Thank you COVID-19

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Kata Sárdi, a fourth year medical student of the University of Szeged, Hungary. 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 writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

I think, there is nobody on the Earth, who I have to explain, how much our life has changed during one year. Unspeakebly much.

I remember so well the day when the Hungarian government firstly announced that they closed almost everything. I was eating my lunch in my dorm room when one of my groupmates sent a message, that the university was closed. Barely 2 weeks before that, I had spoken about COVID-19 on one of my lessons and I had tried to convince everybody that „this was just nothing, we had nothing to fear, the media inflated this”. Of course. It was far from me and had not had an impact on my life. These things always seems less serious.

Since that, one year passed and I think, I can say on behalf of many, we have learnt a lot thanks to COVID-19.

First of all: we have learnt that we are not invulnerable. Being honest, all of us think that „this can not happen to me”. IT CAN! Unfortunately. In my opinion, even if not during the first or the second wave, during the third most of us have realized that we are not Harry Potters and we do not have a patronus to save us. There are so many people in my immediate environment who lost someone. I hear more and more that „since one of my family members or my acquaintances was taken to hospital, I am taking pandemic much more seriously”.

Secondly: we have realized, that the „Man proposes, God disposes” sentence is TRUE. Regardless of we belive in God or not, it is not just a well-sounding sentence. I am the person, who was planning everything. I was planning what to cook, when meet my friends, when go shopping, ect… I am not the most spontaneous person on the Earth. However, in the last half year, when planning tomorrow has becomed one of the most difficult things to plan, I have learnt to manage these things looser. For example we have to accept if a meeting is cancelled one minute before its starting.

Thirdly: we have learnt to appreciate personal meetings. My favourite Facebook post is written by a man who has been working in home office since years and despite he is quite introverted but he is missing personal contact. I completely understand him. The summer of 2020 was the best summer of my life. I did not do big things, I just could meet people, my friends. I know, there are books, series, social media we can spend time with but they can not replace hugs and kisses.

Unfortunately I still hear opinions which say that COVID-19 is not real, it is just a fiction. I know that these voices are always the loudest, but they make me sad.

Leastways in my opinion there are several of us who have learnt from the happenings of last year and when the pandemic finishes, we can continue our lives where we stopped.

About the author

Kata Sárdi is a fourth year medical student of the University of Szeged, Hungary. In high school she had no idea what profession to choose, she wanted to be everything except a doctor. Then she changed her mind. She is planning to became an internal medicine specialist after graduation.

Beside her medical studies, she has a passion for hiking and learning languages. She thinks this is a good way to get to know about other cultures. She speaks English fluently and started to learn Italian this February.

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