When people of the world are reeling in fear and shock at developments beyond their control, it is time to provide them with some succour. When a pandemic like the outbreak of the novel coronavirus takes place, rumours abound and negativity finds it easy to rule the roost. People are succumbing to the temptation of adding fuel to the fire by offering their tuppence worth of negativity based on what they have read on WhatsApp. Fears are multiplying as a result of such conduct and mass hysteria is bound to sweep the populace.Sense and sensibility coupled with constructive action are required at such moments in history. The days of terrorism in Punjab or of communal tensions elsewhere in the country created vastly different circumstances, but rumour mills are overactive during all crises which society faces. The present pandemic has caused some people to lose their nerve and enter into depressive states of mind. They have started fearing the worst, as if the world might just come to an end.No such likelihood exists, visionaries and scientists inform us. The pandemic will be brought under control gradually, just as all such outbreaks have been in the past. The key is to not lose our minds in the process. It is most often the worries which destroy us, not the outcome. Our minds work overtime, leading us to lose our balance and even sanity. Society needs to get its act together and combat this threat with practical measures.It is clear that mankind has meddled with Mother Nature and her peaceful ways, leading to the horrific bushfires in Australia, the destruction of part of the Amazon forest and floods in several parts of India over the past few years. Many other developments across the globe are also ominously portending levels of climate change which are irreversible and dangerous for life on our planet.Yet, there is every possibility that humankind can pull itself together to tackle the problems which it has created for itself in the decades gone by. The focus of all nations has to be on concerted efforts to prevent and reverse the degradation of the natural eco system of the Earth in the years to come.As for the coronavirus, like all such contagious diseases, sensible measures have to be adopted by populations across the world. If the impact of terrible communicable diseases resulting from the Ebola and Zika viruses has been minimised by medical science, the scare of Covid 19 will also be eliminated in the near future. Till then, we simply have to observe the guidelines that the public health authorities have been advising us to follow repeatedly though public announcements.This is also a time for introspection though. If men and women of present times carry on living and working mindlessly, without caring for the long term effects of their actions, the natural resources of the planet will be depleted before long, and major shortfalls will be faced by generations to come. Would we want our children to walk around wearing masks throughout their lives to avoid all kinds of germs perpetually present in the air?It is time also to reflect on the trend of our individual existence on this earth. Are we spending enough time with our loved ones, or are we waiting for, let’s say, the year 2035 by when all our busy activities will be over, to do so? Spending quality time with those who matter, should be prioritised now, not in the unforeseen future.We also need to repeatedly affirm positivity, and provide embalming relief to the timid and scared. We need to reassure those who are paranoid at what might happen. Each one of us must take on the responsibility to be the ambassador of hope and calmness, instead of being messengers of misery, in our communication with others.A quaint suggestion which has come from a friend is that social media be shut down globally for a month and we may depend on older means of information dissemination. This might seem an extreme point of view, but if it helps to cut down on all the brouhaha, let’s do it!