Covid-19 Lockdown: An Opportunity for Change

All over the world people are waking up to a new reality

Adnaan Murtaza

A significant section of the world’s 7.8 billion people are now largely confined to their homes due to the pandemic that has emerged. As the novel coronavirus drastically changes our habits and behavioural patterns it depends on us whether we change for better or worse.

While the impact of coronavirus on healthcare services and economy is apparantly disastrous we can turn this calamity into an opportunity by ensuring to develop some much needed changes in our lifestyle and our thinking. It’s time to part with our diseased mentality and remove our harmful habits.

We can cultivate some of the best characteristics and qualities like being austere instead of extravagant and contributing more to the downtrodden or in social infrastructure, learning to respect the environment by polluting less, ensuring basic etiquettes of cleanliness and the respect for dignity of labor.

Events like these allow us to reflect on ourselves and our behaviour, to be more humble and compassionate. It’s time we inculcate a robust civic sense and bring a change in the society.The world needs less of humans polluting it beyond its carrying capacity. Less of us selfishly exploiting the natural resources.

Every actions of ours must be purpose oriented. For example whenever possible we can skip taking our vehicles and prefer using the public transport (provided of course it’s revamped) which will have two positive effects- contributing to the livelihood of transporters and reducing the air pollution. The concept of sustainable development must form an inseparable part of our daily routine. Reducing wastage in consumption of resources like water and electricity can translate into a visible change in terms of resource conservation.

Another change to focus on is to treat everyone with equal respect whatever be the class and level of his or her work. A person removing dirt from the lanes is as much entitled to our respect as the white colour administrator working in an office. Respect must not be conditional to economic or social status of a person. Coronavirus has taught a segment of our people this very thing. Recent cases of SMC workers while spraying disinfectants being applauded by people from their balconies is an example. Normally being looked down upon with contempt and inferiority, these are the sanitation works who work daily to keep our surroundings clean. It’s not restricted to just healthcare and sanitation workers. It can be a vegetable vendor just outside our locality, a ration shop worker or just someone doing his daily work that doesn’t earn our respect for being too lowly a job.

We need to rethink and revisit our social upbringing and essentially change it for better. Things like these are very simple but require a dedicated effort at an individual level in order to translate into a socio cultural change. It’s been long overdue.

Author can be reached at: [email protected]

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