Covid-19: A Blessing, a Curse, or a Break?

Saima Karam
Aga Khan University – Institute for Educational Development
Professional Development Center North – Gilgit

We all are aware of how the current situation is, due to CoVID-19, or the Coronavirus; the disease has ravaged all of the countries on the globe, spreading through human contact. It took root in China and had, within almost month, infected a large part of the European continent.

Attacking the lungs of a person, and all the humanly contact that we share in our daily lives, this disease has definitely come to stay, forcing us indoors. Public spaces are closed off and everyone is being advised to only leave their homes to buy necessary supplies.

Schools, colleges and universities have also been closed down indefinitely, until further instruction from the government.

The pandemic has brought about many changes in our daily lives and has taken up a multitude of victims in its grasp since its spread started early in this year.

What do we really feel about it? It is indeed a disease that has not only infected human health, but also economy and our daily lives as well. Some call it a curse, and for some it is definitely a break from the repetitive schedules and routines.

Since the countries’ calls for lock down, there has been a spike in various occurrences. Financially speaking, the low-income groups have been hit hard due to loss of means of livelihood; some even had to leave their homes.

Some people were let go from their jobs and had to find other solutions for their financial needs, and some had to live on the rations provided by the government – when it did, that is.

Covid-19 did not just affect human health, but it also turned simple actions of love and care into suspicious activities, like handshakes and hugs have become part of the problem, acting as mediums for spread of the disease. In fact, even standing within six-feet of a person has become a health hazard.

Masks became a basic necessity for anyone leaving their homes. Sanitizer bottles were kept at every supermarket and various outlets, and everyone was strongly advised to wash their hands with soap frequently.

The outside became a world almost out of some science-fiction movie as the scenario sunk in; we were all locked in our homes and this was just the start of everything.

But within these happenings, there were also the bonds between families that became stronger.

Usually, the grown-ups and the children don’t really take out the time from each of their busy schedules to spend some with one another. But this pandemic has given them the much-needed break to finally do so.

Parents and their children have become closer while staying at home, and by spending some quality time with each other. There has been a rise of kite-flying in the evenings, playing boardgames with the whole family, and even more conversations – real heart-to-heart conversations.

Parents relayed their younger days as stories to their children, who listened with fascination, while children shared their hobbies and interests with their parents. Yes, it has not only been rainbows and butterflies in most households with quarrels amongst one another, but there’s a saying about how arguments can be a way to express love and care.

The things we all had failed to notice while living our daily lives, either in educational institutes or in offices, piled with work; were finally coming to light. Yes, this pandemic has been a dangerous occurrence with no vaccine for it yet, but it has also been somewhat helpful.

It has been a reminder, a warning sign, and a problem, all in the same.

This pandemic has shown the true human power which barely equates to much since we are being assaulted by this invisible disease that thrives on human contact.

But not only is the disease mending relationships, it is also igniting a passion for learning amongst students at home, and I, obviously, am not talking about the online classes conducted by educational institutions.

During the start of the pandemic and the ensuing curfews, it was clear that students were delighted to have been given so many off days from their relentless classes. But as those off days were further extended, and then extended again, it didn’t seem pleasing anymore.

Staying at home was not just the only problem for our youth anymore, it was also how to tackle the boredom that came with it.

Some students in this time began to learn new things from the internet, which is definitely a helpful resource for our lives. Online websites such as edX and Khan Academy, etc. became these rays of hope and enlightenment, as students began to indulge themselves in some online learning.

But yes, people without the privileges of having to be bored during this pandemic were, on the contrary, very worried. They could not figure out how to survive if their means for income had halted with the Corona virus.

During these times, we also learned the depth of human kindness as people all over the globe donated to smaller businesses and people that could not do their jobs or were fired from them.

We witnessed how some artists online promoted staying at home during this pandemic, and invoked a hope in the worried hearts of people, with their art.

Awareness for the disease was built up on all social platforms and there were various online fundraisers held to help the people in need of financial assistance.

This pandemic has been a curse, for sure, with the amount of people it infected and killed. But we also cannot turn a blind eye to the better side of things and how this disease has provided us with opportunities to not just be kind or helpful, but also to be inventive and curious. And how lockdowns and curfews gave nature a break as well, but from humans that is, as it blossomed the way it did before all of our destructive inventions.

Covid-19 is definitely a curse, but it also a kind of blessing. A break as well, for not only humans, but for nature and animals too. Let’s just hope we find the means to lift up this curse, but still keep in mind the chances and opportunities it provided us with.

Here’s to being hopeful and creative, as well as helpful!

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