The 'Blessings' of Coronavirus for Pakistan

05:45 PM | 23 Apr, 2020
The 'Blessings' of Coronavirus for Pakistan

A novel coronavirus has deadly struck the planet earth. It has jammed the economic wheel of countries and has caused economies to plummet. Countries, regardless of their regions, have been devastated by this virus and the illness it causes, officially known as COVID-19. The human death toll is increasing day by day and no good news is coming from any corner of the world. Mankind is living under constant fear, governments are finding it hard to counter this menace and there is confusion among policymakers regarding curbing this pandemic. Amid all these worrisome scenarios, confusion, and fear, there are the positive side effects of this pandemic that nobody is counting. One can call it the blessings of Corona. This piece of writing strives to explore these blessings and tries to understand their effects on a global, national, and individual level. 

Corona virus has proved to be a global rallying point. All the countries, regardless of their differences, are trying to get rid of this tiny enemy. Isn't the blessing of this virus that competing powers - USA and China - are not indulged in Arms' race but in the race to find the cure? Can't one call COVID-19 a 'successful diplomat' that, without bringing both parties on the table,  has eased the tensions between Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia? Is the pause of verbal spats, temporary though, between different rivals not a success of coronavirus? These are all the successes of this tiny little virus. All the countries, shunning their enmities, are striving to find panacea and defeat this invisible enemy. Seems like there has been an unsaid pact between the arch-rivals to defeat this common enemy today and live to fight each other another day. 

Apart from lessening global political tensions, the COVID-19 has played a significant role in circumscribing the pollution on planet earth and rejuvenating the natural habitats. The air pollution in China has decreased up-to 25 percentage and the air quality of India has improved considerably. Fishes are once again roaming in the waters of Venice, rare leatherback turtles, that bid farewell to Thailand's beeches long ago, have returned to take sunbath, millions of turtles have laid eggs on Indian seashore after almost a decade. The quality of air and water has improved and pollution has significantly reduced. In the span of three months, the coronavirus has done the things that the global leaders couldn't do in decades.

In analyzing the blessings on the national level, let's constrict the ambit of discussion to our own country Pakistan. What are the bounties that corona has rendered to Pakistan?

The first thing that corona did was to awaken our political representatives from their deep slumber. It was quite refreshing for the nation to see politicians actively putting their efforts to counter this threat. Thus nations came to know that their elected representatives are capable of doing wonders if they possess the will to do so. The image of politicians, who otherwise attract fame negatively, stabilized in the eyes of masses.

Another positive effect of corona on Pakistan is that it exposed the priorities of our ruling elite and fed some sense to the common mind. It was heart-wrenching to see the inadequate health facilities, health workers working under hazardous conditions, and lack of safety kits and equipment for doctors on duty. For the first time, in 70 years, the nation realised that internal/human security is as important as external security or secured borders. Health is necessary than defense, the stethoscope is necessary than a bullet and the hospital is more important than military settlements. The masses realized that a 'Ghori' (missile) worth billions may save them in times of war, but in war with a virus it is the health sector that secures them.

Another feather in the cap of coronavirus, in the context of Pakistan, is that it transformed the definition of national heroes. The word hero was redefined in Pakistan. The focus of definition shifted from military personnel to doctors and health workers. Nation realized that not only a soldier but a doctor, health worker, and janitor also are the heroes of this country that are vigilantly performing their duties in this moment of crisis. They all deserve a salute!

Finally, on an individual level, the coronavirus has perhaps spelled its best effects.

In this era of technology and busy life family members do not spend enough time together. This can be attributed to various reasons like office timings, long traveling routes, and excessive interference of social media. Resultantly, the chasm increases among members and they are unable to value each other's needs and sacrifices. This is the very reason that has rendered the increasing rate of divorce, separations, and domestic violence in our society. Due to lockdown imposed by states, people have been bestowed with ample time to spend with their families, to re-consider their priorities, and to value their relationships.

Joining the series of blessings is the habit of observing cleanliness. The precautions- cover face when sneezing, cover mouth when coughing and wash hands regularly- are also the religious directives that have been long forgotten by the masses. Due to corona, people are making sure that they adhere to these principles to save themselves and others. Furthermore, this virus has jolted the consciousness of an individual and has compelled people to think. One comes to realize that how beautiful the gift of life is, how thankful must one be to have lived another day in this world and how fortunate one is to have things that deprived people cry for. One notices,  how beautiful the world is and how brutally mankind is ruining it. The novel COVID-19 taught people to respect everyone regardless of his/her profession or status. As one writer opined:" when this all is over remember it were not the soldiers, nukes or businessmen that saved the world but doctors, lower staff and janitors." true it is! In this moment of crisis, nukes cannot feed the bellies, guns cannot cure the patients and bullets cannot save the dying. 

It seems that the planet earth is standing on a traffic signal, waiting in its place and hoping for the green light to appear to proceed. While we all are in quarantine and waiting for the green light, let's cherish the blessings that corona has rendered to us and use this time to reconsider our goals, objectives, and priorities. Let us pledge to leave the positive impacts of ourselves on this planet. Let us not forget the lessons that this pandemic taught us and vow to ' make earth great again'. Let's say aloud: " thank you corona".