The world has been taken by surprise by the COVID-19 pandemic. While some are calling it the 3rd world war, others believe it to be nature’s response to our continued exploitation of Earth’s natural resources.
However, something that’s common for all is the global lockdown and social distancing. It is easy to feel isolated and cut off from the rest of the world during this crisis. Most of us have never faced such unusual circumstances, and we are all coping with it on our own but in not so different ways.
The first type of reaction we saw was from the panic-stricken.
We all remember watching the videos of the supermarket brawls over toilet paper. People making a run to the stores in fear, trying to gather as many essential supplies as possible. There were widespread panic and misinformation partly due to social media platforms as well as the clueless media houses scrambling to push content onto their viewers. Fear-mongering meant more viewers, which in turn meant higher revenues for the big corporations.
Fear and uncertainty in these tough times can definitely bring out the worst in us, but don’t worry; you are not alone.
On the other hand, some are learning to hold on to their nerves.
Fortunately, people are changing their attitude for the better. There is a growing awareness that a more long term and comprehensive approach is required to tackle the problem. The common man is no longer panicking about something they have little control over.
Families are prioritizing staying home, and understanding that negative thoughts are more contagious than the virus itself. Viewers are refraining from watching too much news in an attempt to reduce the negativity in their daily lives.
In France, customers are patiently queueing up outside supermarkets, maintaining a reasonable distance from each other, and only a handful going in at the same time.
Recently in India, a prominent minister was seen drawing circles on the ground outside a grocery store in an attempt to spread awareness amongst a mostly poor and uneducated crowd.
Governments all across the globe are taking strict measures to prevent hoarding and black marketing of essential goods. The supply chains, although a little disrupted, continue to deliver crucial supplies. The workers in the warehousing industry are working tirelessly to ensure that there is enough food for everyone.
Maybe you belong to this portion of the community, working endlessly to ensure that your fellow citizens are fed, or perhaps you are just staying at home for the safety of your loved ones. Or you are being responsible on social media platforms and better analyzing the information before sharing it.
It’s alright to feel a little frustrated with this situation with no clear end in sight. But just know that you are not alone.
And finally is the group of people who are leading the fight for the survival of humanity.
This includes the doctors, the medical staff, the caregivers, the emergency services, grocery store workers, delivery partners, and all those reporting their jobs despite the risks. And it is not just limited to them; everyone who is empathizing with the most vulnerable, spreading positivity, and seeking creative solutions to our problems are also our saviors.
Musicians in Spain and Italy are stepping up their game and performing from their balconies and on online platforms. Many comedians in the U.S. and late-night show hosts are keeping the show going from their couch to keep their audiences entertained and well informed.
The expat’s communities are hosting online watch parties, foreign language classes, and cooking lessons for their members. Online drawing and poetry competitions for kids have become a weekly norm.
The techies are also not lagging behind. One innovative idea proposed is to develop a cloud-based tracking system to monitor in real-time the ventilator availability at different hospitals. Several groups around the world have offered 3d printing of ventilator parts for as low as 1/10th the original cost.
People are reserving the surgical masks for the medical staff and turning towards other masks available in the market to cover their faces during their outings. Retired medical professionals are also reporting in to help in any way possible.
Thanks to these unnamed heroes, we can expect the curve to flatten pretty soon.
If you are one of these warriors then, you too are not alone.
The challenge ahead of us all is to quickly transition from the phase of panicking to a state of learning and then finally grow to become a contributor to the cause. The time spent in this transition will ultimately decide how soon the world will recover from this pandemic.
It will be interesting to see what the world will be like after this pandemic is over. Will we be more respectful towards mother nature? Are we going to become vegetarians? Will we end all wars? It’s difficult to say at this moment.
However, what we know for sure is that there are many out there, trying their best to make that dream a reality.