The 3rd of May marks the 100th day since the disease, COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus has reached Australian shores. In a matter of days, the number of cases around the world went on an unprecedented high which led the all governments to adapt extreme precautions to prevent the spread of the disease.
The words “quarantine,” “lockdown,” and “social distancing” became part of everyone’s conversations. As if overnight, everything changed for everyone living in Australia … and the world. But amidst all the tension-filled uncertainty surrounding this pandemic, one can see the silver lining in each dark cloud.
Here are some notable observations upon closer look:
- We are reminded of how connected we really are. Though there were really strict laws on social distancing and lockdowns, it ironically created more awareness on the value of closeness and social cohesion.
In the home front, Fil-oz families began to prepare food to share to stranded international students and families who are experiencing hardships due to the strict lockdown laws. People began to socialise more while observing social distancing. Families found more time to really talk to each other and catch up.
People from all over the world express their solidarity through music – from their balconies, the rooftops and their windows. This has happened in countries like Italy, Spain, Iraq, the US, France, Lebanon, India, Brazil and Germany. People expressed their feelings of loneliness, fear and even anger through music – but mostly out of support for each other. Virtual concerts and artist collaborations from across countries highlight that we are all in this together.
The lockdown somehow put everyone’s busy schedule to a halt making them focus more on their relationships and how connected everyone is.
- The emergence of the “new normal.” Due to the major change in the way we live our lives, people are now more aware of the possible changes brought about by the adjustment that everyone has to do in consideration of everyone’s health and safety. Words like “reinvention,” “innovation,” and “rediscovery” are now being discussed in relation to the “new normal.” This takes out the current complacency in just adhering to what works and traditionally effective ways of holding a business. We are all on our toes to be able to cope with the effects of the global pandemic.
Companies have adapted the “business as unusual” philosophy changing the way they work to accommodate the needs of their customers - café’s converting to take-away areas, digitalisation of services to go online, etc. Businesses are reinvented to get their feet wet into this new atmosphere of sales and marketing (a gin company has expanded to selling hand sanitizers, Filipino designers creating PPE’s for the country’s front liners etc.).
- Education is re-imagined. As education has been updated to adjust to the growing needs of its learners in the modern, it’s another ironic realisation that one of the most effective ways of teaching children is still through the guidance of their parents when they are home schooled. It exposes the parents to really understand what their children know and what they can actually do.
This global occurrence has solidified the need of strengthening the different communication hi-ways to deliver education to the learners’ homes or even countries. State-of-the-art solutions to keep students engaged and interested in the learning process employing possible technological advancements like virtual reality to increase the efficacy of learning.
- We see a great change in our environment. Because of this mandatory pause due to the enforced lockdown laws, the environment got to enjoy a most necessary break from carbon emissions and the like. Countries like China is now enjoying an 85% increase in good air. Due to the halt in the influx of tourists, Italy’s canals now appear clearer showing signs of marine life coming back because of less pollution.
Nature is slowly rejuvenating and if we all know better, keeping its steady recovery might be the answer that we need in slowing down (or even alleviating) the effects of global warming. Due to the halt in all modes of travel, pollution has considerably decreased. This gives biodiversity a better fighting chance.
- We now see the true meaning of social responsibility. A lot of companies have shown how serious they are in their corporate social responsibility efforts exhibiting their concern to the main stakeholders of their business – the consumers, their employees and the community.
Large donations have been sent out by these companies to help out in the research and development of a vaccine that will fight the adverse effects of the disease. Food and medical equipment are forwarded to the health professionals and the front liners encouraging everyone to follow health and safety measures to avoid being infected.
Through these companies’ adherence to their sworn corporate social responsibility, consumers may then better understand the company’s integrity and promise which gives us a better idea on which company we can support in the future because they definitely will support us.
- For war torn countries, they experienced a temporary respite from the horrific fighting and got to feel once again a moment of peace. The UN Secretary-General announced the United Nation’s call to end all wars in the face of COVID-19 as the world confronts a “common enemy.” According to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, “it’s time to put armed conflict on lockdown.”
According to ABC, a ceasefire was declared in some places in the Middle East and although war did not totally stop in those areas, there are possibilities that stronger lockdown laws can (hopefully) lead to less violence.
- People are becoming more grateful. Waking up each day healthy and ready to experience the lockdown is already something to be thankful about. After most of our usual liberties have been taken away, we now are more appreciative of our walks in the park, watching and screaming at field games, embracing our friends and family and just being near someone hearing them laugh. Our appreciation and gratefulness for the things that we usually take for granted has already created shifts in the behavioural patterns or our lives – we breathe deeply, we look at the trees more intently and we see people around us as a part of our being.
The global pandemic highlights something very important and that’s the fact that we are all connected by one planet and one life. Only when we truly realise this by the lessons that have come out of this experience riddled with deaths, anxiety and fear can we truly come out of this situation victorious.
Lessons are made to be learned and realised. Ignoring them makes all of this suffering futile.