COVID-19: We learned nothing

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Eduardo Diaz, a second-year medical student, conducting his studies in Universidad de Panama. He 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.

The COVID-19 virus pandemic came into our lives several months ago. For many unfortunate people, the pandemic meant a great change in their lives, including damage that may be irreparable. However, this was not the case for a lot of people, whose adaptability of their jobs allowed them to continue their work from the comfort of their homes, having a change of life that, although different, was not too hostile. Maybe this was the problem, and let me explain why:

By not having to experience firsthand the havoc that this pandemic has caused, they have not been able to personally analyze the harm that other people have suffered: people whose families will remain forever incomplete, crippling anxiety, lies from their colleagues, loss of their jobs, and health … from all this, they have only been able to get second-hand experience, thanks to social media.

However, for other people the pandemic has meant relaxing at home, working from the comfort of their beds, and without having to exert much effort. Are there people who still have to go to work in person? Yes, but at least they still keep their jobs and their exposure to infected people, unlike health workers, is minimal. They keep their employee benefits, their wages, and some of the freedom to leave their homes, even if it’s to work.

The extra time that many people have gained because of remote work has gone into doing vague and baseless research that anti-vaccine people (taking advantage of the misinformation and ignorance of the general population) have published, to develop their agendas. These people, with new (wrong) tools and time, have dedicated themselves to spreading fear and misinformation, and people who only learn what they see online have unknowingly spread that fear as well.

Vaccines are here, containment measures are here… but none of this is enough. It is shocking to see in the news / social media the number of parties that take place, without any biosecurity measures. The amount of hatred towards the Asian population, due to the ignorance that it was them who created the virus. Those diseases like hatred and racism still, despite the efforts of many kind-hearted people, persist in today’s society. Diseases that not only make our bodies sick, but also our souls, and like a virus, it is highly contagious. And for this disease, there is no vaccine.

We have not learned from the past. We have not learned from our actions about how to treat our fellow citizens. We have not learned from our mistakes in dealing with this pandemic.

I ask readers to reflect on the actions they have taken during this pandemic, in their way of dealing with people and misinformation.

About the author

About author: Eduardo Diaz is a second-year medical student, conducting his studies in Universidad de Panama (UP). He is a member of IFMSA Panamá who enjoys learning about different topics and who’s resolve is to help improve his country’s medical education. A quote that he identifies with is: “The only limit to our realization of tomorrow, will be our doubts of today.”-Franklin D. Roosevelt

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