The lessons we learnt from Covid-19 - GulfToday

The lessons we learnt from Covid-19

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Picture used for illustrative purpose only.

Trying times like the ones we are going through, though unpleasant, is giving a new definition to our everyday existence. Dreadful are the headlines and the news bulletins. The deadly Covid-19 has the world in its grip, and the otherwise jarring bold all-capital headlines in our dailies on war threats, border walls and migrants have been replaced by quarantine advisories and virus updates (“Virus now pandemic: WHO; 70% Germans could be hit,” Mar.12, Gulf Today).

This is not to say that the news headlines today are any comforting. Definitely not. They are as disturbing, but I see a vast difference between news before the virus hit us and now. What happened to the wars and borders? The difference is because the coronavirus issue is a common enemy. And we are all in it together.

As for the wars and the rest, it was Syria, Afghanistan, Mexican migrants, etc, etc. So if that was not affecting us directly, it was not our problem. We can’t say that of the coronavirus. If someone sneezes in Italy, we may not hear it, but the headlines next day will tell us about it and how likely we could be to being the next one to sneeze, if we do not take precautions. A bomb dropped on Syria does not splinter lives in Italy. But the multiple deaths in China and Italy, has forced the world into a lockdown. It’s splintering lives beyond borders.

It is ironic that it took an invisible, miniscule virus to unite the world in a way it is happening now. I always presumed that quarantine and social distancing measures would widen the distance between peoples of the world. Covid-19 has proved me wrong. And for once I am happy I am wrong. I want this calamity to end. But I also would be happy if the world learns that in unity lies our strength in handling both visible and invisible enemies.

Shireen Russell — By email

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