Pandemic in the 21st Century- The Upside

The Covid-19 Pandemic has been called by all sorts of curses, and rightly so, simply because of the sheer magnitude of uproar it has caused in every individual’s life.
Lives lost, families getting torn up, businesses shutting down, debts rising, scores of people getting uprooted from their places of livelihood. The devastation was there for everyone to see and experience. First World or Third World Country, no government was spared from this deadly scourge.

However, in an interview published in The Financial Times, Arundhati Roy ideates, “ Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.”

And as it is rightly said that a poor person’s sickness can affect a wealthy society’s health. So, governments around the globe took drastic measures and technological advances/ innovations were made and implemented with immediate effect to revive the crumbling economy. Work from home, Zoom classes/meetings, online shopping, although previously available quickly became incorporated on our daily lives.

Now that we were working remotely without going anywhere, it certainly drove home the point that the daily grinding commute to our offices was not after all mandatory. Physical presence suddenly became optional which was sacrilegious even to think about before. It was a bittersweet realisation that similar amount of work could be accomplished from the comforts of our home and let’s agree, it was a lot viable option considering the catastrophic damages we have caused to the planet earth.

Meetings, classes, weddings everything brackets reality without moving out of the house.

Now this kind of situation became favourable for the ladies, especially in the Asian subcontinent, for whom having a career meant stepping out of the house and sacrifice on the homemaker duties and the ensuing guilt trip. But that’s not the case anymore. Now ladies from all walks of life and with a myriad of talents are able to convert their passion into something profitable. They have got a platform to showcase their talent as well as hone their skills through multiple skill development programmes . The growth of women owned small businesses has flourished considerably in the post pandemic world. More and more women are enrolling now for academic and skill development programmes for the sole reason that they are now available online. A homemaker sitting in Pune is able to teach how to bake like a professional to people in Chennai or Sikkim at the same time, while herself learning vlogging and video making form someone in Indiana, US. This brings about a sense of accomplishment and financial independence in everyone which is endearing to say the least.

Toxic Hustle culture which was norm in the last decade was slowly taking its toll on everyone’s mental well-being. But we didn’t dare to acknowledge it ourselves, forget talking about it. Besides who had the time for oneself, since there was always some event or party to show up to with a facade of happiness. But with the pandemic, when we all were locked down from the outside world, we finally found solace and much needed time to analyse ourselves. And seeking help became easy, approachable and discreet. It’s effect on the society is not tangible in such a short time, but at least it has begun and now Mental Health Awareness is a thing to talk about and not a taboo anymore.

And most importantly, we have stopped taking our health and personal hygiene for granted anymore. Infection control and sanitation have found their way into people’s routine conversations now. We are more aware of what we are touching and trying to avoid crowds now which is definitely a welcome change in our social behaviour.
As a generation who has witnessed the worst, we are duty bound to rebuild the world and with that, our lives. We need to unlearn a lot of things and start afresh so why not start with these positive affirmations…