Applying Lessons Learned From A Storm On Mount Everest To COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is like the storm my daughter Deeya and I faced on the North side of Mount Everest on May 14, 2018. We were climbing in the  so called ‘death zone’ at about 8000 meters and the weather deteriorated suddenly. The temperature dropped to -50 degrees Celsius with the windchill and it became a battle for survival. While I was a nervous father, watching my daughter climb steadily and strongly through the storm, gave me strength and determination. We were 200 meters short of camp 2 and could not turn back, ‘give up’ or stop! 
 
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A few learnings that could help us all survive this pandemic storm in our lives:
  1. Stay calm and do not panic. Deeya and I kept encouraging each other with small gestures like fist bumps and an occasional hug through the storm. 
  2. Think positive thoughts. Positive visualization, like enjoying the view from the summit with my daughter, helped us through the storm. Most battles are fought in the human mind and we win or lose depending on our mental attitude. 
  3. In a storm or crisis, think team always. Look after your family and team mates no matter what the situation. It’s a great feeling to know that you have teammates who will do anything to support you.
  4. Follow the rules and stay disciplined. Any mistakes can be life threatening. 
  5. Don’t blame anyone for the situation you are in. Just focus on getting your loved ones and yourself safely out of the crisis.
  6. We did not look at our WhatsApp messages or TV forecasts - luckily our phones did not work. While being aware of the situation is vital, it is best to not let devices dominate our lives.

A few thoughts that will definitely help us brave this storm. Eat healthy and avoid excessive alcohol. Stay fit and exercise daily while socially isolating. 

Storms do not last forever. This too shall pass. Stay healthy, stay safe, and keep smiling.

-Deeya and Ajeet Bajaj
Posted by Ajeet Bajaj on Apr 25, 2020 12:43 PM America/New_York
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