24 January, 2021

COVID-19 Good Samaritans: Empathy, Its Penumbra

The good souls who defy a frozen society and reach out to COVID-19’s myriad victims

COVID-19 Good Samaritans: Empathy, Its Penumbra

Like the tell-tale signs of the bubonic plague, every pestilence brings out the pustules of society—self-preservation is the overriding concern, siege mentality spawns selfishness that manifests itself in cruel rejections as the grim reaper increases his deadly business. Yet, when rampaging insecurity makes people lock themselves down both in body and spirit, turning away from defenceless sufferers, there are individuals who come forward in love and compassion, with a pledge to serve humanity with gestures tall and tiny. Parallel to the recoiling, unfeeling masses, theirs is a compact that runs through history and is renewed with every generation.

That unchanged rule was manifest in this national crisis of ours too: as prejudice, superstition, neglect, racism and callousness—and, lest we divagate too much, the coronavirus itself too--heaped misery on so many, these men and women exerted themselves and stepped out in the air that smelt clean but was tainted by a lurking threat. Their empathy became a natural extension of the countrywide lockdown.




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