#YearEnder2020: Life Lessons Learnt This Pandemic Year

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With 2020 drawing to an end, it’s time to review the year and look back.

The year was no less than a thriller movie, as the plot of the movie ‘Contagion’ turned real. The world became a battleground with all of us fighting to evict an unseen enemy, a minute virus.

Many challenges knocked on our doors as people reflected the areas we need to work on in future.

Let’s now have a look at what we’ve learned from turbulent twelve months and take these lessons forward with us through the years to come.

  • Accessible health infrastructure for all

One of the many lessons learnt this year includes having a well developed and accessible health infrastructure for all the people across socio-economic groups is very important and was seen as the priority of governments and administrations across the world to better the health services with time.

Many people lost their lives even before availing the required treatment to fight against the novel coronavirus, many died due to lack of awareness and many lost their lives because they weren’t able to reach the hospital in time, because it was too far and other logistical challenges.

Even today there might not be enough Coronavirus testing centres/ OPDs in many backwards areas of our country. Therefore, in future the country’s aim is that hospitals will be equipped with optimum equipment and services should reach the farthest village so that nobody dies due to the lack of facilities.

  • Being healthy is equally important as being wealthy

Having said that, above bettering the health infrastructure and services to be prioritised, it is equally important to keep ourselves healthy. The year of the pandemic revealed that people with comorbidities were most at the risk of fatality and that’s how we understood how important it is for people to be disease free.

We all know indulging in excessive alcoholism and consumption of drugs/ tobacco is a leading reason behind depleting health. Hence, in the coming days people should actively take steps to work on their health- including exercise in the to do list and making healthy food choices would be to name a few.

  • Sound mental health is a boon

It took the death of Bollywood superstar Sushant Singh Rajput to open up the discussion on prevalent stigma and misconceptions around mental health disorders. When we look back and reflect, several studies have indicated that the pandemic will leave a longer lasting impression on people’s mental health than world war. Not just this, several people were diagnosed with anxiety and depression this year as well as numerous people committed suicide.

Thereby the pertinent question of eradicating the stigma around mental health disorders, promoting people to seek help and building affordable resources and facilities for treatment, lies ahead of us in the coming days.

  • Aatmanirbhar economy

Being a self reliant economy shouldn’t be left as a slogan in the coming years. For India to play a more important part in the global economy, pursuing policies that stimulate by improving the efficiency and competitiveness of the economy is critical and so is the call of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat. When Chinese apps and goods left India, space and consumer base was built for the country’s local apps and goods, people learnt this by example and hence should take this forward. Going Vocal for Local, shall be the business motto in coming years.

  • Climate change is real

At least 207 natural disasters were recorded globally in the first six months of 2020 — this is above the 21st century average (2000-2019) of 185 disasters. There was an increase of at least 27 per cent in natural disasters recorded during the same time in 2019. Fires in Siberia, heatwaves in Europe, record wildfires in California, flooding in Africa, many, many tropical storms, and possibly the highest temperature reliably recorded on Earth.
A report by the Red Cross and Red Crescent indicates that hundreds of millions of people have been affected by the multiple whammies of natural disasters and coronavirus.51.6 million people were affected by floods, droughts or storms, 2.3 million affected by fire and 431.7 million people in vulnerable populations have had to face extreme heat along with Covid-19.

Not all natural disasters have direct links to climate change, but as the World Meteorological Organisation put it recently, “A clear fingerprint of human-induced climate change has been identified” on many extreme weather and climate events”.

Hence 2020 has shown us that if not acted upon soon, doomsday doesn’t seem too far. Environment has the capacity to heal itself, if human interference is kept away. We saw this as pollution levels decreased during the lockdown.

  • Family is important

When the world was put at halt and we were all locked up inside, we realised that being with loved one’s is one of the top priority. We understood the importance of family when we saw students, migrants and people who were stuck miles away, struggling to reach their homes. We saw them desperately wanting to move back to their native places, because that’s where they feel most secure- be it financially or emotionally.

In no time, hopefully, the world will gain its momentum back and we will return to our hustle mode and busy lifestyle and then at that moment we shall not forget to take out time for our loved ones, as they are the ones we fall back on during desperate times.

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