Post Mortem

COVID-19 decimated the dignity of the dead and living

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 9/21/2020 12:41:56 PM IST

 Humans, by and large, have the tendency to take care of their bodies well and keep them fit. For humans, the body-framesare the ones that instantaneouslycapturesthe attention and thus forms opinion.This is why everyone irrespective of gender want to nurture their bodies well by protecting and keeping each and every part of the body fit. Take for example, gladiators, soldiers, commandos, models, security and law enforcement personnel their very body structure poses fit, but often frightening.And yet, body-building is going on vigorously.

Take for instance, the big and small parts of human body and its functions. They are unique, delicate and complex performing its function within aintricate and delicatesystem. Human body is the ultimate and the pinnacle as compared to all others that we developed and invented. Each tissue, nerve, blood vessels, and cells connected to the brain and heart and many parts have their uniqueness and grandeurs that makes the body—a beautiful frame. These parts though autonomous are perfectly integrated and linked with each other in such precision.

Human body is the greatest creation and gift from the Creator and the most precious gift for those who are born as human beings. However, diverse views are worth revisiting: Bill Gates, one of the techno-giants and billionaires views that “The human body is the most complex system ever created. The more we learn about it, the more appreciation we have about what a rich system it is”. George Orwell who describes about “Human beings were behaving as human beings and not as cogs in the capitalist machine”—human body as an object of exploitation.

Similarly, Mahatma Gandhi opines that “It is beneath human dignity to lose one’s individuality and become a mere cog in the machine.” In the last eight months, COVID-19, has taken human beings entirely to another levels. India is gradually moving to the top spot by touching five million. In two days, it jumped from four million to five million. The United States is on top followed by India. COVID-19 is gaining its momentum and striking the worldharshly with its second wave. It is predicted that the second wave could perhaps bemore severe and massive.

Last six month in particular were filled with horrifying images and pathetic stories. We did view and read images and stories that went beyond our imagination and comprehension. Countries right across the world looked like a ghost town—deserted. Main lanes and by-lanes, massive production lines and supply chains were shut; travel and entertainment industries brought to a standstill; polity, economy, education and religious activities, festivities, every big and small human activities came to a naught—a grinding halt—terrifying everyone. Some of the scenes we witnessed in person and through live channels do linger before us and thus vividly present. Dead bodies covered in black plastic bags dumped in trucks and thrown into a 80-plus deep pits in Karnataka and in other places; dead bodies buried in lanes just by a few without name tags; due to the lack of space in the cemeteries hundreds of dead bodies laid in coffins waiting for its turns; dead bodies lying on the railway platforms and in public places showing scant respect; carrying the dead in cycle rickshaws and physically due to non-availability of ambulance services leaves a clear message that human body is taken care so well and once the body or the physical frame loses it life becomes dead obviously loses its sanctity.

COVID-19 has leveraged not only the naked reality of dead, but also those who are living. Those who have been tested positive rushed to the hospitals and the ways with which they have been treated—pushed and kicked from pillar to post shows the inhumanity inflicted upon them. These stories remind me of Steve Jobs who beautifully and realistically articulated that “Death in life must happen in this life if we are truly to live. We have to encounter an event that overturns our agenda our way of being in the …” These are the experiences of many.

This is what is happening to those who are living with coronavirus fearing to go to hospital and also not disclosing due to social stigma. We have come across incidents wherein groups opposing burial of their own faithful with dignity. They refused dead bodies to be buried in the cemeteries who died of coronavirus. So, they had to take the dead ones to different places for burial. There were cases that those belonging to other faith offered burial in their burial grounds for Christians. There are those while livingcontinue to face death in life.COVID-19 has pushed many to encounter such situations. There have been many harrowing incidents.

However, there are those defied wearing face masks and social distancing haveembraced death, out of their choice, but manydue their vulnerability have been facing death while living.COVID-19 has further unfolded the pandora box of life and death.The bodies humans adore and respect while alive contradicts the life humans dream to live. Accordingly, they care of theirbodies with dignity and believe that their dead bodies either to be buried or cremated in dignified manner, but coronavirus has subverted and crushed thehuman desires.

We live totally in fluidity that prompts us to go deep into human nature. Steve Jobs sheds more light to our settings that “No one want to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has even escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out of the old to make way for the new.”Coronavirus has pushed the entire humanity both global and local to another level. At this juncture, we are mandated to think and ponder over about the Life and Death of the present and future of humanity. 

COVID-19 is now the life changing catalyst/agent. It has furthered us to shed out the old and to embrace or pave ways for the new levels of thinking and acting. COVID-19 a global pandemic is a life-changer because death is the destination, we all share, but when and how are the questions that looms at large. Coronavirus has pushed us to deeper levels in our thought processes and actions and thus prompted us to go beyond conventional conceptions and frameworks. Thousands and lakhs of people died and many are in serious conditions. 

Never did theyimagine an invisible virus couldpenetrate into their bodies inflicting heavy blows to their livesleavingintense imprints in the last few months.Human body is regarded as temple of God. It is the most complex system ever created crumbled before a tiny invisible virus. So, protecting and safeguarding human body and life against the deadly pandemic by observing the instructions and guidelines of medical experts and scientist. 

Dr. John Mohan Razu

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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