What have we learnt from this new virus
We all know what’s happening around us because of Coronavirus. COVID-19 is a dangerous new disease caused by a new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. It spreads through human contact.
The first person ‘Patient Zero’ got it in a fresh meat market in Wuhan probably from bat meat. He or she may have shook a friend’s hand, or hugged someone in the family. And so it began. Across the world in about six months over 3 million people have been affected and over 200,000 have died.
In India, we have been under lockdown for over a month now, missing school, friends, distant family and summer vacations. The world as we had known, has changed. And we may never get it back to the way things were. But maybe that is not such a bad thing. A crisis like this can teach us many things.
Hygiene: We may have finally learnt how to wash our hands, cough and the type of distance to keep when we are sick. And together, if we continue to practice these, after the Covid-19 pandemic is over, we can reduce the number of colds, cough and sore throats.
Learn new things everyday: We can spend some time daily, learning things by watching and trying that we may have never had to learn before. Washing vessels, cleaning the house, learning to cook, learning to garden or use a screwdriver. As we pick up new skills and help out in the house, we help ourselves to become independent.
Learn to adapt: As school moves to online sessions and lunch break moves to video calls with friends, we can learn to adapt to our circumstances, and make the most of it. We can use this time to learn hobbies, courses, skills from the best in the world, sitting in the comfort of our home.
Gratitude: Health care workers, police, road-side sweepers, grocery store workers, water pumps, electricity posts, internet and government officials continue to be out and put themselves at risk so that we can be safe at home and not wanting anything. Let us be grateful for what they do for us. Let us be grateful to the people who we saw every day and took for granted.
Kindness: It feels like a scary and uncertain world, but we are in this together. Being a world leader, having money, being famous, cannot protect us from the virus. We are all equal. So let us learn to show kindness and respect to all those around us.
Fun: Let us make the most of our opportunity to have fun, spend time with our family and do the things we love. And in the future let us take this forward to create balance in our life.
As we continue to fight the COVID-19, as a world community, remember it takes one person to spread the virus, but it also takes just one person staying at home to reduce the spread. If we learn nothing else from this pandemic, let’s only retain that together we can overcome any difficulty. Just as we fight COVID-19, together, when we emerge out of this, let’s not forget our unity and let’s use it to fight other problems affecting our world.
(Dr Munira Kapadia and Dr Maherra Desai are clinical psychologists and medical researchers. They have written a book on Coronavirus with Dr Swapneil Parikh and Dr Rajesh Parikh called Coronavirus: What you need to know about the Global Pandemic)