Virus Pandemic -Quarantine and The Bengalis
April 7th, 2020 at 8:41 pm
Virus Pandemic -Quarantine and The Bengalis

Imran A. Chowdhury:

The world at large is facing an unprecedented catastrophe with very little remedial measures to counterattack the enemy. The humanity is at its worst ebb since the last world war which took place some three quarter of a century ago.

This time the enemy is unseen, unknown, non-visible and attacking stealthily wiping lives away. The target of this attack is everyone and anyone. The world’s top scientists, doctors, researchers and laboratories are working round the clock grappling with the ideas as to how to tackle and overcome this pandemic.

This pan world pandemic has engulfed almost 182 countries of the world. This crisis has brought the world to a virtual halt. Governments all around the world have reacted generously to tackle the situation. The countries have literally nationalised their economies.

Once the world manages to overcome this quandary there will be wholesale changes in the globe and there will be a lot of adjustments in the way the universe has been managing its businesses. There could be social, economic, political and cultural changes perpetuating from this predicament.


Economist, politicians, political analysts are perplexed with those thoughts of the cascading transference. This crisis’s solutions are multifaceted and not one adjustment can resolve this. There has to be wholesale changes across the economic, political, industrial, social, environmental, behavioural and personal hygiene landscape of the world as a whole.

I guess, it is a wakeup call for the mankind to do a bit of soul searching and an intense introspection. In this spectrum of changes impending to happen to the communities will just have to endure hardship and eradicate many inherent empirical habits of running their day to day lives.

The only viable solution to flatten the reach of infection of this viral — airborne disease is to promulgate a regime of stringent social and physical distancing. Our community is in a precarious situation to isolate itself from the extended family social interdependence. We must refrain from those age old community gatherings and intermingling for the timing.

We are located in a better state than others to implement these social distancing because, this very word ‘QUARANTINE’ is and does belong to our religion. The core ethos, ideologies, theology, Hadiths and The Holy Quran have elaborately given us the directives as to how to lead a life and adjust to the changing situations in order to acclimatise ourselves. It’s a matter of great pride and joy that, a thousand year ago during Golden Era of Islam –  Ibn Sina – one of the highly acclaimed polymath, philosopher who is regarded as one of the most significant physicians, astronomers, thinkers and writers of the world have penned a book which was completed in 1025, the Canon of Medicine was an extensive 14 volumes. The book was to become one of the pillars of medical theory and practice, discussing the discovery of contagious and sexually transmitted diseases and introducing the concept of quarantine as a means of limiting the spread of infections.

The Canon of Medicine

Ibn Sina has been broadly recognised as the first physician to accurately document the anatomy of the human eye and the depiction of eye infections as well as describing the symptoms of diabetes and discussing the mechanisms of the heart and the function of the valve. In the Western World Ibn Sina’s influence was deeply felt and his book, the Canon of Medicine was partially translated into Latin in the twelfth century, the complete version appearing later in the same century-the Canon of Medicine, which became one of the most significant contributions to the field of medicine and still forms the basis for modern clinical trials and pharmacology.

The origin of the words of Quarantine, is derived from the Venetian merchants (Venice – Italy) from ‘Al-Arbaiyn’; which 40 in Arabic and ‘quar’ means 40 in Italian – therefore, it Al-Arbaiyn has transformed into Quarantine.

As it is our lifestyle of praying five times a day which are followed after a thorough ablution each time, keep us in a strong regime of cleanliness as far as personal hygiene is concerned. This is now being preached upon by the public health authorities all around the world. However, this does not mean that we are not susceptible to fall prey into the hands of this or any other diseases.


The essence of the countering the pandemic is to follow the stringent instructions of the Government of the land. There is no room to undermine science; as science was perhaps one of the forte of our own religions great teachers who has evidently pioneered the world of hygiene, social isolation, immunisation against contagious diseases.

Apparently, there are many sects, religious groups, ideologists hiding in our midst who are persevering to continue life as it was before pandemic. But, it is imperative that, from the light of the religion and its tenets, all members of the community ought to follow the law. 

As well as, during the need of the hour of the country the community has an onus to broaden its periphery of social work and need to reach out towards the wider society with philanthropy, blood donations, charity and volunteering with the emergency services, front-line medical support providers across the board.

In this crucial juncture of the humanity, every little helps and generosity, compassion, resolute and resilience will triumph above all calamity.  The world will overcome this phase unitedly.

Imran Chowdhury is a Geo Political Analyst