Fear to Resilience: COVID- 19

Fear to Resilience: COVID- 19

“No matter how much falls on us, we keep plowing ahead. That’s the only way to keep the roads clear.”

Greg Kincaid

It is not easy for any of us to witness the world at such a great state of crisis where no one can help the other and the only way to survive is to stay isolated and constantly keep checking on every update so that we can assure that we are safe or might be not. Apart from the fear of the contagion from COVID- 19, there are some more pertinent spheres of fear it has fabricated. The works from most of the domains are paused. The blue-collar workers (especially, daily wages employees, maids, factory workers, laborers, delivery boys) are under constant stress during the lockdown. Employees working in private sector are especially concerned with the situation that will take place after the pandemic; the layoffs. The children are constantly exposed to a heavy amount of highly stressful information that is dreadful. Moreover, as the elderly people are more vulnerable to the global pandemic (COVID-19), the fear is natural. Also, the media coverage of the pandemic definitely (helped in several ways but) played a role in the spread of fear. Hence, it’s not seems to be easy to be oblivious from the fear of this contagious disease in every sense. All these situations are sufficient enough to forge a mental breakdown. Since it appeared that the end of life came a little bit sooner than it should come. Actually, it would rather be considered as a fact that the defeat of the science and medicine in which the people had placed the utmost belief will also generate fear, irrationality, selfishness, and self-indulgence in a previously civilized and modern society.

The government is dealing with the issues directly related to the pandemic. But what about the other most contagious unsurpassed problem?  It is not less than an epidemic: the “fear.” Fear is itself contagious, intractable and can override hope. And since fear is an automatic emotion it can spread fast. It is a fact that people have ancestral fear towards infectious diseases which has the ability to change human behavior. We can observe it in our own behavior of the last few days. Recoiling from it (fear) will be more difficult as it has deeper roots and distant effects. Fear is worse than anything…it is a double-edged sword. So why not choose a more positive way to feel, to deal, and to overcome? Yes, COVID- 19 is an extraordinary global challenge and the government around the world taking all the necessary steps to curb its spread. But certainly, something is needed from our end as well.

Overcoming fear and building resilience

Of course, we cannot escape from fear and suffering but can build courage and strength from it. We can learn lessons from earlier pandemics and would relieve a bit to know that there were more occasions in past when humanity was on the verge of total destruction but came out stronger. In true sense, we become brave when we acknowledge our fears and rise again and again despite falling. Certainly, we have the ability to peruse and retain the capacity to think, to plan, to reorganize, to judge, and to respond in difficult situations in a better way, it is called resilience. And this pandemic is the ultimate ordeal to all of us to keep a check on our resilience…this is the moment to decide that we cannot be a miserable dormant in this tough time..….because our thoughts and actions not only remain and influence to us but to the others around us as well. So, we have to make up our minds that we will pass through this crisis and successfully emerge from it. We have to choose where we have to focus our attention….certainly on positive events and emotions. We just have to be paused for a moment and focus on any experience of hope, serenity, gratitude, or love. Feel the goodness of this moment. As we try to re-experience it, again and again, we will enhance our sense of emotional well-being (even in the face of so many depressing and stressful statistics) and sooner become more resilient. Because resilience is something that we feel, we do, we live more than something that we have.

Maintain a strong and supportive relationship is the other key for strengthening our resilience. The nationwide lockdown period to curtail the spread of COVID-19 is a prospect for strengthening our relationships. Some may face difficulty though we have to understand that our resilience will carry us through these tough times as it did till now. Actually we need challenges, tough times or to get knocked down to pick ourselves back with more determination more strength and resilience. 

About the Author

Dr. Vandana Maurya

I have earned my Ph. D. in Psychology from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. Presently, I am working as an Assistant Professor in Patliputra Univ

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1 Comments

  • Very timely and worth reading...ma'am, you have very succinctly underlined the fear factor and emotional breakdown. This is going to be huge challenge in re-constructing resilience. Looking forward to read more such writings. Take care!

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