We all like to resile, actually from any problematic or challenging situations, any time in our life. Because, usually, we are all born to live in a challenging environment, with sadness, confusion, agitation, exhaustion, and so on, though we dream to live in a fantasy. So, due to the conflict between the two, we are definitely entitled to some kind of stress, which may lead to so many mental disorders at any moment in our life circle. One of them is a trauma, which we will discuss in this pandemic era, with some self-consultation points.
Firstly, we should have to figure out what the trauma is? For that, it is enough to glance at the general meaning to understand it. Trauma is a mental thing. So, trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, lost someone, or a natural disaster. Immediately after the event, they get shocked, but they will deny it. After about seven days, some reactions will start to work, including unfamiliar emotions, flashbacks, and strained relationships. The result is that they are victims of anxiety, depression, delusion, or become a severe psychosis with even physical symptoms like headaches, nausea, or physical pain. Accordingly, there are three types of traumas.
1. Acute trauma – which results from a single incident.
2. Chronic trauma – which is repeated and prolonged, such as domestic violence or abuse.
3. Complex trauma ñ which is exposure to varied and multiple traumatic events. Usually, this is called psychologically post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. Because trauma symptoms (disorder) show up about seven days later. So, what causes trauma to a person? Exhaustion, confusion, sadness, anxiety, agitation, numbness, dissociation, distraction, physical arousal, and pain are some of the reactions that trauma may include. Besides that, emotions may cause trauma due to part of an ongoing experience, such as chronic abuse, bullying, discrimination, or humiliation. Although we reviewed the common traumas above, we intend to talk about the present corona pandemic, which has been spreading worldwide. For that, I would like to glance at the history of the pandemic, which has been spiking since the 1700s. Meanwhile, one Indian newspaper has analyzed it as follows;
ìFrom 1720 to 2020, hereís a list of the four worst pandemics in history that have ravaged humanity. While thousands of people die, civilization end, economy collapses, such diseases often become difficult to contain, posing a major challenge to the ruling governments across the world.î After this short description about the virus, it depicts the four worst pandemics as;
“1. The great plague of Marseille (1720-1723): The disease started spreading in Marseille, France, in 1720, killing a total of 100,000 people. As per estimates, up to 30 percent of the population of Marseille was estimated to have perished due to the plague.
2. The first cholera pandemic (1817-1824): It is known as the first Asiatic cholera pandemic or Asiatic cholera. It is known to have begun in the city of Calcutta and spread throughout Southeast Asia to the Middle East, eastern Africa, and the Mediterranean coast over time. Hundreds of people died during the pandemic. This pandemic affected almost every country in Asia.
3. Spanish flu (1917-1920): It is one of the deadliest influenza pandemics humanity has ever witnessed. While 500 million people fell victim to the Spanish flu, many indigenous people were pushed to the brink of extinction. According to an estimate, the death toll is anywhere from 17 million to 50 million.
4. Coronavirus pandemic (2019-20): COVID-19 is an ongoing infectious global pandemic caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. The virus was unknown until the outbreak began in December 2019. According to the present statistics, the international death toll from the virus ñ as of January 15, 2022, are about 5,548,700. The virus can spread from person to person through tiny droplets from the nose or mouth, as the droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. When healthy people touch the objects or surfaces around them, their hands pick the virus, and subsequently, when they touch their eyes, nose, or mouth, the virus enters their bodies.
Meanwhile, CDC reports about the 1918 pandemic victims as: ìThe 1918 pandemic was a historic global event that killed more people than World War 1 and 2 and the Korean and Vietnam wars combined. It was one of the most devastating health events in recorded world history.”
This is a golden opportunity to have a great time with family… It is an opportunity to learn new skills. It is an opportunity to enjoy life. Give time to your hobbies like gardening, writing, and drawing.
When we talk about trauma, we cannot forget the tsunami trauma, which has happened on many occasions, including in Sri Lanka on December 26, 2004. BBC has reported about it as; “Tsunamis are giant waves that are produced when a large volume of water is displaced in an ocean or large lake by an earthquake, volcanic eruption, underwater landslide or meteorite. Between 1998ñ2017, tsunamis caused more than 250,000 deaths globally, including more than 227,000 deaths due to the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.”
We are currently experiencing the worst virus, which is called coronavirus or COVID-19. It has been spreading worldwide, sparing only a few countries. It is a pandemic caused by a virus. According to health history, there has been circulating any kind of virus worldwide, throughout history, off and on. This coronavirus has been spreading very quickly and faster than earlier ones. After this short analysis, since the newspapers have collected some views from different victims of coronavirus around the world, I am not hesitating to put forward a few of them here.
“Stories of hope, resilience, and inspiration during the coronavirus pandemic. Individuals worldwide share their personal stories of hope, resilience, strength, and inspiration during this time.”
A. In India: some treat lockdown as boon rather than bane. This is a golden opportunity to have a great time with family… It is the best time for dual-earner couples to spend time with each other. It is an opportunity for kids to have a great time with their parents. It is an opportunity to learn new skills. It is an opportunity to enjoy life. Give time to your hobbies like gardening, writing, and drawing. It is an opportunity to cherish with friends online, itís time to enjoy more sleepÖLife has too much to offer provided we have the right mindset.
B. In India: for people who feel safe at home, the isolation period is the best time to plan for the future. Try to be creative. We can survive all this. We have the strength. Soon, a new morning will come. The flowers will bloom, and the streets will become active. The sun will shine more brightly. The atmosphere will be fragrant.
C. In France: When Fedro found out he was transferred to a COVID-19 ward; he overcame this fear. Fedro had learned to use mindfulness to regulate emotions, and we said he was going to put on his protective equipment in mindfulness, focusing on every piece of equipment and telling him, ìThis cap keeps me safe, etc. Once all geared up, he would tell himself, ìI am safe.î By these short stories, we can sense how many people have been victimized by trauma in the world. It is essential for anyone, whether they had been victimized or not, by these coronavirus disasters. People got an opportunity to live in a calm and quiet environment, mentally and physically, especially in this pandemic. To be continued…
Ven Diyapattugama Revatha Thero
(B.A., M.A., M.Phil.)
Expert Psychological Counselor and
Siriwardhanarama Buddha Dhamma
ManoØdaya Meditation Center
ManoØdaya Asapuwa (Facebook)
Siriwardhanaramaya, Temple Lane,