Personal observations on life, Uncategorized

COVID 19 thoughts

It is a mean thing to say, but I am alarmed more at the loss of lives in Europe and America than elsewhere in the world. If these Governments are at fault in controlling the pandemic, then, is democracy a failed experiment? Is totalitarianism more effective at protecting humanity from dangers?

We are often misled by what is known as ‘halo effect’, which means that when we see one aspect of something that is good, we believe that the whole of it is good. There are some aspects of democracy that are good, such as its respect for basic human rights. However, it does not mean that it is good in all aspects or in totality.

In totalitarian countries, people are afraid. They listen to the authorities out of fear. So they will listen to any stay-at-home orders. It may not be out of a sense of responsibility that they are doing it. But as long as they are doing it, they have more chance of being alive and unaffected by COVID 19.

What we see in Western countries is a downside of democracy. Not all human beings are mature or have a sense of responsibility towards oneself and others. When those human beings are in a democracy, and they do not listen to authorities. They go out and have fun anyway, pandemic or not.

The lesson is that nothing is black or white. It is a riot of colours. Life is a big messy thing. Order and discipline can only be artificially imposed. When it is not imposed, as in the democratic countries we see, the result is evident. The solution is to educate people, and hope that once they are educated, they will attain enough wisdom and knowledge, enough civic sense and maturity, to behave in a responsible way, without the state having to go behind them with a stick.

 

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Love in times of Corona virus

It is one of those days when there was a heaviness in the air like a heavy blanket weighing down on a sick person. My office is almost empty, and looks desolate. Even the plants outside look gloomy and dark.

I know I need only my own company. In these days of COVID 19, I need to start loving and taking care of myself more. Let me list the ways in which I will love myself more in times of Corona virus.

  1. I will write because I enjoy writing. Words come out of the dance of my finder tips on my keyboard.
  2. I will engage in beautiful thoughts. I will think good thoughts because it brings a glow to my face and keep my mind healthy.
  3. I will spend quality time with my kids. This is important, because my kids are important to me.
  4. I will spend time with my pets. They bring certain joy to me.
  5. I will do gardening, because it is something I love to do.
  6. I will oversee the cooking at home and other household affairs. After all, I am the mother of the house.
  7. I will spend sometime beautifying myself. I am getting old, and I have to maintain myself.
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Restless in Corona times

I am not sure if restlessness is what I can call this sensation I feel right now. It is a condition arising from the thought that I am not doing things that are meaningful or on par with my capability. The challenge is not on par with my capacity. This is not a boast, but truly, what I experience. I would have loved a job in which I ‘thought’ for a living, as Daniel Kahneman would say. Thinking and making connections, applying theories to various scenarios – these are things I like to do.

What is the connection between this and Corona? Corona virus gives me an excuse to not do much. Who am I giving the excuse to? My own self.

Another thought I had just now was that if the human race was to be seriously affected by the Corona virus, it would really be an anticlimax to the whole human enterprise.

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Lessons from COVID 19

There is a challenge and a lesson inherent in any problem and COVID 19 is no different.

There is no doubt that this crisis will affect the economy. Jobs are already being lost. Tough times lie ahead.

We need to return to a simpler way of life, one that is minimalist and that is as self sufficient as possible. We need to find value in simple things, and get rid of the ‘go get all’ culture of consumerism. Buy only what we need, and try to reuse and recycle.

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A Korean Winter – Part 8

Seoul City

From Jeju City we flew to Seoul by T’way Airlines. Soon after we checked into our hotel, we had breakfast which was way more expensive than anything we had had so far. We chalked it down to being inexperienced tourists in Seoul.

Walking around the city centre, we felt a few rain drops on us, and realized that, it was not rain after all, but snow! It was a snowfall! We had never experienced snow before, and we thoroughly enjoyed the little snowflakes falling and settling on our hair, clothes, just about anywhere. The temperature was 1 degree Celsius. Soon, the ground began to be carpeted by snow, and we reveled in it.

In Seoul city we used the subway to travel, and found that it was the cheapest and the quickest way of getting around. We went on a city tour by bus, visiting Gyeongbokgung and the Changgyeonggung Palaces as well as the Seoul Tower. The palaces are steeped in rich history, and are frequented by tourists aplenty in traditional Korean attire. The palace grounds were covered with the previous day’s snow.

palace

palace 2By far the most memorable was the Seoul tower, with its panoramic view of the city. We were fortunate to be able to watch a traditional musical performance while at the tower. Someone told us that we could see North Korea from the heights of the Seoul tower. The view was awesome.

tower
The majestic Seoul tower 
performance
A musical performance at Seoul tower

Shopping was in our agenda of things to do at Seoul. No better place than Myongdong street for shopping. It is truly a shopper’s paradise. We brought K-Pop merchandize, some mementos, typical Korean snacks and so on from there.

Our Seoul visit culminated with the amazing Christmas celebrations at the heart of the city. The lights and other deco were amazing. We felt sad to leave Seoul. The city is a combination of old world charm and modernity, and is incredibly neat and clean. We marveled at the high level of civic mindedness of the residents of Seoul. Another thing that amazed us was the efficiency of the subway. When we had trouble with one of the ticket vending machines, complete strangers helped us readily. The system is flawless.