With the ongoing pandemic of Covid-19 around the globe, we are asking how it will change our lives, what does it mean to us as an individual, a group, a community, and the world?
We are facing huge changes in the ways we interact today with others, how our usual behaviours and habits are challenged. We are asked to work from home, kids have to stay at home and adapt to distance learning, cities are on lockdown-mode where we have to practise “social-distancing”, the hottest hashtag word in 2020. Many of us are faced with a sense of ‘being imprisoned at home’ which they never faced before.
Looking ahead, the crucial question for all of us is: What have we learnt from this pandemic? In today’s MYKU feature, our team has given it some thought how Covid19 will impact us beyond this crisis:
5. Social Distancing
Interestingly, when examined separately, these two words are contradicting. Social, means an informal gathering in summary. Distancing means to detach or isolate. (For those language-fetishists amongst you, this is called an Oxymoron)
Meeting with friends and family used to be the most normal thing. Sometimes we’d even dread going to Sunday family lunch. Now, isolating ourselves from any social activities is an unknown challenge for us, but it is the right thing to do. We must change our habits due to this virus. Handshakes, hugs and kisses were signs of affection of friendship and love yesterday. Today, these gestures are no longer acceptable. We must change our past habits to adapt to the current situation. These habits are part of our culture and we will surely use most of them again once the pandemic is gone. However, we may become more cautious in the future when greeting and interacting with each other, especially when one has a cold. Luckily, social distancing applies largely only to the real world, virtually we can still connect with friends, family and colleagues through social media, facetime and the likes.
4. Individual and Independence
The Covid19 pandemic has changed the way we think about ourselves for many. Faced with a lot of Me-time, we may get to know ourselves better. Are you an extrovert or more of an introvert? For the extroverted amongst us who love to be on the go and surrounded by friends and others constantly, these times may be particularly tough to adapt to. Being alone can be a challenge, an unknown situation you have previously tried to avoid. Now, don’t panic. Besides the social tools on hand we mentioned above, this time is a good opportunity to face yourself a little bit more and to rest. Restlessness and not enough time are often enough our constant companions these days, being at home alone is a good time to sit down and do nothing! Meditate, think about what you want to do in the coming times. Once we get back to normal, you can start refreshed with a new set of goals to achieve for yourself!
3. Doubt and Trust
#Fakenews! There is so much news and theories about Covid-19 out there. Whether it is from the government, news agencies, social channels or so-called experts, we often struggle to clearly identify which source of news are real or not. In today’s world we’re blessed to be so connected through internet, we received news fast, constantly and in sheer abundance. With this, we will have to take the responsibility to be critical when evaluating whether news are reflecting the truth or not.
Especially in the case of this pandemic, this previous unknown virus poses an enormous challenge for doctors and scientists, who are working 24/7 to collect reliable data, working on a vaccine and providing correct advice to the public. In this time of unconfirmed news, a lot of speculation is taking place which, as we have witnessed, may lead to hysteria and panic in some cases. We need to learn to stay cautious, be alerted, but above all be critical and don’t panic. We face our own strength of the mind. This is a good learning opportunity for us to stay rational and be selective. You can stay on top of things but don’t get fixated 24/7.
2. Abundance and Essential
Before the COVID-19 outbreak, we were indulging in all what the world can offer without even realizing it at times. From luxury goods to the latest limited sneaker launch, we are chasing items endlessly. Now let’s not judge all the material things we take pleasure in but let us take a moment here and look at what this pandemic taught us on things that matter. Who would have thought that disinfectant and masks become the new luxury items? Toilet paper deliveries as the latest must-have limited item at your local supermarket. Caught by surprise often, scarcity did occur for several items without doubt. Often though, insufficient availability of supply was created by people buying up all the available stock at once. This is a lesson to consider for the future when it comes to one’s own social responsibility. Did I need those 10 packs of family-sized toilet paper? Probably not. Consuming in socially-responsible moderation is a lesson for all of us for the future. In times like these, strangers become friends. We are all in this together. That means as well to share responsibly. Hoarding sought-after items leads not only to scarcity but also to inflated prices for essentials which made it a great burden for many to obtain. Play fair. Consider each other.
1. Self-improvement and Procrastination
Working from Home. Quarantine at Home. Suddenly you are stuck at home with seemingly endless time on your hands and wondering what you can do. (Let’s just say the day still got 24hrs…). Take it as an opportunity. This is the time when you can choose to pick up a trade, craft or hobby that you have being delaying for a long time. That book you never got to read? Brushing up or learning a foreign language? Baking. Fitness routine. We could go on forever. Now is the perfect time to get to it all. Blessed with internet, the online options to learn are endless. Many leading universities are offering online courses for free and several prestigious museums open their doors for free virtual tours. If you want to take a break, binge on Netflix and be a potato couch for some time. But be resourceful with your time, this is a chance for you to upgrade your skills and discover something new for yourself that you will benefit of way beyond this pandemic.
Still in the middle of this global pandemic, we are looking forward to better times. While we couldn’t foresee the situation we’re in right now, we can learn our lesson and make positive changes for our future. Remember that change starts in each of us and our actions impact the future of the world we all share. Covid19 taught us how truly connected mankind is. Any issue we face is seldom relevant for only one country but is faced by many or, as now, by the entire world. With such high connectivity, comes greater responsibility for all of us, as individuals and as a nation.
Take a moment to reflect for yourself what your takeaway from this situation is and what it taught you for the future. Sure, we look forward to better days and being carefree again, but remember these days and take them as a guiding memory for future behaviour. The world we live in is not a given, like anything, it takes our care and responsibility to make it flourish.