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May 26, 2021

“We should be Proud”: What COVID-19 has taught me about Humanity.

I have never felt this much difficulty while writing about things I have experienced—what we all are going through with the pandemic is simply ineffable.

I am aware of the anxiety that COVID-19 has caused upon all of the people in the world, but sometimes it feels like I am only the one struggling and wading in it. Sometimes, I feel like an impossibly heavy lid has been placed upon my emotions, like I don’t have the liberty of talking about it to people, and I have to let the pain seep into me. I feel are drained like the vessel turned out onto its rim.

Even though everyone has been affected differently by COVID-19, we all lost a year of our lives. We all have missed touching and hugging. We lost the right to bid farewell for the last time those we have known dearly or admired. We have been deprived of months of adventure, exploration, and freedom. We have been left to deal with screens instead of human connection. All of us have missed the ease of life before COVID.

Although I was isolated in my home like everyone else, I never thought about being trapped in four walls. I gained enlightenment for a lifetime about the nature of humans that I am sure I never would have understood if I had the liberty of being free.

COVID-19 taught me so much about human beings.

I have seen people absolutely oblivious to the present situation—those who acted deaf to the number of deaths until the virus entered their personal lives. Some people ran miles for the sick, cooked for them, and prayed for them. Others who hadn’t even recovered from personal losses offered help to people they would probably never met in their lives.

I saw hope that our good side as humans is much more rooted than the evil side—we just needed to search for the subtle evidence of its existence within ourselves.

I have smiled at the joyful cry of people returning from covid isolation—beating the f*cking zoonotic virus—and cried with people in their helplessness of not being able to touch their loved ones or perform their death rituals properly. We are so vulnerable but tend to act like we are indestructible. The truth is a small microbe has the power of making our whole life and living upside down.

Every job in society matters, but the pandemic made me realized more deeply how each job is important and contributes to the greater good. Just because someone is not curing Covid or taking care of Covid patients doesn’t mean their job is pointless.

Farmers have worked hard to feed people. Grocery stores provided us with our food and daily essentials in this tough time. Teachers have taught students through technology, despite the difficulties. Cleaners have cleaned the virus’ risks our life. Doctors, nurses, and health workers endangered their lives to protect us. They all have together made difference and comforted us in this storm.

I have realized how lucky, how privileged I am to have food on my table, a kitchen garden where I grow my plants, and how blessed I am that I have a home when I can isolate and be safe. I have realized how heavily impacted marginalized communities, not because of the virus itself, but due to the systems of privilege and power dynamics pervasive in my country and around the world. Those without access to supplies, healthcare, or the ability to social distance and work from home are at greater risk of contracting and spreading the virus than they know this but still, they have to keep going to feed the families and seeing most of humanity struggling to fight back with this unseen threat.

I don’t know what is waiting for us in the future. The more I think about the current situation the more I get frustrated, but it is trying to remind us that we are interdependent as humans. No country or territorial boundary can separate us. We have shared values and we’ll never outgrow the feeling of needing support and guidance feeling of unconditional. This global pandemic made me realize this fact.

We all are human and need to work to bring long-term changes to the planet. Together we can; together we should.

Life is too short not to create meaningful memories with our beloved ones. If there was a time when we needed family most, it is indeed this one. My heart goes out to anyone who has lost theirs, who has never had one, and who is desperately trying to be one, who is struggling to protect their family through this tough time.

Our life is so fragile we shouldn’t take it for granted, and this pandemic has taught me more than ever, how uncertain human life is.

Now is the time to realize and promise that we will be kind, understanding, and be more grateful in this life. We will forgive so often, love with all our hearts, and live every day to the fullest because we really don’t know if there will be a tomorrow.

Honestly being in a crowd of people was the last thing I wanted before the pandemic. It’s true we only realize how we miss something only when we cannot have it. Now that I cannot sit in a place surrounded by humans, I have realized how much I love being around people. I miss seeing a stream of couples and teenagers trudging back and forth. I miss seeing children playing. I miss the smell of soil mingled with the food stalls frying onions, strolling around the city without masks, workshops in person, meetings without a screen, and feeling secure and happy and normal. I miss a world without so much pain and days without tragedy.

We have to stop sabotaging other species of the planet. We have to stop hunting them, killing them, trafficking them. We cannot—we should not—bear the blame of being the reason for the outbreak of any other pandemic and the reason for species vanishing. We need to work so both nature and humanity can thrive. We have global problems to solve. We need to be united to enlighten one another to live in a better way in the future.

As a global society, we have not placed high importance on things that actually matter—public health, animal protection, environmental health, climate change, animal extinction, upliftment of the quality of life of the marginalized group, global warming, deforestation, and air pollution. We need to work on these aspects and make policies. We need to re-establish ourselves as the guardians of nature.

It’s not easy, but it’s worth more than any other thing.

I truly believe no matter how dark things may seem, there will always be a light to guide us through these moments. We all will come out as better people.

Please be safe. My thoughts and prayers are for all who have been affected by this virus. We’re amidst such a tough time. We are fighting to survive, but we should be proud of ourselves that we have survived this far.

May our shared humanity comfort us and lead us into a better future.

~

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