This pandemic had exposed me to something I had never imagined even in the scariest of my dreams. Confined to the boundaries of my house for months, my outlook on life and people have considerably changed during the period. I have learnt some new things and unlearnt a few others. Here I have noted down a few things which I had observed and realised during the pandemic.
Life and people should not be taken for granted. Life had always been easy with the degree of freedom and mobility it provided. People were there as friends and relatives, and I had never hoped that I would ever witness young people leaving me untimely. Their presence wasn’t felt much, but now their absence matters. This happened to many people, and it left me with the lesson that nothing should be taken for granted. Express your love and concern for the people around you, you never know if there will be “next time”. Enjoy your life as a blessing every day, your life might be a dream for many.
People are generally helpful and good at heart. I inferred this from the spurt of Good Samaritans during the pandemic. Many people volunteered to help others in need, others offered their services in whatever capacity they could. Selfless helpers flocked social media. Without this majority of kind people, we could not have sailed through the pandemic. It isn’t over yet, but let’s hope we are almost out of it.
Socialisation plays an important latent function. People were suddenly locked indoors with the onset of lockdowns. They had to stay in for months like that for it was inevitable. The most affected were probably children and old people. Children lost the freedom to roam and play around. Old people could not meet their friends or venture out into the nature. Socialisation soothes the mind and enriches mental health. People love to be around people, and not held hostage within walls. One of my own grandfathers died due to lack of interpersonal contact. He was someone who visited his friends every week, loved to take morning walks and visit the market often. The pandemic paused every thing for him, except for the interactions with his family. This lack of social contact with his friends and external surroundings took a toll on his mental health and was probably one of the factors that led to his death six months later, at the age of 96 years.
Family and home matters the most. Whatever be the problem, family is always the place to fall back to. That’s why thousands of migrant workers in India returned back to their families from places afar, hanging on trains and even on foot. Nothing is more comfortable and reassuring than your own home. People with a home and a loving family must count it as their topmost blessings.
Mental age is more important than physical age. People as old as 95 years and above were seen defeating the coronavirus with their courage and willpower. The mindset to take on anything that might come your way, matters. This isn’t a line from a self-help book or motivational video. Live examples have illustrated it during the pandemic.
Diversify your income sources. People with only one source of income, except a government job, had probably learnt this lesson in the hard way. Those who were only in the transportation or restaurant business were tremendously hit. Stocks crashed for some time, but plummeted back soon. The ones who invested wisely during the dip, pocketed 2x to more than 10x of their investments. Some new entrepreneurs also emerged and offered solutions during the ongoing crisis. People switched jobs for better opportunities and better perks. People with jobs started or got involved in new businesses. Income security is all about diversification of income sources.
Healthcare Workers are ready to be scapegoats for experimentation. They were the first ones who went forward and offered themselves for trials of then recently-developed vaccines, without knowing might have happened to them had anything gone awry. They must be respected everywhere, even after the pandemic subsides. And it isn’t easy to be a doctor, at least in India. People see them as gods on earth, and I have started to think that the ones who become doctors are really the “chosen” ones.
Quick scientific revolutions are possible. Diseases like dengue, HIV-AIDS and malaria have been there for long, yet there’s no vaccine till date to prevent them. Developing a vaccine takes decades. Yet, when the entire humankind was in crisis with the advent of Coronavirus, it took less than two years to develop a vaccine for the same. So, quick scientific revolutions are possible if efforts are channelised in the right way.
Scientific temper is lacking in more people than I had imagined. The rampant spread of illogical misinformation amidst the pandemic led me into believing that more people need to understand science. It was surprising to see people advocating for completely baseless assumptions. Lot of people in social media turned Covid experts overnight. If someone suggested traditional medicine, someone else urged to use allopathic medicine. Both had “proofs and evidences”. The government and tech giants had to intervene to combat misinformation.
Developing nations can outsmart developed nations. There have been much more Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) in western and developed countries than in India, a developing country. Severe post-vaccination side-effects were almost nil in India where indigenously produce vaccines were used. Compared to developed western countries, India also offered more vaccines to poor and other developing nations. India has also vaccinated more people than any of the developed countries.
Health is wealth, really. This might sound cliché, but it is so true. Healthy people could fight the virus better as compared to people with obesity and other comorbidities. People with stronger immunity had milder Covid symptoms or were asymptomatic. Their recovery was quicker with none or almost negligible post-covid ailments. So, nutritious food intake, ample exercising and some amount of meditation can be really helpful for everyone.
Life won’t be the same again. This pandemic has shown me so many things, led me through a plethora of experiences and taught me some new life hacks and skills which will be playing a significant role in my life from now onwards, either consciously or subconsciously. My outlook towards people and things around me have changed a lot. I think children who were brought up at home during the pandemic and had to embrace home-schooling instead of brick-and-mortar classrooms, will have a different mental wavelength than those prior to 2020. Work-from-home research data will provide new insights to businesses and they might have changes in their operational strategy. Infrastructure and technology will play significant roles in almost all sectors, including the government sector. It seems, nothing will be the same again.