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Was COVID-19 Necessary? By Avalokita Pandey

Do you think COVID-19 was the need of the hour? The question may raise every eyebrow but we sure needed to stop and rejig. Covid 19 perhaps gave us a chance.

With around 1.69 million (as on December 20, 2020) having lost their lives due to Coronavirus, someone asking if something like this was the need of the hour, is indeed cruel.  But the bitter truth is, we all actually ‘needed’ this!

Great reset that Covid triggered

The world probably needed to learn. Those powerful economies and those tyrants who boasted of their power needed someone or something to show them the mirror.

Covid 19 virus exposed how shallow every big economy and each financial powerhouse had been. Else, who would have thought that one day, the entire world would come to a grinding stop and the only significant thing would be to somehow survive!

Even the United States of America, ‘most powerful economic & military power’ failed to combat COVID and sustain through it. 164 million Americans who always thought they occupy the most powerful land on earth realised how shallow this realisation can be.

Covid 19 came as a wave baring open the hidden seams and loopholes in the political system and governance. Mirroring us how, Instead of focusing on technological developments & missile launchers, what the citizens need most are the investments in affordable and effective healthcare systems and hospitals. Yes, economical and not multi-specialty ones! A hospital where we can get affordable treatment and not waste our life-time savings!

While the world aimed its guns at China for mysterious origin of Covid 19 and hiding it from the world for long we also have lessons to learn how the dragon has been setting examples in its healthcare systems.

China exemplified its high quality healthcare facilities and its long time investment in healthcare by erecting miraculously, in just 10 days, a 1,000-bed multi-speciality Huoshenshan hospital in Wuhan city, where the first COVID-19 case was reported.

This was however the second such as the first one was 1,000-bed Xiaotangshan hospital built in Beijing in record seven days-time during the SARS outbreak of 2003.

Border tussle between India and China and nationalism rhetoric apart one can’t avoid but acknowledge how China has been investing well over the years in its healthcare unlike the former, where Covid 19 was not the only plank but the agenda politics was also pushed aggressively around construction of a  religious place during the peak of  pandemic.

While there is nothing wrong in constructing a place of worship the timing, in the middle of the pandemic, reflects the focus of the governance. The same alacrity or the need was not reflected for developing any hospitals or emergency healthcare mechanism-probably that was something which could wait! Challenging China in creating hospitals in less than 10 days would have gained more headlines and benefitted millions than what actually took place i.e. banning Chinese apps!

Wondering how the Indian Government tackled the situation of economic crisis, farmers’ protest and the unrest caused due to the pandemic? By designing ‘New India’ and laying the foundation stone for the new parliament building for additional members, which isn’t required until 2026 but the government wants to celebrate India’s 75th Independence Day, due in 2022! Because that’s what the ‘need of the hour’ is as hospitals take almost 5 years to complete!

Doctors: the heroes and the real  God?

Thanks to COVID, people started worshipping the real Gods, the doctors! They turned out to be the real warriors, risking out their own lives while trying their best to save as many lives as possible!

Thanks to Covid 19 we realised how train coaches, marriage halls, companies, educational institutions, etc can be overnight converted into hundreds and thousands of COVID care centres in every nook & corner of the country to tackle the situation. Nevertheless, we all are aware of the dilapidated conditions of the government hospitals in the country.

However, thanks to COVID, we realised how British era hospitals were still far better constructed than new construction of many private hospitals. Private hospitals too realised how the current vertical construction of the hospital is the main reason why people going for other check-ups are returning with COVID symptoms because the building is all-packed, air-conditioned with no proper ventilation unlike government hospitals, where each department is situated in different blocks with multiple windows for cross ventilation.

Learning the part from Pandemic

Like it is said, it is never too late. Many hospital managements are planning to prevent attendants from entering the premises along with setting up of multiple entry & exit points to reduce the crowd even after the situation goes back to normal post-pandemic.

Not only this, social distancing would be followed in waiting rooms and temperature checking would be made mandatory right at the entrance. Apart from this, hospitals are also planning to set up different blocks for people coming for normal checkups etc.

COVID-19 has also made us realize that if we mess up with Mother Nature, it has the power to lock us in houses (like Rehab) and make us repent for the things we have done! See, how it wrapped us in sheets (PPE kits), similar to the way, we keep littering plastic waste all over.

Do we not have still fresh in our memory the news of dead whale with plastic waste in its belly? BBC reported on March 22, 2019, “A dead whale has been found washed up in the Philippines with a stomach filled with 40 kg of plastic.” Darrell Blatchley, the director of D’Bone Collector Museum in Davao City, who recovered the body of the Cuvier’s beaked whale, told Radio 5 Live that when they started opening up the whale, “plastic immediately started to spew out of it”.’

This is nothing but Karma wherein, the angry Mother Earth wrapped us too in sheets and covered our mouths (with masks) to teach us a lesson!

Hundreds and thousands of people have died and are still under threat of losing lives but those who survived would never be able to forget living with the fear and anxiety of losing near & dear ones. It will indeed be a big relief if we come out safely from this.

Lessons from Covid: Life First

A lot of things that were being practiced for long would have continued, if not for COVID!  Running and chasing the luxuries and that busy and pushy lifestyle needed a halt and rejig- probably.

Weekend meant going out, partying, watching films, shopping but the covid 19 pandemic and lockdowns simply locked us inside and see, we survived. We were forced to stop. We realised it is not all that  important; it has made us realise about our lives without these and how it matters most is to just live and live happily.

I’m sure you too would have saved a lot! I can now afford international vacations twice a year if something like this (lockdown, not pandemic) is practiced more often!

Not to forget the work from home option. Few of the IT companies, which, earlier, asked their employees to keep their cell phones in lockers due to privacy concerns, are now practicing the work from home option!

What happened to their privacy breach now? After all, when it comes to survival, nothing else matters! Now, they are planning to shut down their offices and allow working from home forever. It is proving beneficial too, as they don’t have to pay conveyance charges or rent, electricity bills, etc and moreover, even the work is smooth too.

Many small & big companies have already terminated their office lease. Employees are saving commuting time. Work from home provides them flexible working hours along with quality time with family. A win-win situation indeed for both employer and employee.

Prior to the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus, we all were perhaps living like robots, following our respective routines, day in and out. However, during COVID, people got ample time to reflect on their life and adjust to the ‘new normal’ and wonder whether we were actually living or merely existing?

People got time to connect with their inner selves. They had ample time to do things that they couldn’t do before. People were found exercising, reading, gardening, cooking, baking, drawing & painting, knitting & crocheting as well as pursuing other forms of arts & crafts.

Education shifted online, so are the board meetings, conferences, seminars. Online life is the new normal, home-made masks is a new industry, as are sanitizers and protective kits etc.

Professionals like scientists, doctors, public policymakers, company heads, teachers, all trying to find ways to make things work in the midst of this pandemic. Necessity, truly, is the mother of invention!

So, can we say Covid 19 was necessary?

The world is rejigged. Or so we say!!

(The views expressed in the article belong solely to the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion, beliefs and view point of the owners of asiannewsmakers.com)

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