but they only shine the light on those who had the courage and decency to suffer for the general good. This spirit should be remembered so that a similar spirit inspires the effort to reconstruct our lives. All the frontliners who put aside concern for personal safety to perform their duty – some of which is most unglamorous and mostly ignored, like that of sanitation workers – should be looked upon in a very different light. They should be held in high esteem, as were the fighter pilots after the Battle of Britain. Their service should never be forgotten.