They say that even the worst of situations have something in it for us to learn and understand. When the corona virus issue was first reported from Wuhan, rest of the world was not bothered about it much. Reason was that at individual level everyone was sure that since they’re not living in China and their lifestyle is nothing similar to Chinese, there is no way this problem can reach us. With the spread of this virus throughout the globe, we have realized that viruses, bacteria and microorganisms do not respect the state demarcated borders and they certainly do not care about human race. To a virus, we all are living beings that are potential hosts.
A microscopic element caused a giant wave of panic and uncertainty to people all over the world. Suddenly people are realizing the importance of science and technology for the service of mankind instead of making deadly weapons for border security. Amidst the tense environment, there is a dense cloud of fake news, half-truths and misinformation via social media that further depresses the mood. These days mainstream media only discuss the deaths and number of people infected by the virus, which further deteriorates the psychological health of a person.
We are experiencing many social changes as well. The people we normally liked for their generosity have turned into selfish hoarders. Because of the advised social distancing, we refrain from physically showing our love and happiness for friends and family for the sake of their health. Considering the deadly results of the virus on older people, we became even more worried about the elderly in our family. People having family thousands of miles away have a different level of anxiety. The Russian Roulette like gaming of the virus has forced us to unlearn formerly acceptable behaviors and relearn safer ones.
Everyday routine has also greatly changed. Since most people are working from home, the workload for an average housemaker has increased. There is a debate whether workspace is necessary when some jobs can easily be done from homes. Although in normal condition one might be happy staying home, but in a pandemic when one knows they are not supposed to leave the house, it causes irritation and frustration. This confirms that even if someone is an introvert, socialization and change of environment is a human need. Where food, water and air are needs for staying alive, socializing is an emotional and psychological need. Ironically, the survival of the social animal resides in exercising social distancing.
This epidemic followed by the practice of social distancing, has provided people a chance to know themselves better. The sense of boredom is helping people to explore and find new hobbies. From cooking and baking to arts and craft, people love to share their activities with others via social media, inspiring more people in the process. We can see that people are starting to think about earth as a living organism itself. They think that the earth is cleansing and trying to fix herself by forcing humans to stop their destructive machines and factories. In a way, this one virus has united people of the world against the deadly virus. It is providing people with a vision of earth as one home for a family of 7 billion people.
It is also generating various debates among people of the developing states about the redistribution of budgets where education and healthcare should be given a priority. Other than that, people are celebrating doctors, nurses and cleaning services as heroes without capes. This is a great change as we normally take these people for granted. The pandemic has taught us that a hero is not necessarily a soldier in uniform defending borders of a state.
Religious figures are seen exploiting the situation according to their moods. When the situation was in Wuhan, many religious figures were calling it a punishment on sinful people for various sins such as haram consumption, atrocities against the Chinese Muslims and immodestly. Some even equated it as a revenge of God for the pain of Palestine and Kashmir. A video of Khadim Hussain Rizvi went viral where he was rejoicing over the situation in Wuhan, asking God to punish China and its allies even harder for the plight of Uighur Muslims in China. An Israeli health minister declared coronavirus as punishment for homosexuality. But as soon as the virus spread in Muslim majority countries, clerics spun their words into “a chance of brush off sins”, “God is testing our faith” and even propagating conspiracy theories to blame people of opposing faiths. This situation is not only causing panic and unjustified hate towards other faiths but also causing a shake in people’s faith and lack of trust in religious clerics. It is encouraging people to wonder where is God in all this commotion and what should be the dynamics of relationship with God once the cure is invented.
Because there is no vaccine available at the moment, the feeling of restlessness prevails. It seems that the virus is not going any time soon and it is determined to change us in many ways, including our cleaning habits and our social interactions. Even though fear and panic encircling us, all hopeful eyes are on the scientists of the world who will succeed in finding a cure to fight this virus and weaken its world domination.
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