Kudos to Quarantine?

by Yusra Iqbal

When the dark force took over the skies and enwrapped its wings around the globe, spreading its evil essence of fear into the air – killing and spreading devastation across countries, we saw ‘socializing’ come into the spotlight. 

We realised that the only way to save maximum lives in the pandemic was to keep social distancing protocols and isolation of the vulnerable in place until the vaccine was ready- however long that took. There was no safe way to reopen schools in the pandemic. 

Today, at the coffee table, I found myself wondering, debating over the equivocal – ‘Social life during the time of COVID-19’.

The pandemic is much more than a health crisis; it is a human, economic, and social crisis. [1]

There are moments of ‘normalcy’ that I am nostalgic for; the fun and random in-person conversations with my friends, grabbing tips from seniors- an intense confab at the hostel, sharing food- in fact, BONDING over food! 

In my opinion, most of our ‘social lives’ have been considerably unaffected (to an extent) and well-compensated by technology (as I type it, I realise how much of a privilege it is to say that! #Alhamdulillah~ praise be to God). Physically distant, but socially? Very much connected. 

Online volunteering, attending webinars, online games, online classes, more time to develop new skills, or work on older ones, and virtually meet up with people who share your interests! With more time at hand, it became about making sure it was utilized beneficially!

Social distancing has led to a spike in online activity. It has benefitted various online platforms and while it helped us stay connected, it has also led to potentially rising anxiety and mental health issues. 

The National Program for Happiness and Wellbeing (UAE), has seen a rise in ‘collective anxiety’ due to COVID-19. Mental Health has become a subject of intense discussion during this era. However, we are also seeing a rise in online support groups and sessions where people can come together, talk, discuss, and get help without mobility and geographic challenges! [2]

Remember, Together #WeCanWeWill help each other succeed.

Resources:

1.“The Social Impact of COVID-19 | DISD.” United Nations, United Nations, https://www.un.org/development/desa/dspd/2020/04/social-impact-of-covid-19/

2.“Everyone Included: Social Impact of COVID-19 | DISD.” United Nations, United Nations, https://www.un.org/development/desa/dspd/everyone-included-covid-19.html

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