Lessons learnt from COVID-19 Pandemic

Lessons from the pandemic: Here’s what we learned in 2021

When the world was stricken by the pandemic, kindness was the ‘first’ medicine that helped heal our wounds.

What we might learn in a decade or even in a lifetime, the COVID-19 pandemic taught us in a matter of months. It opened our eyes to realities we can’t afford to ignore. Whether it’s changing the way we travel, eat, interact with others, or the way we treat our environment and wildlife, the pandemic has forced us to look at everything in a new light. This imposition is a blessing in disguise, which gives a strong message to everyone around the world, change the way you live. Because something, somewhere is seriously wrong in the way we lead our lives, without a care or worry in the world.

For almost everyone, the last two years were the most tragic ever. But as the late Jamaican singer, Bob Marley once said, “you never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice.” That’s what happened as the pandemic tightened its grip on our lives. We learned the value of solidarity and kindness. We became compassionate and considerate towards others. We realised the help our environment and wildlife need from us. And above all, to always hold our loved ones close.

Let’s take a broader view of the lessons the past year taught us.

Things get better

The second wave of the pandemic hit the shores of India in the early months of 2021. It was like hell had unleashed over The dark clouds of fear were looming over the entire country. Everyone was scared for their lives. The majority of the population was not inoculated and they had to be cautious and patient.

It paid off. As weeks passed by, things began to simmer down. The death tolls started decreasing, along with the count of daily infections. Aggressive vaccination drives were implemented. Today, the numbers have reduced to a minimum since the onset of the outbreak.

What did we learn from this unprecedented episode? If we stick together as a community and be patient and responsible, we can weather the darkest of storms.

Hold your dear ones tight

2021 was like a bad dream that took quite a few months to end. The starting months were scary, nerve-wracking, and riddled with stress, the likes of which we haven’t seen before. By late May, The actual count could have been much higher as per some speculations. One can only imagine how difficult it must have been for those who lost their loved ones. But if there was one thing common among the entire population, it was the fear of death.

As per the latest records, close to half a million people died due to COVID. While it’s unfortunate, this tragedy teaches us how fragile life can be. No one has seen what tomorrow will bring. What we can do is hold our dear ones tight and savour every moment with them.

Kindness is the best medicine of all

When the world was stricken by the pandemic, kindness was the ‘first’ medicine that helped heal our wounds. Neighbours became families and strangers turned into friends. It was a sight the world had never seen before when everyone stood together and helped each other with compassion and kindness.

Social media platforms had become the global stage to interact and work in unison. If there was a shortage of oxygen cylinders or beds, people left no stone unturned to extend their support. Celebrities, athletes, regular people, everyone displayed a commendable work of kindness to help those in need.

Health is your lifeline

Philosopher and spiritual leader, Swami Vivekananda once said, “The cheerful mind perseveres, and the strong mind hews its way through a thousand difficulties.” His words make perfect sense in the pandemic era. If you are healthy, physically and mentally, you can withstand any obstacles, even if it’s as scary as the pandemic. If 2020 made us realise the importance of our health, 2021 was the year when people integrated healthy routines into their lifestyles. For instance, eating right was one of the biggest trends of the year. Food was not about spoiling your taste buds anymore but what can help increase your immunity. Home-cooked food gained preference over fast food.

It wasn’t just physical health everyone was focussing on. Mental health drew equal attention from around the world as practices such as yoga and meditation gained popularity.

Protecting the environment and wildlife is our responsibility

One of the biggest lessons 2021 taught us was the importance of preserving wildlife and our environment. For long, we have treated them as something that exists outside the scope of our life and responsibility. But the pandemic has shown us that everything is connected. If one wheel derails, the whole ecosystem can collapse.

We need to put an end to our selfish deeds that cause wildfires and killings of innocent animals. The pandemic has opened our eyes to this harsh reality but now the focus should be on the future. Climate change and global warming are the biggest threat facing humanity and all lives on the planet earth. It will take a big, collaborative effort to come out of this pit and protect the earth. With countless people sharing this goal, it seems achievable.

Gratitude trumps fear

According to a blog on Harvard Health Publishing, “gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” There is hardly anything like gratitude that can offer so many rewards with such a little investment. After all, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to say thank you or help someone with directions? The pandemic has made people understand the value of gratitude, for their lives and for the work of essential workers. It helps us overcome our fear of uncertainty and nurtures solidarity. It’s a lesson we learned the hard way, but we should be glad that we did.




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