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We can survive and with a lot less! - EDITORIAL

3 April 2020 02:00 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Long queues seen at pharmacies on Thursday (April 2) reminded us that life is short and could become terribly shorter. We’ve learned discipline and honouring private space; now when we stand in queues we have to maintain a ‘distance’ of one metre from the person who is standing in front of us. The COVID -19 pandemic is teaching us painful lessons. One of the best lessons is about living with a lot less. 
The number of coconuts used in Sri Lankan homes during a day and how much of each nut is wasted opens a window to allow critics to judge how wasteful we are. We’re guilty of plundering the country’s wealth. This was a key feature which was seen in the past from top to bottom in the regime’s order of hierarchy.  


We saw a regime change and so many promises being made to reduce waste and work towards prosperity. If this change was happening slowly the COVID -19 pandemic has added speed to the process. 
This writer remembers an erudite priest in the Uva Province telling a gathering the following: If one eats three meals he is a sick man, if one eats two meals a day he is healthy and if a person survives on a single meal he is a yogi-a person adhering to a spiritual practice and has control over his mind, body and senses.


We are nowhere near being close to surviving one a single meal. But if we can get by eating twice during this challenging period that would not only be an achievement, but also help save on some of the limited groceries. 
When all was well some of us hardly had time to talk with our loved ones. Now we see moving posts on social media like; ‘If you had a crush on me and didn’t reveal it, this is the time to do it’. It seems like we aren’t sure about tomorrow. There are attempts made to restrict data usage because there are no communication centres open in town for us to top up with reloads. Those whose credits are already exhausted, have started occupying the couches at home and rekindle the past by watching old movies. 


Those who never even thought of sharing food are now seen sending half a jackfruit to the neighbour who sent them a bagful of mangoes the other day. COVID-19 has taught us to share and care and even to check on whether the nextdoor neighbour has enough to put the next meal on the table. 
We see similarities in lawmakers and school going children these days. No one in these groups is given half a chance to waste anything. The householders are saving on cash given for snacks and drinks and the state doesn’t have to maintain a large cabinet. And with a lot less no one in these groups has fallen dead or is heard complaining!


Suddenly we get that uneasy feeling that this virus will shorten our stays on planet earth. If death isn’t whispering in our ears at this moment at least the chorus that news reading on television produces regarding the pandemic is making us sick. 
Jobs, careers and celebrated personalities are being reduced to nothing as the death total from the Coronavirus keeps rising. 


But there are some sections of the society who are demanding opportunities for the traditional burial of their dead when tragedy has struck through COVID-19. This is happening at a time when the government is stressing on the fact that anyone dying of the Coronavirus has to be cremated and not buried for serious health reasons. This is a time when all others have no issue with government regulations and are holding hands and praying. If funeral rites have to be performed low key, then be it. The survival against COVID-19 is all about lot less. Those who work less, demand less, are seen less and travel less will be the survivors! 

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