Tuesday, June 22, 2021 | Dhu al-Qaadah 11, 1442 H
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A world of smartness...

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Covid-19 has been intriguing because it seems it is almost smart. It seemed to know the age groups and locations and when one thinks that they have understood the virus it comes up with a variant in different parts of the world and thanks to the scientific evolution, experts are able to keep up with it.

People who were hesitant about taking vaccines are now keen on taking them bewildered with the number of cases and treatment cost.

Well, it is the era of the ‘Smart’. We have to rewire our thinking — it is not about working hard anymore as we all know it is about working smart. It is not about putting in the hours instead it is about how efficient one can be. It is about gaining knowledge but also advance in emotional intelligence.

It is time we stopped putting down people who are sensitive because just like people who have the talent but are not able to monetise it because of the lack of skills, the sensitive people too just need to move their energy towards enhancing their natural characteristics to a special trait which is in needed at most today — emotional intelligence.

For instance, a friend who has recovered from Covid-19 says that the most difficult part is post covid. According to him, while at the hospital there is the medical team to support it when you are in the normal surroundings the reality hits. According to him it is not only traumatic but a dramatic turn in life. Here he is talking about other complications that might rise due to covid at the same time in recuperation and changes in lifestyle one has to go through to come back to normalcy. No one should take it lightly, he says.

Yet on the other side there is another person mourning losing a childhood friend to covid.

What the pandemic has taught us is to accept the unpredictability of life. While the rush for the vaccine has been building up stress, the best step to take is to continue with Covid-19 protocol — some of them being avoiding gatherings, maintaining distance, wearing facial masks and washing hands regularly.

At times it makes you wonder if it is better to work in the wilderness. Dr Eric Hopkins has been doing that in a way. For two years he has been conducting his research on western Al Hajar Mountains studying sideroxylon mascatense because Oman has two types. The fruits of which are often sold on the roadside when we visit mountainous areas of Oman. The trees have always been there but the fruits known for antioxidants and other benefits could be what we need today. Now is the time again to think of smart methods to utilise these underutilised wild trees and find ways to cultivate them. They are native plants and might just need a little assistance with irrigation probably but could benefit farmers and consumers if they are able to reach commercial markets.

The world is today celebrating Ocean Day with the theme ‘Oceans: Life and livelihood’ interestingly because one in 10 people in the world depends on fisheries and aquaculture for their livelihoods. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization small-scale fisheries contribute about 50 per cent of global fish catches and employ more than 90 per cent of people working in fisheries, around 97 per cent of them live in developing countries. Another factor is the industry has been the cause of empowerment as well, especially for women — about 50 per cent of all people who fish, farm, harvest, process and trade fish are women.

Oceans have always caught our imagination; it has inspired poets and has resulted in folk stories woven with imagination and realism. Sindbad the sailor crossed seas and trade routes were established by explorers even before the water boundaries were measured out.

And if we were to make the whole ocean experience sustainable then we would have to make it smart too. And how would we ensure that? Adapt sustainable measures to ensure continuity.

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