So, I have never seen what we are seeing today and believe that the world that I’ve known will never be what it was! I remember World War II quite well, it was a war, we knew who the enemy was and there was preparedness for combat. But the COVID-19 pandemic is proving to be a furtive adversary, threatening people in more than 200 countries and challenging even the most advanced healthcare systems in the world. If this is World War III, then it would go down in the annals of history and medicine as one, which in just 100 days, overwhelmed humanity and infected more than 1.5 million people and snatched 88,000 lives.
SARS-CoV-2, a 120 nm virus has brought the world to virtually a standstill. It has made us pause, stop and think. It has made us realize that the world we live in today has no borders. It has made us think that what we thought indispensable can actually be done away with. It has made us aware that we as a human race can break the barriers that we have erected and as a united force, can take on any challenge. It has made us recognize the amazing ability we have to find solutions in record time. It has made us appreciate the beauty of stillness. It has made us rekindle the power of finding solace in the arms of family members.
Doctors and researchers came together across the globe and unraveled the genome of SARS-CoV-2 in days. Diagnostic kits were rapidly, clinical and vaccine trials were initiated in record time. Our understanding has improved considerably in managing patients with COVID-19, we now have efficacious medication and we are at the cusp of using newer therapy.
The public and private sector came together to take on SARS-CoV-2. A countrywide lock down when there were less than 600 cases for a country of 1.35 billion is unprecedented in history and without parallel. People, even though inconvenienced, have realized that this action needed to be taken in the larger interest of the nation. There will be huge economic consequences but the decision was imperative in the larger interest of citizens. If there is health, only then can there be wealth .
Hopefully, the lessons we would have learnt about living within the parameters defined by the lock down without dependence on what was once unimaginable, will stay with us. Who would have thought that virtual meetings can be as meaningful as they have turned out to be? Who would have thought that social distancing as a term would not only find its place in our vocabulary but also our day to day lives? Who would have thought we can demonstrate such discipline collectively? We will now have a new definition of what is normal, a new normal has taken shape in 2020. Life will never be the same again.
ROTARY CLUB OF DIBRUGARH, ASSAM