Real is always trusted than reel. Interaction in personal becomes more reliable and effective. Such reliable interactions have come to standstill as a result of global pandemic. Covid-19 also called Coronavirus has hit up hard from developed countries to countries not ready to serve its hospitality. Physically contacting people was one important way to lending and extending life of the virus. It was effecting in thousands at the initial level, with ‘n’ number of deaths. Hence shutting down was the only first step visible then.
US, Europe, India, China and many more went through the phase of lockdown for several months. Toronto, Canada reported that 83% of its cases are composed of people from radicalized communities. What is common among these population groups is that racial discrimination which has impacted their access to healthy food, safe and secure housing, good jobs and health care. This has resulted in the increase of instances of illnesses that align with the most dangerous co-morbidities associated with COVID-19 including diabetes, respiratory issues, heart issues and high blood pressure.
Lockdown brought travel bans, public gathering bans, no participation in schools and colleges, employees started work from home, etc. Covid-19 has changed and will keep changing the world for work. This is not just holding us back from physical touch but also putting interpersonal relations and social co-existence to a serious test. Isolation, quarantines, closed borders, travel bans, no handshakes or hugs – these are all altering our attitude towards other people. Once we stop seeing others as friends, neighbours or helpers and start viewing them as potential disease vectors and dangers, then something happens to us. It is not really hard to stay two meters away from other people. In the current situation, this physical distance is not only sensible, but also essential to many people's survival. Viewing this from a positive side, this crisis is resulting in many fine initiatives. Families are becoming close; people are reaching out to fellow neighbours from vulnerable populations and going shopping for them. Despite individual separation and isolation, communities getting together and there is a lot of willingness to help. Apart these challenges one of the biggest challenge is barriers in education. Children of today have been surrounded by digital technology since their birth; ever since, their everyday life and practices have been entwined with social media, smart phone, tablet, and Internet use. Digital technology has been thoroughly embedded with how they live and learn. They have started interacting with digital technology already as toddlers if not even earlier, and their adult life will for sure be thoroughly embedded and intimately intertwined with digital technology. Now this is itself a challenge as distraction from technology, have always been debatable topic with no permanent solution yet.
On the other hand, the developing countries where many parents and children do not have the access to such digital facility. In Kerala, a state in India, a school girl committed suicide as she was unable to attend online classes. Such news were surrounded regularly.
Nevertheless technology always had an alternative. During lockdown, getting food supplies, groceries and essentials (including medicine) seemed challenging. And again technology played its role in supplying essentials online by giving door to door service.
The health risk from coronavirus is not to be ignored, the economic and financial impacts will keep us occupied for a long time and the social consequences will continue to be felt for a while. But as always when considered through the lens of distance and time, people tend to come out of crisis stronger rather than weaker. This applies to the individual and to the entire community.