Spotlight: Life lessons learned during the pandemic

The world is not going to be the same again even after the COVID-19 subsides. People have to live with digital technologies, which have transformed people’s way of life. Businesses have remodelled their functioning, schools and colleges have new concepts of e-learning and the common man is left with no option but to upgrade.
The pandemic brought many difficulties, at the same time forced people to learn important life lessons.
Not only in terms of technology, but the pandemic had a huge impact on social interaction as well. During the peak of the pandemic when people were forced to remain indoors, staying at home emerged as an opportunity for families and friends to connect and re-connect, as COVID-19 set new standards of working, living, eating and even meeting.
While being confined in four walls of houses to maintain the best of social distancing, people explored ways to re-connect globally with their near and dear ones through various Internet platforms.
It taught people to be content with resources while being alone. “In difficult times of social distancing people realised their values and understood themselves in a better way. They realised their strengths and limitations.,” said Rahima al Balushi, a researcher on social issues.
“People who were fond of randomly moving here and there started loving their homes and many among them developed their hidden skills of cooking, reading, drawing, or even keeping their houses clean. Ultimately it was a forced learning period for everyone,” she said.
Rejin Thomas, a senior hotel executive, had almost forgotten that he belongs to a large family and a larger extended family, in the pre-pandemic humdrum of life.
“Since office had got shifted in my living room and I was trying my level best to maintain social distancing, a thought came in to connect to family and friends who were spread in many parts of the world. I made a list of my extended family with whom I grew up, played, and finally settled in different professions. They eagerly accepted my request to connect as everyone was sailing in the same boat.”
The moments of chatting with family and friends with whom he was not in touch even for decades were very fulfilling for him emotionally. “It was a sense of joy as well as the flow of emotions as I managed to talk to many ‘lost friends and relatives’. Circumstances like office, time difference, and most importantly our selfish way of living didn’t allow us to connect earlier. I take COVID-19 restrictions as an opportunity as learned many new skills this time.”
The pandemic restrictions which did not allow Dr Akram Ali to go out of his house and domestic help were not allowed in the house, gave him a realisation that everyone should know how to cook. He knew basic cooking, but during the pandemic, he learned many dishes and now he is fully comfortable when it comes to cooking. “It is a basic skill, everyone should know,” he said.
Many others like Pradeep Dash and Shahabuddin learned yoga and some other basic fitness exercises to keep fit during the restriction period and are happy to continue with the regime now, as they are following the social distancing norms and trying not to interact with many people.