By: Lotfi AlSarori
The COVID pandemic has taken a big toll on our lives and impacted about everyone in the world one way or another. With new vaccines having been deployed and administered as we speak, this cloud of hardship and uncertainty is moving away and out of our lives, leaving us with many lessons to learn moving forward.
The emphasis of better hygiene and the use of antibacterial soaps and hand gels, as well as social distancing and being cautious when mixing with other people to minimize the impact of infection, these lessons will be with us forever. We hope that we never have to experience something like this again, but whether we do or not, we have come out of the crisis stronger and smarter as mankind.
So, here are some lessons we can take going into 2021.
Staying healthy and active
We have learned a lot as individuals, societies, and government about the importance of keeping a good healthy diet, for example, to keep a strong immune system that is our first, and most important, line of defence against any microbes or infections. We can follow protocols as much as we would like, but if we are not taking care of our health, you will still expose yourself to risks.
That said, it is important to keep on track of your meals and essential nutrients, as well as keeping active by exercising. Though lockdowns have got us accustomed to a lazy lifestyle, staying active is crucial for your mental health. Something we should all learn more to appreciate.
The value of cleanliness, hence the saying “cleanliness is next to godliness”, is also a key point for us this year. Keeping a strong hygiene at all times proved essential to our wellbeing. So, still following the routing of washing our hands regularly and not touching our faces too often will still come a long way for 2021. We must remember that though hope is on the rise, many challenges still lay ahead, especially with COVID not yet eradicated, and we owe it to ourselves and the people around us to still take care of our hygiene.
We developed other good healthy interaction habits of erring on the side of cautiousness when mixing with other people, especially those who are strangers to us or have been travelling. We look not to shake hands and mingle with them immediately to be on the safe side. While some of these habits and practices should not be the way we live our usual lives (we want to meet other people, shake their hands, give our loved one's hugs when they come back from their travels, etc.), however, getting accustomed to such practices is still a good thing to follow at the moment. Coming out of this worldwide health crisis, we have to become more experienced on dealing with pandemics and limiting exposure to protect ourselves, loved ones, and others.
Some other practices that we have gained as a result of the current pandemic is learning how to better utilize tools and technologies that are useful to us and make the most out of them. While most of these tools have been around long before the pandemic, we learned to get the most of them when we needed them the most. For instance, distance learning became the norm, not the exception, online meetings became a must not a preference. Companies, government agencies, NGOs, and other organizations around the world relied on technology more than ever. Some organizations built upon their own existing technologies and enhanced them while many others developed or acquired new ones altogether to keep up with the sudden surge in market demand that was truly unprecedented.
People who did not care much for technology tools before had to spend the time to learn how to use it either through formal online courses or informal online tutorials, such as those in YouTube or through friends, or by reading online articles on the subject. Regardless of how they gained their new skills, they had to learn quickly to be able to carry out their main daily tasks. This kind of technical knowledge and experience is something that we have acquired out of crisis and it is a gain that will be with us for the rest of our lives.
Understanding one another
Last but not least, we have come to know, more than ever, that all people living on this plant have more in common than we might have thought. We depend on each other and impact each other’s lives in so many ways, and in order to survive living here for millennia to come, we have to learn how to work, live, and interact with one another and collaborate our efforts more effectively to enhance our chances.