Love at the Forefront is eXtraOrdinary

“Fear in the forefront is ordinary; Love in the forefront is extraordinary”. – Naveen Lakkur When the strike is from the unknown and unseen, it is quite natural for us to fear. But for some people who rise to the occasion, see it as an opportunity. eXtraOrdinary people use love as their core strength at times of challenge and shine as natural leaders.

Story 1 – Fighting Crisis With Love at the Forefront

The world is going through turmoil. Authorities around the world are on their feet to ‘fight’ the virus. There is no doubt that the people are following government guidelines and are staying off the streets, essentially to stop it from spreading. Doctors and government authorities cannot act based on fear. If they do, it could be disastrous. K.K. Shailaja is Kerala’s health minister who worked hard to prevent the deadly Nipah virus that threatened Kozhikode, Kerala in 2018. She was the first one to act against COVID-19 in India. Coronavirus or COVID-19, which is declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) has taken many lives worldwide. The first Covid-19 case India had was from Kerala. The infected individual was a medical student from Wuhan, ground zero. The fear was fast spreading in the air. When the authorities came to know, the minister sprung to action and made preparations to welcome her. When the young woman landed, the authorities quarantined her for treatment. The young student had to struggle with the disease but when she was cured, she did not miss the opportunity to acknowledge the doctors and the medical staff for their love and care which actually cured her. She said, “now I have more respect for the medical profession and I want to give back to society”. She also acknowledged the Health Minister for bringing love to the forefront to deal with the situation by welcoming her rather than stopping her due to fear. In a country like India, it makes it dangerous to let infected individuals into the country given the population density. Being careless can make it easy for the virus to spread. Minister Shailaja went ‘a Little Extra’ and began a campaign called “break the chain” by cleaning her hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer, joined by VIPs and celebrities who urged the general population to join in. She probably knows the value of the age-old proverb “prevention is better than cure”. The Government of India is also bringing in people stranded in affected regions around the world. The authorities have demonstrated a love for Indians and foreigners alike. India is a classic example of a demonstration of love in the forefront. How can we forget ‘a Little Extra’ act of a woman, mother of a 5-year-old kid happily flying the jet to Italy (one of the worst affected countries with the virus), to bring people back to its motherland? Knowing very well that she would be quarantined for the next 2 to 3 weeks, a clear demonstration of love in the forefront than the fear. Authorities all over India have managed to draw appreciation for the way they have handled the case. The same is the case in many countries fighting the war against Corona. There was one video clip that caught my attention of a cop in Spain driving down to different lanes of residential blocks so that the citizens can stay indoors. I am sure beats of cops means induce fear. While they did that, this cop was ‘a Little Extra’. He stepped out of his car, pulled a musical instrument out, and started playing live music to a neighborhood on quarantine – ensuring the residents stayed indoor yet loved his music from their balconies. A wonderful demonstration of the fear in the background and ‘a Little Extra’ love at the forefront.

What Has Coronavirus Taught us?

The virus is called ‘Novel Coronavirus’ and we must wonder, what is ‘Novel’ about it? Over the past few weeks, it is teaching us basic human values, it is teaching us about being together, it is forcing us to get the fundamentals right, and it is accelerating innovation. Getting Fundamentals Right – The best way to prevent diseases is to practice hygiene. Though we are all taught hygiene by our parents and at schools and colleges, the virus has forced everyone to practice hygiene with devotion. To this end, workplaces have been placing sanitizers at desks. Moreover, it has forced us to stop the hate and support each other instead. It is teaching us values and it is teaching us to be together. The world is one today even while maintaining social distance. Accelerating Innovation – COVID-19 has no medicine yet to prevent the disease. However, there are many possible drugs, vaccines, and devices that are being tested or are under investigation. After the breakout of the current Coronavirus, a scientist based in Bangalore developed Scalene Hypercharge Corona Canon (SHYCOCAN). He found out that by ionizing the infected environment, it can disable the virus’ mechanism. The device is under testing. Both the USA and Mexico expressed interest to test it too. They wish to use the device in any forum or place where people gather so that they can deactivate the virus. Like this example, there are several innovations on the cards and in the labs. With virtual collaboration at its best, entrepreneurs are working with healthcare professionals to come up with innovative products. “We need innovation to tackle the coronavirus in the country”, said India’s Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi. The Indian government is set to allow an increase in trade in the pharma and biotech industry. It will also allow the grant of quick patent approvals. We hope this will inspire the youth to involve themselves in the service of humanity with love. There was one TV report that showed ‘not everything is bad about the Coronavirus’. The news bit featured how the dolphins have found the new shores of Mumbai, otters roaming freely in the now empty public spaces in Singapore, how the swans have got its stream in the city of Venice in Italy, the geese taking a walk on the airstrip of Tel Aviv, Isreal. While animals, birds, and fishes may have their own way of showing gratitude to this virus, it has taught us a few things as well. Why should we not love the Coronavirus ourselves as humans? If bacteria and viruses have been there for millions of years, it’s been outside of humans and inside too from the time humans have been existing. There is a new one in the family now. If we have to co-exist then why not we be ‘a Little Extra’, and bring love at the forefront to deal with the current situation.

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