COVID-19: The biggest lesson of twenty-first Century

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Sharif Mohammad Sadat is a fourth year medical student currently studying in Bangladesh Medical College, Dhaka. He 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 COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in enormous personal and societal losses, with more than half a million lives lost. In addition to the physical toll, the emotional impact has yet to be fully understood. Some populations, including those with low socioeconomic status and those of certain racial and ethnic groups, have a disproportionate burden of chronic disease, SARS-CoV-2 infection, and COVID-19 diagnosis, hospitalization, and mortality.

However, COVID-19 taught us the most important lesson in life, which applies to everyone, regardless of nationality, religion, color, or gender. More than anything else, it taught us to become closer to one another and to humanity. It helped us to master living on the barest necessities and being content with what you already have. What is actually significant in life and what is a facade have been taught through Quarantine. It’s given us the chance to take time in this rapidly changing world and appreciate the things that are most valuable to us: family, friends, and the ties formed throughout life. Rediscovering yourself after years of going through the daily schedule and now hardly keeping one at home. And as time goes on, reviving hobbies, passions, and, most significantly, drive to live rather than just endure. Funny how we only realize that perhaps, just perhaps, we’ve been going about things the wrong way all along until the world stops.

Putting food on the table is obviously necessary, but it’s also crucial to feed your heart with the things it truly desires. Perhaps it’s that piano lesson you’ve wanted to take since you were ten years old but haven’t had time for. Perhaps it’s just spending time with close friends and family. The point is that even though it seems like the world is crumbling from the outside, it has nevertheless been a healing process for many.

Many have been taking advantage of this opportunity to engage in activities that we usually ignore using the excuse of time constraints. Now though, doesn’t the idea of time seem completely absurd? It really came down to setting priorities. In a world when instant gratification is the norm and everything is available at our fingertips, the virtue of patience appears to have died. We are constantly being saturated with content through social media and streaming platforms. We’ve lost the ability to remain still and focus on what is rather than what isn’t somewhere along the path. We don’t want to wait because it’s boring; we want everything right away. More significantly, waiting is difficult.

Despite everything that has occurred, there have been some benefits to the world coming to a standstill. It’s made us stop, reflect, comprehend, and value what it means to live rather than merely survive. And that’s something to put forth the effort to hang onto for a particularly long time.

About the author

Sharif Mohammad Sadat is a fourth year medical student currently studying in Bangladesh Medical College, Dhaka. He serves as the SCORE Regional Assistant for Asia-Pacific at IFMSA as well as the National Officer on Research Exchange at Bangladesh Medical Students’ Society. Apart from being passionate in the field of medicine, he is a youth visionary leader who wants to bring a positive change in the society. He is also an advocate of youth involvement in global health initiatives and melds social growth with medical knowledge. 

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