The world is now fighting with an invisible enemy, abbreviated as COVID-19. The name COVID-19 was given by World Health Organization (WHO). COVID-19 is an ellipsis that stands for COronaVIrus Disease of 2019. COVID-19 is a genetic cousin of coronavirus that caused the SARS outbreak of 2002-2003. It is also known as “novel” coronavirus because this new coronavirus has not been detected earlier in humans. COVID-19 infected people may experience mild, flu-like symptoms to severe trouble in breathing and the virus mostly spreads through human-to-human contact. After it had started from Wuhan, China at the end of 2019, it has now reached almost every corner of the globe. This lethal virus has a clear potential for chronic global pandemic, and high mortality rates.
The only available contagion prevention approaches are social distancing, isolation, contact tracing and quarantine, sanitization, and hygiene maintain. These rules are to be followed until the vaccine is discovered. The whole world is now in a lockdown situation, we are going through unimaginable circumstances. The 125 μm virus literally trapped us in a cage, like a prisoner. Public transport, Industries, Cinema Hall, Theater, Sports, and all the public places are shut-down to reduce social contacts for saving lives. The global economy is sinking into a deep abyss today and we do not know when or if this massive collapse of the economy can be recovered.
Schools, Colleges, Universities, and Research Institutes are totally shut down for an indefinite period. A clear panic among the students has grown on how to meet their educational goals. As an educator, we are here to dispel the students’ fear and confusion. Education is on its way to “classrooms without walls and remote teachers”, we are delivering education via the internet. Digital pedagogy is the only hope now. But at the same time research is also hampered severely due to this dangerous virus. Researchers had to stop laboratory tests, they are not allowed to go their lab and cultivate science. Due to this protracted lockdown, the research in most of the universities and research institutions is lagging behind. Research institutions and government have imposed strict restrictions that prohibit scientists from traveling internationally and domestically. This has obstructed the collaborative works, and large-scale projects. In particular, the lab-based researches where chemists are developing new drugs;
biologists are investigating the living organisms, physicist are designing spacecraft or detecting gravitational waves, where gatherings of people are crucial and virtual meetings are not at all enough. Seminars, conferences have totally stalled where exchange of ideas on research is of great benefit and these are the opportunities of scientific community to show off their research work. The main sufferers are the PhD scholars, whose total period of fellowship is constrained to five years and they are undergoing stress to complete their PhD work within this specific time. The prolonged stretch of the current situation will strike most hardly among the students and
early-career researchers, who are in search of jobs.
One thing we need to keep in our mind is that, never to surrender whatever the situation is. Humans are the most adaptable species which is mainly due to our superior intelligence over all other animals on the Earth. We know that in the human genome there are all kinds of connections that allow human beings to have flexibility and the ability to adjust to new situations,
and that’s what differentiates humans from our previous ancestors. So, we should never give up, we have to rise up against all the odds. Time is not constant; storms don’t last forever and so won’t the hard times. So, we should hope in seeing light in spite of being surrounded by darkness.
This time can be utilized to enrich our knowledge on many academic aspects. Researchers can spend more time in searching for and reading scientific research articles, as well as work on the analysis of research results and older data sets, writing, submitting, and peer reviewing of
scientific papers. Most significant thing researchers can do is to plan new projects and prepare a road map of future research, which can be executed after lockdown. In terms of research, this practice will not affect science much since we are lucky enough to have readily available internet
facilities which is virtually a limitless knowledge support. In case of a need for a meeting, researchers can use virtual meeting platforms such as Skype, google or Zoom. There are a plenty of options and it’s just a matter of willpower and enthusiasm. Researchers can focus on the future, in terms of professional and research development; they can keep themselves up to date with the current work happening at other scientific research institutions. In spite of all these researchers should try to get the best out of the worst condition with all positivism.
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