COVID – ACT III, When do I get off the stage?

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Aiman Nadeem, a third year medical student, currently completing her MBBS in Pakistan and a member of IFMSA-Pakistan since 2019. She is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


It’s been 398 days. 398 days since I last hugged my father. As I get off the call with him, a frontline worker a few thousand kilometers away from me, I can hear the exhaustion in his voice, hear the pleading for the disaster to end and for a family to reunite, but still hope is a strong motivator. Hope helps us go through the same routine day in and day out. I strike off another number from my calendar and understand how prisoners must feel. It has been the same day on repeat like a bad sit-com ever since C-Day i.e. 16th March, 2020.

COVID, the robber of the best days of my university life, hit the world without warning. As the world continues to see a steady increase in cases, and second lockdowns are being implemented to stop the spread of the virus globally, we can allow ourselves to be a little bit of optimism with the discovery of the vaccine and steady immunizations that have begun globally signaling ‘the beginning of the end’.

COVID turned the world upside down and changed the way people not only live and work but the way they think and behave, some a bit more than others. A disaster of this scale forced people to adapt in terms of their education, employment, entertainment and recreation. We lost so many people, and yet the world didn’t stop. As Sun Tzu said “In the midst of Chaos, there is also opportunity.” We saw how COVID helped in bridging the gaps distance made as everyone turned to online facilitations in all aspects of their life. Telemedicine afforded many opportunities and provided a new lens through which healthcare can be achieved in a world living in the digital age. Although it is still in its primary stages, we can expect to see better results in the future.

COVID highlighted the need for the major upgrade in our health policies and interventions needed to achieve Universal Health Coverage. It has highlighted the importance of building strong healthcare systems that could both respond to emergencies and sustain affordable and accessible healthcare after the end of the outbreak. As the virus still continues to strain health systems around the world, the need of the hour is to revolutionize healthcare and make it a top priority that could not only help recover from the pandemic but also help achieve Universal Health Coverage, UHC, in the near future.

Did we learn something from the past year? Yes. Are we implementing it to the best of our abilities? The answer to this question is better off given by the individual. As I type this, I hear the news of ventilators at full capacity in my city and shortage of oxygen tanks across the border. I open my social media to see people ready to help. We learnt humanity. We learnt the value of a life. We hoped. And we will keep on hoping. Even though it cracks at the seams sometimes.

About the author

Aiman Nadeem is a third year medical student, currently completing her MBBS in Pakistan and a member of IFMSA-Pakistan since 2019. Aiman is a very quiet person but her words are just as loud. She has been very passionate about medicine ever since she once saw a ‘Doctors without Borders’ Ad on Television once. She wanted to become a doctor before that when she played Operation but she hated it. She enjoys rollerskating and cycling on the weekends when she’s not procrastinating on her assignments or playing bad guitar.

the sting Milestones

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

The Japanese have a word to help them be less wasteful – ‘mottainai’

Commission adopts €70 million package for early access to EU COVID-19 vaccines in the Western Balkans

Who holds the key to the future of biotechnology? You do

UN rights chief bemoans unilateral sanctions on Venezuela, fearing ‘far-reaching implications’

Aid used for trade is helping developing countries diversify

OECD leading multilateral efforts to address tax challenges from digitalisation of the economy

UN rights expert calls for end to ‘purgatory’ of ‘international inaction’ facing Myanmar’s remaining Rohingya

Trump wants to implicate China in US attacks against global order

Is “Sustainable Development” a concept that integrates Health Literacy and Health Policy as a global health action?

With science ‘held back by a gender gap’, Guterres calls for more empowerment for women and girls

Human Rights Council election: 5 things you need to know about it

EU budget: Boosting cooperation between tax and customs authorities for a safer and more prosperous EU

Eurozone plans return to growth

Climate change update: consistent global actions urgently needed as we are running out of time

Fair completion rules and the law of gravity don’t apply to banks

Eurozone very close to a sustainable growth path

FROM THE FIELD: For refugees and migrants in Europe, healthcare’s essential but a challenge to find

Coronavirus: Commission receives first preliminary application for support from the EU Solidarity Fund for health emergency from Italy

On Human Rights Day European Youth Forum calls for end to discrimination of young people

With Gaza violence ‘escalating as we speak,’ UN envoy calls for ‘immediate stop’

Suffering of thousands of war-affected Syrian children ‘unprecedented and unacceptable’

#TwitterisblockedinTurkey and so is Erdogan

Ukraine: €8 million in humanitarian aid to withstand winter

‘Agile’, multilateral response vital to combat terrorism – UN chief Guterres

5 facts you might not know about why forest biodiversity matters

Recovery and Resilience Facility: Belgium, Italy, Austria, and Slovenia submit official recovery and resilience plans

Australia wants to build a giant underground ‘battery’ to help power the nation

Commission proposes to top up support for refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey

Four things workers want implemented by their bosses post-pandemic

Industrial price dive may lead to point of no return

5 creative alternatives to plastic packaging

FROM THE FIELD: Malawi farmers diversify to fight climate change

The JADE Spring Meeting is about to begin

Boris to end up in jail if he loses the next elections?

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

Pushing for tax fairness in a digital world

‘Global clarion call’ for youth to shape efforts to forge peace in the most dangerous combat zones

Global health challenges require global medical students

Safer products: EP and Council close deal to beef up checks and inspections

Nagasaki is ‘a global inspiration’ for peace, UN chief says marking 73rd anniversary of atomic bombing

Investing in nature gives industry and business a competitive advantage. Here’s why

CLIMATE CHANGE FOCUS: Climate-proofing Timor-Leste

UNICEF warns of ‘lost generation’ of Rohingya youth, one year after Myanmar exodus

Here’s how we get businesses to harmonize on climate change

EU allocates over €43 million in humanitarian aid to South Sudan

The 5 lessons from New York Climate Week to help us combat deforestation

UN rights office calls on Zimbabwe Government to end ‘crackdown’ in response to fuel protests

1 in 13 young British people have PTSD. Here’s why

The blackened white coat of the doctors

The clothes of the future could be made from pineapples and bananas

COVID-19: Team Europe supports African, Caribbean and Pacific countries to access finance through digital technology

Christine Lagarde: the three priorities for the global economy

“Asia-Pacific takes stock of ambitious development targets”, written by the Heads of UNFPA and ESCAP

Healthcare guidance apps to professional’s continued education?

End fossil fuel subsidies, and stop using taxpayers’ money to destroy the world: Guterres

Youth not prioritised in new Commission

State aid: Commission approves €286 million Finnish measure to recapitalise Finnair

A bad marriage can be as unhealthy as smoking and drinking

Coronavirus Global Response: Commission joins the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX)

Eurozone’s sovereign debt not a problem anymore?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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