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Positive Impacts of COVID-19

by Hadia Sajjad

When thinking about everything that went downhill this year, a rush of negative thoughts currents through our minds. From Australian forest fires to the crash of an unfortunate plane, injustice bleeding through the crevices of this world, locust attacks, riots; are just some of the things off the tip of the iceberg. Even before the heavily despised, the year of 2020 began, we were hit by a horrible pandemic, a once in a lifetime anomaly. It came creeping through the streets of Wuhan, China – and into our lives. All at once, all we could see, hear, and learn about was the Corona Virus.

The most life-changing thing that could happen to each one of us was now and still is out of control. With a huge amount of cases revealed and under strict observation, many issues started birthing. Self-isolation, grieving of human losses, fighting finances, major changes in routine, looking at the unprivileged struggle, and so much more; reminded most of us of what life is. Protection from the virus was just not enough. Creating a safe bubble with positivity training our minds to be alacritous, has since then become a major problem and a goal for more than many. But a lot of us have still succeeded in achieving those set goals that keep us sane enough to fight the former problems.  

For me, it has been a rollercoaster of emotions since the beginning of the pandemic, but gradually I’ve been able to recognize the positive impacts of quarantine during COVID-19. The following are some points discussed. 

Mental Health

Along with the rest of the world, I was initially suffering; mentally. I couldn’t make sense of what was happening. It wasn’t even in our wildest of dreams and yet we were all suddenly living it. Which was one of the things I realized further into the lockdown? I extracted the need to refresh and keep up with the statistics of the virus instantly. I eliminated as much negativity and focused on the one thing that was most important for me to not lose at – studies. It helped get my grades in an even better position while receiving the sense of fulfillment that lacked in the beginning.

However, sticking to a single goal just wasn’t enough to fight off the parasitical thoughts my mind was now in knee-deep. With every day as a new struggle and an innate ability of resilience, I was able to mold almost every little problem into a life lesson. The few major changes I’m seeing in me are; empathy towards others even family. I’ve now learned to let go of unnecessary detestation even more than I used to. Because when you see the world tilting into chaos, problems as petty as “She was being rude to me”, start to mean nothing to you. This eventually led to at least the start of me changing into a much better version of myself. I put myself under the microscope to point out my flaws rather than clinging onto others’.

Though we all tend to look at our perfect versions of ourselves, we still have flaws we subconsciously deny.

Organic Lifestyle

Before this pandemic, we all had a pre-planned scheduled life, leaving out little to no time for us to help around the house. When I began my first semester in the university, I would be so lethargic after 8 to 5 hours in the university to which my mum would joke around saying “Hadia comes home, falling on her bed like an Indian plane”. Hence, leaving no time to do my chores, it had gotten to a point of no turning back.

Now having the flexibility of attending classes at the comfort of my room, I now had time to wake up early and let my mother rest. I used to do everything before joining university but after that, I had little to no time to myself or the house chores, let alone spend some quality time with the family. With this, eating healthy, waking up early, eliminating unnecessary habits has led us to live an organic lifestyle without little to no artificial interferences. All we talk about is the house the women are confined to house chores and not giving the liberty to go out and even though this is a topic that can be true and debatable, we forget that helping each other or providing food for some can only be a sadqa e jaria, there’s nothing wrong in doing so. 

Health, Fitness, and Beauty 

One of the major physical goals I’ve achieved because of this pandemic is firstly knowing the needs of my body and beginning to work on them. Although being a student of Biotechnology helps us to know our nutritional needs and symptoms to any disorders; we’re human enough to misinterpret or even not realize any problems with our bodies. With the elimination of the competitive behavior regarding body goals, healthy skin, this is the time to truly recognize what our body needs and working on giving it every ounce of effort. For me, it has been easier to take my time and think about what’s wrong and what amount of care should I be investing in my body.

On the other hand, with the skin’s exposure to the sun and everyday pollution, it’s easier for the skin to wear out and age prematurely. But with being indoors in my little haven, I’m having better skin days, harsh tan lines on hands and feet are gone. While investing in skincare more than makeup and eventually being comfortable in my skin. With the time to do my skincare, it also helps a lot with being at peace with no insecurities. Now is the time to open up our eyes to reality and fight off the need to idealize Instagram content as perfection.

Eradicating Negativity

Now one might think that this titled paragraph would say a lot about a person eliminating toxic people from there live, but this is mostly about knowing your toxic traits and finishing them off. And yes, with the time we all had to react to the outbreak, we all had different reactions but with most of us falling into anxieties and depression. This caused the negative sides to flare up but soon enough it fell calm. I put the overthinking ability to good use by knowing my negative habits. Doing this is wholesome and I felt content by watching myself grow more than I thought I was matured. But again, a person with even eighty years of age wouldn’t be fully matured and experienced for his age, we always have a lot to learn. This is done by opening your mind to more knowledge and knowing that you’re able to learn from even the most negative of situations – it’s all about your mindset.

That being said, make your initial goals to control anger, being tolerative, not taking things or people for granted, walking away from situations that can flare up into arguments. I will say one of the major reasons was a class I took in the fourth semester during this pandemic. Listening to a woman telling you things you subconsciously knew but in a way, no one has, urging you to do better; has been extremely helpful in surviving this isolation. 

Being thankful and counting blessings are simple things a person could do to attract positivity in their life because it truly does begin inside of you.  Further having a positive impact on others leads to a cascade to goodness in the world.

Rediscovering Interests

This is something all of us are doing to make good use of the time. At the beginning of self-isolation, we all must’ve binge-watched seasons until we were tired. After which we began revisiting old passions and interests or hobbies, To perfect a skill or just keep ourselves occupied. For me it has been focusing on my writing, indulging in novels, content writing, and creating, painting Arabic calligraphy art. And being honest it is truly amazing to create something you’re proud to say “I made it”. There is something so wholesome about it and it gets you hooked. 

Concluding, there are a lot more habits that have been the result of the positive impact of COVID-19, but the best one so far is that now we’ll all be more open and comfortable to change while being ready for more hurdles for us to conquer. The fight for justice, speaking out against discrimination for at least one race makes me hopeful but sad that a man is killed in Minnesota but thousands die a painful death every day in Palestine, Kashmir, Yemen, Syria, and Uyghur. I pray that we’re as vocal and united about them as we are for black lives. To me, they are still a privileged race that people are burning cities down for. I also pray we implement on the fight against depression that was once a taboo. All in all, change is on its way and it is battling with the inevitably bad in this world.  

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Noshad Ali

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