Together, we shall overcome COVID-19

May 31, 2020

Are we going to live with COVID-19 for ever? Has the COVID-19 caused the worst economic recession of our times? Will the life be same ever again? Will there be a second wave of COVID-19?

Allow me to first share the following story:

An Indian used to sell samosas (fried patties with potatoes filling inside). His samosas were delicious and in great demand. He would sell all he produced in a couple of hours.. He earned so much that he could send his son to a prestigious business management school.

The son returned with his degree. He advised his father to start thinking of an alternative as people have become more conscious about their health and want to avoid eating fried snacks.

The man thought about the ways of reducing the cost of production, so that he does not incur losses if there were less buyers.  First, he changed the quality of the oil he was using. After a week, he observed that there was a decline in the sale. His son’s words echoed in his mind and he thought people are actually not interested in fried potato-filled snacks. He then reduced the quantity of potatoes inside the samosas. The sale declined even further. He believed that his son was actually right. Peoples’ eating choices had changed. He made a few more similar efforts until he found that there was no sale at all. Finally, he had to shut his business.    

The answers to the COVID-19 questions and concerns that I started with must be seen in the context of this story that offers important lessons:

  • Pondering over his son’s advice, the samosa seller thought his sales were declining when actually they were not. A hypothetical situation made him worried and he ended up taking wrong decisions, one after the other.
  • The son was cautioning his father about a change in eating habits of people, and preference towards non-fried healthier snacks. The samosa seller could have tried of a healthier substitute, such as baking instead of frying. But he missed the point, and started cost saving measures that affected the quality of his product and reduced the sale.

What we think about COVID-19 is key. Of course, we have to deal with the crisis and its impact but let’s not allow the hypothetical fears overwhelm us. 

Scientists, doctors, governments, NGOs and international organizations are doing their best. Besides, there are inspiring stories of peoples’ action of kindness and support for those who are affected the most. There are already stories of flattening the COVID curve; of success; of positive effects of social distancing; and a gradual return to normalcy.

Think positive. Our thoughts matter a lot. Psychologists have suggested not to watch and share depressing news all the time. It will cause stress and affect our mental health.

Don’t feel defeated. Let’s continue to remind ourselves: Together, we shall overcome COVID-19.