COVID-19 and lessons

My deepest prayers with the ones combating the disease and sincere condolence to the bereaved family. No words can suffice to express gratitude to the forefront battling team of doctors, nurses, health staffs, polices and social volunteers.

With the unprecedented spread of coronavirus and the occurring fatalities, many people have begun to question the existence of human mankind. I believe that will not be the case. Human evolution is ancient and a pandemic will not end it considering similar pandemic has occurred in history. It’s true however that such pandemics shall impact the world’s demographics, economy, travel, health systems and most importantly, our priorities.

What sets our priorities in the future is from the conscious decisions that we make today. While a lot of chaos is going around the world, it’s also imparting many lessons (at a heavy price), and our future decisions should be based on the lessons learned. Each individual, family, society, country and the world as a whole have a lot to learn from it.

Every individual has their share of COVID-19 experience and stories associated with it. Even if an individual is not infected, everyone’s daily routine has been largely disrupted by it. The hourly based 9-5 work is replaced by an output based work which is not too bad since you will have ample time to explore your hobbies and passion.

As for an individual, what we can do during these extra hours, is practicing the art of reflection on our behavior and the consequences it had; the best lessons often come from own experience when justified with reasons.

Spending time with your family has been a kind of forced opportunity now. This period is providing insight into what matters more and leads you to balance work and family time. It’s also demonstrating how when we need to find safety and feel protected, we silently slide in with our family and stay home.

Indeed fortunate are those who got to spend the time with their family and it should never be taken for granted.

Families interacting with each other comprise society and when push comes to shove every individual of the society is responsible to contain the virus. Although coronavirus appears to be a natural process, it is in a large context socially driven too. A report of two towns in Italy, Lodi and Bergamo explains the role of society. In Lodi, the cases began to appear on 21 Feb and within two days after, Lodi shut down schools, universities, recreational and sporting events. On the other hand, cases also start appearing at Bermago on 23 Feb but people did not shut down until 8 March. On 7 March, both towns had around 800 cases but by 13 March Bermago’s cases had risen to 2300 while Lodi’s had around 1100 (nearly half), despite similar age structures reported in both town.

Similarly, a lot of global problems like poverty and climate change can be socially influenced and it’s important to act early before it gets too late.

To defeat the virus, there must be a coalition between the powerful nations no matter how unlikely it is. It is apparent now that the religion that we all share is humanity and that how we are all connected. It’s time to think about the details like the investment the country is pouring into. Instead of arms and ammunition, the investment should be more into research, technology, and infrastructures. Not only in ending the pandemic but also facing the emerging global problems like climate change and building a common better future every nation and organization should come together.

Just in: It has been reported that during the lockdown period the air quality of the Kathmandu valley has improved a lot. There has been a huge drop in carbon production from around the world and the environment that we are living in is finally getting a moment to replenish.

Improved air quality of Kathmandu (P.C. Pramod Bhattarai)

These I believe, are a great lesson for better decision making and setting our future priorities. Though the moment is dark, I still see the light at the end of the tunnel. We will get through this storm and when it ends we should come out united, stronger and prepared to solve the existing global problems.

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