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  • Writer's pictureProse and Poetry

Three life lessons I learnt from the Coronavirus - Sharon S - Batch of 2017

(Disclaimer: I’m not a fan of the terrible crimes committed by this virus and sincerely condone its actions. I’m just a girl looking at the silver lining of circumstances. Peace.)

I know, I know. A very cringing title. What could we, students, or anybody for that matter with monotonous, rote lives, possibly learn from the virus that claimed millions of lives in the past two years and put mankind into a global peril? It’s a simple ‘“three-point catalogue” that elucidates the positive traits of what I call The Champion Villain that the virus has become.

Point 1: Focus — The virus came with laser focus to attack people, made them suffer to the point where they found death comforting and gave up their lives at will. Nothing — no masks, no sanitizers or alcohol disinfectants, no amounts of social distancing and lockdown curbs deterred its will to claim the million lives we lost to it. If we had that kind of focus to do good, to do something better with our lives, the kind that doesn’t deter under any circumstance, the kind that sees us through till the end and work towards it, nothing can divert us from achieving what we want and the world will be our oyster.

Point 2: Constant Improvement and a Challenge for a Challenge — One of the best traits, rather the most important trait of the virus is its ever-changing mojo — Its ever-changing structure that confuses the best of minds in the scientific world and makes vaccine-engineering a near-impossible task. With every solution put forth, the virus makes it a task to put up an even bigger challenge to it. Why don’t we consider doing the exact reverse while facing problems — with the onset of every challenge, put up an even bigger solution to confront it? Why can’t we constantly curate and update with every roadblock to become the best possible version of ourselves? That, can truly, change the course of the game for us and like the Hasbro Brothers advertisement jingle — “You can be a winner at the Game of Life!”

Point 3: Persistence — Vaccines had started coming out at the end of 2020 and herd immunity was starting to build. Case load was coming down and the world thought that life was slowly going to normalize. Festivals restarted and celebrated an added joy of overcoming the virus. Then again, that was short lived — for with the coming of 2021, the virus had revamped itself, modified itself to persist through its anti-conditions, to survive through all measures taken to destroy it and came back, improved and stronger. And what a blow it gave to all mankind! Shook our very beliefs in good, destroyed optimism and mercilessly claimed lives. Now, the way I see it, if we showed even one percent of the persistence as the virus in how we dealt our with difficult circumstances, came back new and improved with every boulder thrown at us, no force can ever change our course to succeed. Yes, everyday might be like going to war, but you see, persistence and patience pays off in the end. We’ve got to be the last one standing, and we will be, if we persist through it all, just like the coronavirus.

Now I know what might be running through your head as you’re reading this — Why learn all of this from the latest source of evil that plunged the world into a winter with no sun? Why look up to what’s regarded as “the bad” and learn “the good” from it?

The answer to this is — Why can’t we?

Why can’t we choose to forget the peril it caused and see the silver lining it carried all along? Yes, these life lessons were always there from the start in good things too, but we’ve constantly ignored or taken it for granted when it came along with the good, the comfortable and the pleasing.

Man likes stark difference — it is only the “extreme good” or the “extreme bad” that captures his attention and in most cases, the “extreme bad”. Nothing in between.

It’s human nature, can’t blame it. So if something extremely bad came with good and important life lessons, it’s only fair that it grabs your attention and makes its way into your life, as it did in mine.

I had my fair share of rough patches in the pandemic, lost friends to it and had injured my spirit. It took a toll on my studies, on everything that I believed made me, me. Made me question my existence and belief in the good. Made me search for something to draw inspiration and motivation from. And then I realized that it was in front of me all along — the coronavirus — a classic example of perfection in imperfection, a clarity in the chaos. And I slowly started to pick myself up.

It wasn’t easy and these things are better said than done.

But hey! If you’re reading this, you and I have already survived the killer pandemic and persisted — so that’s “point three” done right.

What’s left is one and two — and you’ll get there, don’t fret. When tough times beckon, turn your eyes to the champion villain in existence at the moment and pick up a few strings of motivation, buck up and get on your way.

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