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COVID-19: Lessons relearnt


THE novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), which is being spoken of in certain spheres as the worst pandemic since the Spanish influenza of 1918, has been reteaching valuable lessons.

We have taken so many things for granted. But as the virus snowballs the world’s pace slows, so why not reflect on where we have gone wrong?

And while more lessons are yet to be retaught, what have we so far relearnt?

 

Not caring for hands that

For some individuals, males more than females, hand-washing was never routine. Our hands have cared for us well over the years — care them, in turn, by washing them. This is not new information and something we should all have been doing, virus or no virus.

Working up a lather and washing with running water is a prevention measure for a virus without a cure. Soap and rinse taps before use and be wary when holding bathroom doors and handles. Dry hands, also, in clean towels or napkins.

 

How we sneezed and coughed

How we oftentimes sneezed or coughed showed little regard for fellow humans. Even if we sneezed without covering, we could have heard a hearty “bless you”, even if our sneeze later caused someone’s illness. Now the virus is forcing us to do what we ought to have been doing.

 

Health left to chance

Many people left their health on the back burner. Now that the virus is munching up those with compromised immune systems, the focus for some now is eating more natural and healthier foods (more supplements, grains, fruits and vegetables), along with more resting and exercise. Both consumers and merchandisers are capitalising on this, with two lemons going for as much as $300 – and people are buying them!

 

Man and animals cohabiting

We need to take greater responsibility for the type of animals we eat, our interaction with them, and how we prepare them for consumption. The threat of a zoonosis, such as COVID-19, is real.

Many believe the virus emerged from an unregulated meat market in Wuhan, a province that has humans and animal husbandry living closely.

 

Forgetting Earth is one Earth

We share one space: Earth. We seem to have forgotten this. The novel coronavirus first discovered in China now has the globe reeling. Without a doubt, one’s action affects another. The Earth has a delicate balance which, if upset, may result in Mother Nature retaliating with natural disasters or even diseases — a lesson we have learned from Earth’s pollution and global warming.

Righteous will be righteous

We could preach a little more, some will still show scant regard for the threat of the virus and refuse to be their brother’s keeper by following stated health directives. With reported behaviour in some quarters of the island, apparently, the righteous will remain righteous and…we know the rest. Double effort is therefore required of those conscious of their health as they move around slap-happy people.

 

A reactive people

COVID-19 finds us a more a reactive than proactive people. We need to change that.

How some of us yearn to hug our friends, something we previously took for granted. What a lesson in valuing people.

Let’s see where we have gone wrong, learn from these COVID-19 lessons, and resolve to embrace them. Life is so fickle, which is another COVID-19 reminder.

 

Warrick Lattibeaudiere (PhD), a minister of religion for the past 22 years, lectures full-time in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Technology, Jamaica.

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