I tested positive for Covid-19 during India’s devastating second wave in April-May. I was lucky to make a full recovery comfortably. After taking both doses of the vaccine, my best friend and I headed to the hills in November as an antidote to worrying and doomscrolling. On our second day in Mussoorie, we decided to go trekking on George Everest Peak.

We were ill-prepared and driven solely by our desire to undertake an activity that neither of us had done before. As I made my way through the mountain and trees, a gentle realisation dawned on me – that things will be alright. In the cold shadows of mighty mountains, the reality of illness, disease, and death felt alien.

Amidst the all-encompassing beauty of nature, human suffering felt unreal and our pettiness, incredibly wasteful. Standing surrounded by wisps of clouds and unbelievable beauty, I remembered Jane Austen’s words: “What are men compared to rocks and mountains?”

After a long spell of despondency, I needed to feel small – to realise that I am insignificant in the grand scheme of things. It was the most profound realisation I had this year. Even though things feel hopeless and illness runs rife, I remember the moment in the mountains and I now know it will be alright – battered, grieving, resilient, we will survive.

Read all the articles in the Comfort zone series here.