The global pandemic did not just rob people to live life the way it used to be, but it also dampened global economies, shattered businesses, and disrupted the way special occasions and milestones should be celebrated. Even I, who used to work flexibly and anywhere, resigned to the fact that I would not have my social life the way I used to have it.
Since the transmission of the virus, global communities have switched almost all activities to a new level of creativity, compassion, and importance that are bringing out the best in us.
Almost everything now can be coursed through the internet under what we like to call as the “new normal” way of living.
While buying goods and other non-essentials online is no longer new to us, spending most of the time in front of the television is odd for most people, but have you ever imagined millennials or the Gen Zs transferring their fitness activities and social gatherings through video conferences?
It used to be a crazy and odd thing during the transition period, but it was admittedly an effective way of allowing people to redo normal things while maintaining their mental health and keeping themselves safe in the comfort of their home.
During the past few months, governments saw their citizens celebrating special occasions via video conference, and graduation rites were not spared from such. Who would let a pandemic spoil a special occasion, after all?
Instead of walking the stage in an auditorium filled with friends and family, 2020 graduates are now attending virtual and limited attendance ceremonies, as a result of schools shutting down to keep the outbreak at bay.
This was not how everyone was expecting, and it surely was heart-breaking for the college graduates and the parents who have long waited for years for their children to finish studies.
In the next school year, countries will also embrace the new way of learning, from bricks to clicks, until a successful vaccine is developed and the virus gets fully combatted. After all, no country would ever want to risk the safety of the poor innocent children.
Likewise, birthday parties are now celebrated via video call, as most countries with a high number of positive cases ordered the ban on group gatherings that affected even religious occasions.
Many nostalgic things are worming their way into our minds, but it is worth noting that we should be after all grateful for our daily existence. The global pandemic is making us learn how to appreciate life more sincerely, staying safe with family inside the four corners of our homes, while we busy ourselves appreciating the things we underappreciated.
This does not mean that the challenges some people are currently experiencing should be downplayed. I believe many of them have their heavy lodge to carry. There are still some of them living poorly, those who have to let go of their loved ones battling the world outside to save those who remain, and those who have lost some to the virus.
Let the pandemic be a teacher to us, human beings, to appreciate things we used to set aside and learn that our lives do not only revolve outside. Gratitude is not felt automatically unless we make a conscious effort to do so. It needs to be inculcated into our hearts, and until and unless we teach ourselves how to be grateful, it may take a pandemic to become that teacher.
Indeed, one of the major outcomes in this new normal is the extent to which we no longer take simple things for granted. We have learned more about the value of one’s life by appreciating our family more and wishing them safety and healthy life.
PHOTO COURTESY: FLICKR