How You Can Make an Impact While the COVID-19 Is W...

How You Can Make an Impact While the COVID-19 Is Wreaking Havoc

  • Sara Pathirana|  
  • July 13, 2021

Just as we were embarking onto a brand-new year, the other side of the world began to experience a more torrid awakening of sorts, with the first signs of the novel coronavirus gradually consuming the lives of the general public in Wuhan, China, where it originated. You probably never thought we’d end up having to actually witness the gravity of this situation in Sri Lanka and the true effects of this novel virus which was eventually labeled a pandemic not too long ago.

Don’t worry, we’re not going to keep reminding you of the same facts and figures about the COVID-19 right now. That particular dead horse is being kicked around the block many a time! But, as responsible individuals, it is worth saying that it is during times like these that we begin to understand the true meaning of selflessness, integrity, humanity, humility, and of course, vigilance.

For a young and energetic individual, self-isolation and social distancing are probably two terms you hope to never hear again in the near future. Being holed up in one place for a long period of time isn’t exactly a great feeling for many of us. So, if you don’t mind procrastinating and embracing the ever-evolving life of a couch potato, then good for you. Though we definitely don’t recommend it. So, if you feel like you’re losing your productivity as each day drifts by, simply try and get creative with fresh ideas to implement around your house and even in your neighborhood!

Thinking Outside the Box

Even though this issue regarding the novel coronavirus has paved way for the spread of a lot of negativity and fear among us, it really need not always continue to linger on the aspect of bad news, the dangers of the disease, circulation of rumours, and fake news via social media etc. Yes, this is a very extraordinary thing currently taking place in modern history and with it being declared a pandemic, you know that you are not in it alone. With that in mind, we need to consider what is truly taking place around us, how we need to establish a mindful coping mechanism and to also embrace a level of emotional intelligence when it comes to dealing with people who are going through even harder times at this stage.

Age is but a number and the coronavirus does not discriminate. And since we have identified that quarantining oneself to the confines of your comfortable home is the best thing to do right now, this also means that you won’t have it as easy as you used to; meeting with your entourage at your favourite hangout, going to the movies, engaging in sport or simply dropping by a café for a dose of caffeine and a gossip sesh. So, yes, all that will have to wait a bit. Instead, take a moment and do the things that you otherwise, may not get to do or haven’t been doing like, in ever! Those little things in life, the ones that you wouldn’t have thought about ever doing, may actually make a big difference in your life.

Reconnect with your parents and siblings, play a game of badminton with them if you have enough garden or open space, play a game of carrom, cook a meal for them, do some gardening. You could grow your own veggies and before you know it, you will have something that you created with your own time and hands whilst even making your household self-sufficient in one or more varieties. You also get to keep yourself busy and even more informed than you were previously. If you are one of those lucky few who can afford Wi-Fi at home, then social media used responsibly will actually get you to experience a new world of possibilities since working remotely and connecting virtually seems to have gained fresh ground nowadays.

As many of us are having the option of working from home and engaging in virtual meetings, there are many activities that have cropped up, as of current thanks to the idea of the need to set protective boundaries through social distancing and self-isolation. You will find platforms or groups that conduct free seminars, yoga sessions, dance classes, learn-a-language group classes, and even experience sharing sessions incorporating elements of travel and tourism to name just a few. The possibilities are endless and now might be the time to actually start ticking a few things off of your bucket list or even adding these ideas onto the list and then ticking them off in the process! Although the dangers of this novel disease are still evident and we cannot easily predict as to how long this issue will persist, we simply need to do the best we can and help others who may not have it as easy as you in the process.

Today, we are in an age where we hardly associate with our neighbours the way our elders used to. Hearing their stories, we used to imagine those scenes playing in our heads every time they would describe each moment. People used to be close and help each other. Today, we seem to run away from people, coronavirus or not! So, at a time like this, you may find someone in your neighbourhood who may not be having it easy; due to the type of job they were engaged in and probably not having the luxury to work remotely like others are able to. A few words of consolation or chipping in and showing some integrity is a great feeling that will stay with you for a lifetime. Spare some money if you can and maybe purchase for them a relief package of groceries or help them in any other relevant way, the best you can. It no doubt pays off!

Think Thrice Before Sharing a Piece of News on Social Media

At the moment, fake news and misinformation is running rampant and people tend to believe in the things they seemingly want to hear but dread its reality. Yes, we know the disease is deadly and it spreads through contact and yes, we know that people who are especially underprivileged may be having to go through even harder times, on a daily basis, trying to survive on what little they have. With the seriousness of the situation and the constant reminders of having to wash hands regularly, wear face masks, and literally getting people to wear improvised hazmat suits so that they can go about their daily business unscathed. Making anything sound positive nowadays is definitely a challenge but still doable.

As a responsible citizen of the world, you represent every young person out there. Your words carry weight. So, you need to get away from being influenced by the placebo effect; the phenomenon where you as the public end up believing in everything that is projected towards you, the media being a huge catalyst in doing this. One might think, with the sort of information overload we are experiencing today, it gets harder to filter through this information we consume daily. Mainstream media may focus on

specific issues and may not always be able to cover stories that mean the most; stories about the average person going through a certain issue right now. Eventually, even though you might feel like hitting that like button or sharing a piece of information that you think is the latest or just sounds interesting, look a little deeper into the story, Twitter post or Facebook feed and think rationally there for a minute. Look at the source and check whether that source is from a legit person who shares similar information on a daily basis. Look at his or her followers. These are only a small amount of clues that will help you determine if the story you are about to share is a half-baked truth, fake or actually, true.

There are other mechanisms that will help you determine whether the news is fake or not. There have been stories spread as if they were picked up from globally recognized sources, but have seemingly been exaggerated for the sake of grabbing attention and hits. It is important at such a crucial moment to, therefore, be more informed and hence, responsible about the type of message you spread. Think about other elements such as culture, ethnicity, gender stereotypes, and religion. Research as best as you can and learn about what causes such tensions around the world. If now isn’t the right moment to make the most of the time you have now for the better, then you may never get the time.







This content is the sole responsibility of its creators. Any opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government, European Union, or Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.


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