“Every cloud has a silver lining,” is a brainchild of John Milton who passed away in the late 17th century… long before the COVID19 pandemic.
At this writing, with over half a million mortalities around the globe, the ravaging impact on the economy, occupations, education, enterprises, lifestyles, and the debilitating parting of families across borders, it is high time we reflect on the silver lining of this pandemic and assess whether this is a curse or a blessing in disguise.
What are the life-learnings it provides? How has it benefitted us? What have we learned?
And if nothing yet… What CAN we learn?
It is true that if we alter our way of looking at things, we may end up seeing different things altogether. Rather than nagging on what is beyond control, why don’t we, in our intellectual capacities, capitalize on the inherent learnings that exist within this “cloud” of a pandemic, whereby emanating a healthier aura for ourselves and those around? Let us stop permitting this virus to enervate us with its innuendos, but instead look at the bright side in order to mitigate our current realities.
Despite the hurdles that this contagion has brought along, it has simultaneously presented the world with erudite learnings and opportunities. Where the world has become immensely cautious of personal hygiene, stranded in solitude profound talents in engineering, music, cooking, art, etc. have risen to the fore.
For instance, a nine-year-old boy in Kenya, Stephen, gained laudable prominence by building a hands-free device to wash hands, sourcing local materials for maintaining hand hygiene for his community. Also, an undergraduate student in Ethiopia, Eziddin Kamel, showed remarkable ingenuity by inventing a ventilator using a plastic pouch that is mechanically operated by a cellphone command, for his local community. As necessity is the mother of all inventions, we see how despite the lack of resources and finance, people are driven to innovation for life problems.
We have also experienced unprecedented enhancements in our atmosphere, environment, and in the air, which was otherwise a sheer impossibility. For the first time in decades, the air was clear in New Delhi, air pollution had reduced to exceptional levels reducing the smog density in Los Angeles, Florida. Manila city in the Philippines saw a 150% drop in the levels of particulate matter during the lockdown. Moreover, taking advantage of cities entering lockdown, from New Delhi, Argentina, Spain, to San Francisco, several animals were seen strolling around. We could see that destitute from human activity, the environment had begun to “heal” itself.
We see how Governments are willingly epitomizing their combat with this minacious virus by ballooning their budgets for research. They’re also putting their differences aside and evidencing that solidarity and propriety are still possible for the greater good if so desired. Where some governments are extending a helping hand to those countries in need of financial or medical assistance, information about vaccines and other feasible solutions are also being shared in addition to ventilators and chemicals to conduct vaccine testing.
Moreover, Covid19 has evidenced how we CAN live our lives utilizing the concept of Minimalism, where we endeavor to live eliminating superfluous add-ons and with conscious deliberations of our necessities. We have the opportunity to recognize the aesthetics of a simple living if we chose to do so whereby creating timeless tranquility for ourselves.
The greatest edification that one could ever take from all this is a comprehension of the transient nature of life and its prodigal possessions. This pandemic has indubitably increased our sensitivity to ephemera and has starkly reminded us of the impermanence and fleeting circle of life.
To that end, learning from the Chinese proverb, “Don’t curse the darkness; light a candle,” let us light a candle of reflection within ourselves on what we have learned from all of this and how will we capitalize on these learnings so that when all of this is over, we are able to weave a better world for ourselves and for those we love.