Conquering COVID-19 through Collaboration

coronavirus 2021

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Rabia Riasat, currently enrolled in Army Medical College, Pakistan in the penultimate year of her medical education. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

The coronavirus pandemic rages on relentlessly and only two things seem to be moving forward, the SARS-CoV-2 virus itself and the forever unyielding time. As life comes to a standstill in the Anthropocene world, homo sapiens have come to a point in their temporal range where their continuous drive for survival cannot find an outlet. The human brain is hardwired to plan and imagine a future because it is one of the species’ cognitive imperatives for survival. However, when a global pandemic strikes where no one knows what happens next, this sudden obliteration of expectation of a next normal day is what sends our brains into cognitive overdrive.

According to the American Psychiatric Association over one-third Americans have reported mental health complaints ever since the pandemic fastened USA [1]. Similar results have been reported across the globe.  Mental health challenges faced include depression, anxiety, PTSD and OCD. The reasons for the distress though manifold, have a universal basis in fear and uncertainty.

The question arises, how to combat this? Many trusted organizations including the WHO have published various techniques to help counter these challenges. All the guidelines have the same underlying strategies:

  1. Acceptance of the new normal
  2. Establishing a daily schedule to help gain structure
  3. Exercising, bathing and reducing news consumption
  4. Maintaining communication with family/friends
  5. Seeking professional help if health worsens

Many people forego these guidelines because of the colossal first task of acceptance, others deem them too generic. Whilst the objections have a solid basis it must be impressed to personalise these guidelines.

We are almost 3-4 months into this pandemic, by now some people might have accepted this new normal, others might not have, and others still, may have become numb to its presence. Acceptance takes time, allow yourself that. If your productivity is low, it is alright, pandemics do not happen all the time. It is a one in a hundred years event, give yourself some leeway.

However, try to be proactive. Every day try to achieve small tasks and eventually progress to bigger ones. Set achievable goals for the day and make a checklist hardcopy so that crossing out things will give you a sense of accomplishment. A better way to ensure your adherence to these tasks is to create a group of individuals under similar circumstances to yourself from whom you do not hesitate sharing. Group members will ensure that everyone has achieved their goals of the day and will also extend financial or emotional support if anyone seems to be in need. The effects will be twofold:

  1.  there will be a sense of accountability motivating us to work,
  2.  strengthening of community bonds

Humanity has always achieved excellence whenever it has collaborated, and this collaboration in the form of these support groups is necessary for overcoming the emotional tumult of COVID-19.

It is not in anyone’s interest to grieve a future missed or one whose happenstance is questionable. All things end, and so will this pandemic.


About the author

Rabia Riasat is currently enrolled in Army Medical College, Pakistan in the penultimate year of her medical education. She is the Vice President Internal affairs of IFMSA Pakistan Army Medical College Local Council. She has been the sub-editor of the biannual college magazine and the student editor of their alumni newsletter. Other than writing she has employed her energies in debating, research work, volunteerism, data sciences and advocacy for public health with a special focus on changing cultural and national paradigms. She hopes to continue her medical career in the same vein of promulgation of societal and scientific progress.


the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Refugees in Greece: MEPs demand solidarity, warn about impact of health crisis

European Youth, quo vadis?

The US banks drive the developing world to a catastrophe

Ending use of chemical weapons in Syria: ‘still work to be done’, says UN disarmament chief

An introduction to ‘Eco-Medical Literacy’ and its importance in shaping expert medical professionals

UK economy in dire straits: leading banks now officially plan to Brexit too

Youth employment crisis easing but far from over

These 4 leaders are working to improve integration in Southeast Asia

As Libya talks resume in Geneva, UN negotiator seeks to overcome sticking points

Public Policies for LGBT in Brazil

UN Climate Action Summit concludes with insufficient EU and global pledges

‘Reef cubes’: could these plastic-free blocks help save the ocean?

The EU Parliament slams Commission on economic governance

To rebuild trust in the media, we must empower its consumers

Italy and Greece zeroed their fiscal deficits, expect Germany’s response

Sherpa climbers carried out the highest-ever spring clean. This is what they found

What companies gain by including persons with disabilities

“Be aware where you put your I Agree signature on and something else”; now Facebook by default opts you in an unseen private data bazar

The green hydrogen revolution has started, and it won’t be stopped

The EU resumes budget support assistance to the Republic of Moldova

The US repelled EU proposals on common rules for banks

This Kenyan company makes fuel from human poo

Erdogan vies to become Middle East Sultan over Khashoggi’s killing

Cities are especially vulnerable to COVID-19. These organizations are leading the urban response.

World Wildlife Day: UN chief urges ‘more caring’ relationship with nature

Statement by the Brexit Steering Group on UK paper on EU citizens in the UK

6 ways to ensure AI and new tech works for – not against – humanity

Budget MEPs back €1.6 million to help 400 former workers of Carrefour Belgium

Art, mental health and suicide: different strategies for increasing access to health services

Who may profit from the rise of the extreme right in the West?

Everything you need to know about the coronavirus

Thought AIs could never replace human imagination? Think again

Coronavirus: the truth against the myths

The scheming of Boris: win an election after a no-deal Brexit

The European Sting writes down the history LIVE from G20 Leaders’ Summit in Turkey

With 5 billion set to miss out on health care, UN holds landmark summit to boost coverage

How our food system is eating away at nature, and our future

UN court increases sentence of former Bosnian-Serb leader to life imprisonment

Harmonised Unemployment Rates (HURs), OECD – Updated: February 2020

Europe bows to Turkey’s rulers, sends Syrian refugees back to chaos

Meet the robot fighting back against coral reef destruction

Reimagining the future for skills: What we learned from young people

Brexit talks: Today the world to hear of a predictable failure

Climate Change and Human Health: Two Faces of The Same Coin

This team of Saudi women designed an award-winning app to make the Hajj safer

Leaders need hard data to make the hard decisions about sustainability

UN chief welcomes announcement by Emir of Qatar to allocate $50 million to support Syrian refugees, displaced persons

Brexiteer May gets lip-service from Trump and Turkish promises from Erdogan

Health privatisation: reviving Alma-Ata

‘Make healthy choices’ urges UN agency, to prevent and manage chronic diabetes

Digital distrust: We’re losing faith in technology to solve the world’s problems

Commission notifies the Republic of Panama over the need to step up action to fight against illegal fishing

War of words in Davos over Eurozone’s inflation/deflation

Successful carbon removal depends on these 3 conditions

Here are 5 new green laws coming into force in 2020

Top UN Syria envoy hails ‘impressive’ start to historic talks in Geneva

Inaction on obesity stands in the way of sustainable development

Coronavirus: First case confirmed in Gulf region, more than 6,000 worldwide

Commission caps charges on card and Internet payments and enforces competition

Tech companies could achieve much more by serving the common good. Here’s 3 steps they should take

More Stings?


Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s