Human Race since its inception on earth has faced numerous number of crises though different in nature, consequences and coverage but every crisis /eventuality faced by human race bring challenges as well as opportunities in its basket. On one side it is a blunt reality that Almost 4 months have passed since the inception of Covid -19 which has created havoc world over as the corona pandemic has a lot of dark sides. People around the world get infected and die, economies shattered, employees lose their jobs, educational Institutions closed, the health care system is overloaded, Companies face bankruptcy, MSME’s worst hit and countries have to spend billions for acquiring medical aid. Covid-19 is a huge stressor increasing our fears and uncertainties. It is due to all these dark sides we witness people on the social media sharing “Can we uninstall 2020, this version has a virus on it” but the fact of the matter is that we cannot uninstall 2020 as it is a big reality which needs to be accepted and we have to learn to live with the corona for a long period of time.
No matter this is a serious and sad part of Covid -19 but if we look through the lens of optimism the lock down followed to curb Covid -19 has offered some positives, some opportunities as well and some novel things done by the people especially in Jammu and Kashmir. Let us not ignore the positives and make the best of what the crisis gives us. As the good old SWOT analysis tells us, there are not only threats but also opportunities. Here are some positives impacts of Covid-19 that we must look forward to:
1. New Standards of and better Hygiene: Muslim Societies are never ignorant about Hygiene, as hygiene/purification are the soul of Islamic teachings and hence the part and parcel of Muslim’s life. Covid-19 made people learn that being hygienic is no longer just a good habit, but the very skill you need for survival. We have started to set new standards of Hygiene as we are going to remember to cover our mouths when we cough, or sneeze, to wash or sanitize our hands after touching anything else. Being social Animals humans have to connect with other fellow beings which in no way can be ignored but now onwards we will do it more hygienically. In short we are not only sanitizing and disinfecting ourselves but our thoughts and way of living which is a good start due to bad VIRUS.
2. Book Reading: The habit and interest of reading books have seen a steep decline in last 10 years. However, during lock down the increase in the number of book readers is witnessed, in order to spent idle time people turned back towards their personal libraries and enjoyed reading of books as books are treated as door to wisdom, storehouse of knowledge and information and a best friend in loneliness. This is a good sign as books offer food for thought and Action and becomes the agent of change. There is no best utilisation of idle time other than reading books.
3. Writing Skills: During the period of lockdown followed to curtail the pandemic hence to make of use of available time a good number of new writers emerged on the scene writing on various diverse range of issues in print media and social media platforms expressing their point of view on the issues of social, political, educational, and economic importance. This is a good sign for people especially in Kashmir where the prospective writers have preferred pen over any other thing to give vent to their feelings and issues. They still believe and have full faith that pen is mightier than sword. This belief needs to be respected and encouraged. It is also a reality that the skills of such emerging writers need to be polished and senior fellows in the field have a role and must shoulder this responsibility to encourage and polish the skills of these budding writers. The encouraging thing is people are coming forward to write.
4. Mitigate loss to Education: Covid-19 has posed a severe threat and challenge to the whole education system. All educational institutions have been shut down our academicians/our teachers accepted the challenge and proved right that“Necessity is the mother of Invention” despite all odds especially very low speed internet and lack of training still online classes were started by using different platforms be it zoom, Google class or meeting app etc. so as to mitigate educational loss to the students. This fact cannot be denied that there are loopholes in this practice but a new era and a new concept have emerged which can be made better in coming times.
Be positive but not careless /negligent we need to be extra alert and prepared to face any kind of worst situation , take precautionary measures and always follow advisories issued by the concerned agencies.
5. Social Responsibility of Intellectual Class: Intellectual Class of the society no matter in what capacity they are working and where ever they live, they realised their responsibility and came forward, started discussing and debating on the matters of common concern so as to find out ways how to come out of this pandemic or exploring ways to contain the losses caused by this pandemic. Online debates, live discussions, webinars means whatever, little was available people tried to remain connected with fellow intellectuals to explore possibilities and the ways forward in this situation of crises.
6. Quality time Spend with family: In this materialistic world where humans have become mere Machines to mint money work, work, and work for earning more and more is a guiding principle to live life this all has affected our family relation adversely but covid-19 gave an opportunity to spend quality time with our family members which otherwise would have not been possible in this rat race for worldly possessions and it also made us realised that our family members are also very good people who care and support us in every sort of circumstances we are in. We also spend productive time with our children, enjoyed in their company which was a greatest gift of Covid-19.
7. Cleaner Environment: Shutdown caused by virus dramatically decreased industrial activities, no road and air traffic, streets emptied due to no tourism. While this is a bad news for most of the people especially for those working in the affected industries but this is also good news for our planet as covid-19 causes a considerable reduction in air, water and land polluting output. Thus lockdown proved detrimental for the economy but good for the nature at least for short term.
8. Self reliant: Covid-19 made us understand that to be self reliant will be the new norm of the world. Governments ruling different countries in the world have started working to the best possible extent to make their countries smarter, greener and self sufficient.
Talking about positives is a good thing as at least it will minimise our stress and ease our concerns it will give us courage to move ahead but not at the cost of our life and the life of our near and dear ones so be positive but not careless /negligent we need to be extra alert and prepared to face any kind of worst situation , take precautionary measures and always follow advisories issued by the concerned agencies.
(The author is a freelancer. Views are his own, [email protected])