COVID-19: Use the time to your advantage

Zahid Mushtaq

Coronavirus pandemic has brought the entire world to its knees. Even the most powerful and developed nations feel helpless and are not able to stop a micro sized virus from consuming thousands of lives. The economy is shattered, millions of people are losing their jobs and the world is on the edge of another global recession. Nevertheless, just like “Every cloud has a silver lining”, there are positives to extract from this deadly pandemic as well. Here is a summary of a few of them.

The most paramount positive change belongs to the nature. The nature is in its healing mode. There are minimal cars hitting the roads and most of the industries are closed which has dramatically reduced the number of carbon emissions in the atmosphere thereby improving the quality of air. It has been vividly made public by NASA through satellite images that vigorous curtailment in air pollution with lower Nitrogen dioxide concentrations has been encountered in the lockdown regions. Lesser amounts of greenhouse and ozone depleting gases have been released into the atmosphere, mitigating the effects of global warming and climate change. This lockdown has also resulted in a lot of energy saving in terms of fossils. The crude oil prices have touched negative for the first time in history due to massive decrement in the demands. The petrol and diesel consumption has been considerably low due to stoppage of automobiles and industries.

 

The work-from-home environment has brought families together in these perilous times. All the household chores can be performed jointly. We have a very good opportunity to clean our house and make it look clean and attractive especially on the auspicious occasion of Eid. We can spend some time with gardening, mowing our lawn, planting new flowers, vegetables etc. That would give us a sense of satisfaction and also fresh and safe vegetables to eat especially when anything bought from the market can be infected. Sometimes we can sit back with our family and watch a movie or a TV show together. Some online viewing apps like Netflix have announced free subscriptions to encourage the people to sit at homes. Home delivery of groceries and medicines at discounted rates can also be utilized these days.

Cooking is a very rewarding hobby and everyone should own it. It is high time for the beginners to learn and get some cooking lessons online, experiment with new dishes and enjoy feasting with the family. Kids are very fond of gaming and these days all the gadgets are available at home for them to cherish their moments. To keep ourselves fit is of utmost importance and amid lockdown we have ample time to spend on some free-hand exercises to burn that extra fat. People who want to lose weight too can utilize this time.

There can’t be a better time to resuscitate the dying friendship with your old lost friends. Receiving an unexpected call out of the blue will always cheer them up. Probably conference video calling with your friends can be even more delighting.

Talking about students, this time can be utilized in thorough studies especially the candidates who are to appear in some competitive exams in the future. Recently HRD Ministry announced that JEE, NEET exams will be conducted in the month of July, so the aspiring candidates can use this time to prepare well. Scholars can take their time to write their research items, articles, book chapters etc. Harvard University has announced a number of free online courses which can be taken advantage of by anyone who is interested.

These are unprecedented times when in the month of Ramadan the mosques are closed and every home has been turned into a mosque. Families are praying at home collectively in the form of Jamaat which is a sign of unity but we should do it without clicking pictures and uploading online. Same goes for the charity giving which has even more importance in this holy month, but clicking selfies and pictures of the poor and needy people is only jeopardizing the purpose and fruition of the charity.

We know that this bad time is not perpetual. We can only hope and pray that this apocalypse ends soon and we wake up to the new dawn and gain from its positives.

The author is a research scholar at National Institute of Technology, Srinagar. Feedback at: [email protected]

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