Over the last couple of months, we all started talking about the COVID-19 pandemic as it suddenly changed many lives around the globe. Researchers decoded a ‘novel coronavirus’ behind all this chaos. People everywhere are being requested to stay home and stay away from other persons to reduce the risk of infection as this coronavirus outbreak has shifted from just a pandemic to a global epidemic. Many countries (Italy, China, UK, USA, France, Germany, Spain, and others) around the world are coming to a standstill, culminating in illness and unforeseen death. Even in India, the whole country is on lockdown to stop COVID-19 spread at stage-II.
Apart from all the negative outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are some important life lessons that we have learned so far:
- Taking care of our hygiene, whether there’s a virus or not.
This might sound silly, but before the pandemic, most people might not have known that soap destroys certain kinds of viruses and bacteria. We must wash our hands with soap followed by applying any alcohol-based hand sanitizers. We must learn the drill by now to keep ourselves safe from any viral or bacterial infection. Well, now we all do, and we’ll probably wash our hands a lot more frequently after this is “over.” Staying sudsy for at least 20 seconds is now part of our psyches.
- The social awareness in most of the Indian population is very less.
We must take a huge initiative to upright social awareness. In some critical situations, even fake news, rumor, hoax can act like an atom bomb to take away the lives of many people. This lack of awareness situation can be solved through an efficient collaboration between Government and private enterprises.
- Studying biological sciences at entry-level would have been our first choice.
Biological knowledge is not only a basic parameter of studying Bioscience but also it helps to satisfy many basic human needs and improve living standards. The recent outbreak of COVID-19 is one of the highlighted examples, where the application of the biological knowledge can only open the door of prevention as well as cure. If this scary situation has taught us anything, it’s that doctors and researchers will be the ones who will take us out of this mess. Along with the health workers, they are the ones working day and night to drive the recovery of the world to find a suitable coronavirus treatment.
- Taking a sick leave could save lives.
If you are feeling sick and diagnosed with any viral infection, then you must not come to your workplace. If possible, then talk to any of your colleagues who can take care of your work during your absence. You never know when staying home could save the lives of your colleagues.
- “Work from home” could be an option for many people.
During this lockdown period, many people learned that their jobs were possible to do from home. We could realize that most jobs have a certain amount of work that can easily be done from home without coming to the office. We could find some way just to promote our work-life balance.
- We may consider the internet facility as a human right.
According to a recent study conducted by the University of Birmingham, free internet access should be considered as a human right, provided it should not cost the human basic need like water, food, etc. In some states of India, the free Wi-Fi has been provided to people in major railway stations and bus stops.
- We must learn to appreciate Nature.
We keep on hurting our environment for the sake of our profit. We fill up ponds just to stand one skyscraper, deforestation we see in every corner of the globe, wastage of potable water, use of plastic is gradually destroying the aqua environment. But we should not forget that these never pay. If we don’t start realizing now, then we have to face the heat again shortly.
- The importance of talking to friends and relatives.
Psychologists and researchers have been saying this for many, many years we have a deep innate need to be around other people and share experiences, and indeed our lives. All the research shows that more connected people are happier and healthier in the long run. During this lockdown situation, the best way to combat loneliness is to be in regular contact with friends, family members, and relatives. Being alone, especially for extroverts can be exhausting and lonely. In true sense, social distancing can be very difficult, but it can also teach us a lot about ourselves. This is the time to have long talks and deep conversations to relax.
- The world is wildly connected.
We like to remember this one when it suits us when talking about the connectivity that technology allows or the global nature of business. But we are obviously all connected physically, too, as evidenced by the speedy spread of the virus around the globe. To think of countries as fundamentally separate from one another is fundamentally flawed. Once we internalize this, we’ll probably be better off, both psychologically and in our ability to plan for future pandemics.
- Life won’t be the same after and that’s ok.
People have been saying this since fairly early on into the saga, but it was hard to wrap one’s brain around it was much more comforting to imagine that we’d spring or soothing weather to live happily. But as “stay-at-home” orders extend, it’s easier to see that things have changed, some irreversibly, and for better and for worse.
Nancy Jaiswal (B.Tech Biotechnology, Sem-IV)
Swarnav Bhakta (M.Sc Biotechnology, Sem-II)
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