Yes the year has begun with a greater fervor in prayers and hope. People are pronouncing their gratitude to the Almighty (and very rightly so) for lending us the grit and intellect to devise a vaccine within such a short frame of time.
And it is here that we as a human race need to pause and reflect on how we collectively endured and fought the pandemic. For starters, this is indeed a heartening reflection for actually never before in history did the entire world come together so closely to fight a single disease.
The Spanish Flu is the closest precedent of the COVID 19 pandemic but the repercussions of the former were largely contained in some parts of the globe, more specifically in the West.
The onslaught of coronavirus rattled every single human being on this planet. Clearly it has been established/declared as the fastest spreading virus that homo sapiens have ever contended with: a virus that has an inherent capacity to infect people at an unprecedented rate.
While on one hand the virus has dismantled the foundations of economy on the other hand it has forced a slew of knee jerk changes in terms of social and civic life. The good news is that not everything that was adversely impacted (and almost everything was) is now reeling in a state of disarray. This is because ordinary human beings have joined hands and heads with leaders in the private and public sphere to salvage what is possible.
Talking to Fit Northeast , Radha Goenka a sociologist and researcher based in Delhi says, "See it is very simple. While there has been a spate of job losses everywhere many people who were rendered jobless have now got back on their feet and are busy building their own little business ventures. What's more, many of these ventures are very rooted in larger social good. For instance I know of several corporate honchos who had been given the pink slip. One is now running a large scale tiffin service (at very subsidized costs) for construction workers. Another is manufacturing affordable but quality protective equipment for sanitation and healthcare workers. The examples are numerous but the point here is that people have not crumbled in front of adversity or spent time wallowing in self pity. Even people with very little or almost no savings have risen to the occasion (after losing jobs) and created their own meaningful success stories."
The good news is that not everything that was adversely impacted (and almost everything was) is now reeling in a disarrayIt will not be an exaggeration to say that a silver lining of COVID 19 is that it has caused a resurgence of empathy and greater inter connectedness. From the simple act of following safety protocols (facemasks, overall hygiene etc) in order to protect oneself and everyone around to realigning our consciousness towards simple everyday rituals in the larger interest of the environment and ecology; the human race is now doing it all.
It was indeed a distressing time when the pandemic was at its height last year. However, the positive part is that this clearly has been one adversity that has brought everyone together. "This was a time when everyone (atleast all the right thinking people) prayed for everyone," says Goenka. She adds, "Many people have even financially contributed for the wellness of those who are far less fortunate. And yes this bleak time has also shown us the very magnanimous/generous sides of some very prominent business leaders across the globe."
People on the whole have realized how vulnerable we all are to external inexplicable forces like this virus and that despite our differences in terms of wealth, social status, knowledge and everything else we are all simply one entity.
Ironically, while it had been impossible for several months to physically meet people there have been several heartening cases of old/estranged friends reuniting or reconnecting in these very months. Undoubtedly technology and social media was a huge enabler in this regard.
Needless to say the contributions of healthcare workers, frontline workers and the central and state governments at the time of this still ongoing grave adversity cannot be matched. However, it is equally true that had 'we' the common man and woman not complied unquestioningly with some very stringent rules, regulations and lockdowns it would have been impossible to manage and contain the pandemic.
And yes last but definitely not the least; let's raise a toast to our medical researchers, scientists, virologists and pharmaceutical companies for devising a vaccine within a year as against the previous norm of almost ten years. Simply stated- Humanity has indeed triumphed.