Opinion and Editorial

MBBS and MD of WhatsApp

Shilpa Bhasin Mehra
Filed on April 18, 2021

We have newspapers and umpteen TV channels and Social Media flooded with all the latest news and stats.

During my long stay in the hospital I met many specialists and super specialists. Having come out of coma, I wasn’t a simple case. But the pandemic and the easy (and free) access to WhatsApp has given rise to a new gen of doctors, the ones who haven’t studied medicine, but give so much gyaan (knowledge) on Covid 19, reasons, impact, latest statistics, cures and prevention.

The medical schools and the medical fraternity are still struggling to find the answers for so many questions and problems, but the WhatsApp doctors have abundant knowledge on the subject. What they don’t seem to realise is that there is already so much depression and paranoia. Do we really need to spread more? Share home remedies to boost immunity, pictures of nature, beautiful flowers, happy faces of children and some precious family and friends old memories. Bring a smile to someone in the face of gloom.

We have newspapers and umpteen TV channels and Social Media flooded with all the latest news and stats. There are some communication channels that are more personal like phone calls and messages. Can we endeavour to make them more pleasant and truly personal?

I for one, do not read any depressing messages, I read either inspiring or humorous messages, because inspiration and some laughs are just so badly needed in these times. Sadly, there are some people who seem to have no other topic of conversation. Seriously?

We don’t have to let our guard down against the virus. Please wear masks, sanitise, wash hands, maintain social distance and follow all other Covid protocols. But one thing that doesn’t help this or any other situation is paranoia. It is a known medical fact that when we are stressed we release the stress hormone (Cortisol) in our bloodstream that has a direct effect on reducing our immunity. So we can wear the mask and be best friend with the sanitisers, but if we are constantly stressed, we are lowering our immunity and inviting the virus.

I really enjoy the videos of wise doctors giving us some basic knowledge that everyone can understand and the benefits of our home grown foodstuff, including the magic of turmeric and ginger. We need to support each other, we cannot do so physically these days, but at least we can do so mentally and emotionally. So do try when you pick up the phone or send a message, your call or message is not depressing for the other person. We do not have to take up the role of news channels. Since there are no major events taking place these days, they only have the pandemic to talk about. So let them do the talking.

Being a student of Political Science, I was majorly influenced by the wise Aristotle and his principle of the golden mean. It means the middle path. Putting this principle in today’s context, don’t throw caution to the wind and be careless but at the same time don’t be obsessive about it either. Just because some people are not talking about the pandemic, doesn’t mean that they are not aware of the severity of the situation. And just because some people are constantly talking about it, doesn’t mean they are doing social service.

As a lawyer, when we are reviewing a contract, we study the usefulness of a clause. Is it required, does it serve a purpose or is it frivolous? I think we need to ask ourselves this question in many things in our day to day life. Basically, does this help, and if not, should we drop it. We delete the unnecessary clauses in our contract, because instead of providing any clarity they add confusion and ambiguity (which can be hazardous in a contract). In life, we need to do this too — cut the noise.

The world needs hope to tide over the unprecedented times we are living in. If you cannot be the sunshine in anyone’s life, please don’t be the gloom either. I love this quote I read somewhere.

Life is a mixture of sunshine and rain, teardrops and laughter, pleasure and pain. Just remember, there was never a cloud that the sun couldn’t shine through.

Shilpa Bhasin Mehra is a legal consultant based in Dubai and the founder of Legal Connect

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