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A-Z of Lessons from COVID
Devendran Shanmugam Oracle CoE Partnership Manager | June 8, 2020
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The world is amid an unprecedented trial because of a micro-organism named COVD-19. It has changed our lives beyond recognition and we need not elaborate on that. Negative outcomes apart, there are some interesting lessons that can be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and here is a collation of a few in alphabetical order. It is a mixed bag of clichéd and lateral thoughts, that might hopefully provide some food for thought.

A more prominent domino effect is present amid COVID-19 as the world is a global village.

Awaken to the new reality. Though parallels are drawn to earlier pandemics, we need to appreciate the major difference: the world is now a global village and closely connected as never before. In other words, we are living in a house of cards and, at present, the domino effect is inevitable, which was not the case earlier.

Battle lines were drawn between the mankind and a global pandemic and the war was waiting to happen for a very long time. But, most of us ignored, except a few visionaries like Bill Gates, the Microsoft Co-Founder, who on multiple occasions warned on potential of a pandemic outbreak and the lack of preparedness for it

Cleanliness is next to Godliness is no more a simple adage, but a gospel truth.

Detox is no big deal, be it reducing CO2 emission in the environment or alcohol / tobacco in the human body. You just need to stop the supply of toxins. The COVID lockdown has rejuvenated planet earth and human body alike.

Ecology should be respected and not disturbed at any cost. Any imbalance in the natural ecosystem would cause catastrophe. Although, ‘Malthusian Catastrophe’ theory is outdated, the crux is related.

Fearing not what ought to be feared is a folly and the wise fear what should be feared. This translated verse of Thirukkural written in Tamil 2000 years ago is much relevant even today, when we see individuals who do not abide by the restrictions imposed for our safety.

Gratitude is due for everyone who are helping us fight the pandemic—sanitization workers, doctors, paramedics, scientists and, last but not the least, the Government. All are putting their life at risk to serve us.

Home sweet home. Work from home might be the new norm in the near future. So, make arrangements for a comfortable working space at home to make WFH more enjoyable, without interfering with the personal space of other family members.

Work from home might be the new norm in the near future, so arrange more comfy spaces at home.

Introspection is the need of the hour, to make changes in our life and that of others, for the better. Challenging times are the best for introspection and for redirecting the course of life.

Jumping to negative conclusions on the future is not prudent. Else, we will be losing sight of opportunities that any adversity has to offer.

Knowledge, that we have accumulated over the ages is infinitesimal. Nature always throws new challenges, keeping mankind on the toes to discover or invent for survival.

Learning new skills, for profession or hobby, from plumbing to blockchain, during the COVID lockdown is time well spent.

Mentor those who require guidance. From safety precautions to career counseling. Yet another useful way to spend the COVID lockdown time.

Namaste is going to be the new form of greeting. If ‘zero’ is India’s greatest contribution to physical science, ‘Namaste’ will be the one for social science.

Organic food habits need to be promoted. Though there is still no clear understanding of the COVID origin and spread, or its correlation to junk food, it is widely accepted that healthful and organic food products are good for boosting the immune system, thereby making it easier for the human body to fight pandemics.

Prevention is better than cure is yet another maxim that we need to remember.

Quarantine is by no means a punishment. It is for the safety of society as a whole, is what we have to comprehend now.

Reconcile to the fact about new norms in work and everyday life. But, these norms are also not permanent. They are bound to change with the next challenge to mankind.

Share resources when it is limited. Hoarding at this time of the COVID emergency needs to be despised.

Tenacity, both physical and mental, is the most needed virtue for every individual at this point of time. As the saying goes, ‘tough times never last, but tough people do,’ and that essentially has been the essence of survival.

Uncertainty in the COVID times might seem gloomy, but it is not so. As Tony Schwartz puts it “The opposite of certainty isn't uncertainty. It's openness, curiosity, and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.”

Vulnerability of mankind to the forces of nature is being reminded yet again.

Watchful of personal hygiene and health is back on priority.

X Factor in every individual comes to the fore only during testing times such as this. We need to identify and bring it out for the betterment of humanity.

Yellow light is what nature has shown us. It is time to slow down and proceed with caution.

Zeal for life is never to be lost, and it is what made the mankind survive over eons.

In many ways, COVID-19 has pushed mankind out of its comfort zone, posing a challenge. At the end of the day, it is not about how COVID-19 affected us, but about how we will overcome this adversity and the lessons learned during the journey. Learning from these lessons will certainly make us better persons and make the world a better place.

COVID-19 is a black swan event as it is an outlier, has had severe and widespread consequences, and will have a hindsight bias.