Since the pandemic has started, many people had been unhappy having to go through a lot of the inconveniences they had to. However, the latest number of coronavirus cases are finally on the decline and since then, people are already starting to feel some relief.
Interestingly, if you haven't noticed, 2020 was a notable year for uncertainty. We've experienced consistently extended closures, choppy day-to-day gaudiness and unexpected spikes. But by 2021, we won't be slipping a bit out of control: vaccines have provided answers and an exit.
It is still not a full ride into the sunset yet as there is still the floating threat of the coronavirus variant which has then again, disrupted summer plans, spoiled much of our hard-earned knowledge about the coronavirus and made us rethink our personal risks, isn’t it?
The pandemic, if it continues, people's moods will continue to deteriorate, especially if we experience more setbacks. These moods can manifest as irritability or more serious mental health problems.
On other hand, outbreaks affect different people in different ways. The more stress people had to bear, the greater the risk of psychological problems. Nevertheless, I feel that as humans, we are still resilient. Yes, some people will continue to struggle, but most will recover. And this after all –if you agree with me – that simply humanity has survived two dozen pandemics over the past two centuries!
So for people who are thinking of returning to normal life, or trying to jump their head first as many did, it is easy to do the risk calculation only in terms of physical health, maybe this is what is all about for a long time. But vaccines have changed that and we need to update our mental data and be optimistic after all.
While we are all seeing a beautiful light at the end of the tunnel, I wanted to raise a question that needed to be asked. As we see more variants still affecting the world, do we still have the capacity to go another year or two of sacrifices?
We see a lot of people these days putting the pandemic behind them as the number of cases goes down. Most have returned to a life of wanton disregard. After getting the vaccine, the freedom that came along with it — being able to eat in restaurants and ride planes make us forget the reality. While the world is opening and we are able to do the things we use to do, the threat continues. So don't be immersed: remember the world is only normal until you test positive!!
Dr Yousuf Ali Al Mulla is a physician, medical innovator and a writer.