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 . 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

Agreement reached on new EU Solidarity Corps

UNIDO promotes post-harvest excellence for mangoes in the Mekong River Delta of Viet Nam

Making money from meeting the SDGs? An overarching approach to sustainable development.

GSMA & UNDP announce an ‘Impact Partnership’ Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals at MWC Barcelona 2021

Should Europe be afraid of the developing world?

Thai citizenship means ‘dream of a brighter future’ for cave rescue boys, says UN Refugee Agency

Parliament backs a modernised EU electoral law

COVID-19 has left many employees in the lurch. What’s next for the global workforce?

A Sting Exclusive: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on South China Sea issue at the ASEAN Regional Forum

The latest emoji are more inclusive – but who approves them?

MEPs debate Brexit and relations with China following EU spring summit

Natural gas: Parliament extends EU rules to pipelines from non-EU countries

ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly: strengthening the partnership

At last Britain considers a super-soft Brexit

Eurogroup president swallows statement on savings confiscation

Why India can show us how to achieve growth with purpose

This plastic drinks bottle is made from plants

Prevent future crises and empower youth – now!

COP21 Paris: The Final Agreement Adopted-full text

Migrants and asylum seekers on the Greek islands: committee debate

Victims of terrorism remembered

Five years on from ISIL ‘caliphate’ proclamation in Iraq, Security Council makes first-ever visit

Why we need both science and humanities for a Fourth Industrial Revolution education

This is why attractive cities do better economically

New UN report shows record number of children killed and maimed in conflict

Cape Town’s crisis shows us the real cost of water

Importance of teaching ethics in Brazilian Medical Schools

EU Solidarity Fund: Commission puts forward financial assistance worth €823 million for the Croatia earthquake, floods in Poland and the coronavirus crisis

Coronavirus: Commission proposes to activate fiscal framework’s general escape clause to respond to pandemic

‘Cataclysmic events’ in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, began ‘global push’ against nuclear weapons says Guterres, honouring victims

UN civil society conference to focus on sustainable solutions for challenges of urban life

Has the treacherous theory about the ‘French patient’ finally prevailed?

Cohesion Policy after 2020: preparing the future of EU investments in health

5 ways the world is rallying around Australia as bushfires rage

EU-US trade agreement talks to be affected by American bugs

COP21 Breaking News_10 December: UN Climate Chief Calls for Final Push to Meet Adaptation Fund Goal Very Close to Target

The EU Consumer Policy on the Digital Market: A Behavioral Economics View

Aung San Suu Kyi defends Myanmar from accusations of genocide, at top UN court

IMF’s Lagarde: Estimating Cyber Risk for the Financial Sector

From Graduation to professional career: has medicine, in Brazil, become more feminist?

“They are trying to make improvements, but of course they are quite slow for my generation”, Vice President of JADE Victor Soto on another Sting Exclusive

What the world can do to solve the Afghan refugee crisis

Why support for Latin America’s early tech hubs is vital for the region

What does leadership mean in an age of perpetual change?

Brexit: the Commission proposes the creation of a Brexit Adjustment Reserve

COVID-19 vaccination: MEPs call for EU and global solidarity

Recognize, celebrate and ‘stand in solidarity’ with persons with albinism

To Brexit or not to Brexit: British exceptionalism doesn’t allow any Obama telling Brits what to do

Draghi left alone with no hope of boosting EU growth as Merkel just focuses on next elections

Getting vaccinated should just be considered a human right?

Road safety: Data show improvements in 2018 but further concrete and swift actions are needed

How can we build a workforce for our digital future?

EU adopts €130 million support package for Syrian refugees and local communities in Jordan and Lebanon

European Union and African Union sign partnership to scale up preparedness for health emergencies

How a start-up in India is pioneering a way to tackle the global e-waste problem

Resolving Israel-Palestinian conflict, ‘key to sustainable peace’ in the Middle East: Guterres

Smart cities are great but we also need smart villages

5 facts you should know about the world’s refugees

If we don’t protect the ocean, humanitarian disaster awaits

How COVID-19 and ‘work from anywhere’ can build the city of the future

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

%d bloggers like this: