COVID-19 is the Reset Button We All Needed

Nonggol Darapati
5 min readAug 8, 2020

In retrospect is COVID-19 a curse or a blessing? Humanity seems to have had to hit reset due to the Pandemic and I for one am very grateful.

Let’s be honest for a minute, who here thought that the world was an inch away from Armageddon before the whole COVID-19 exploded in our faces? I certainly did. I thought for sure it was just a matter of days before the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse galloped across our skies, and the Archangel Gabriel descended from the heavens and said to us all “The time has come. This is the end of days”. The world was in a very dark place prior to Covid, nearly all corners of the world was ravaged in either endless wars, famine or global warming. This seemed to be a clear sign that destruction was near. The Middle East was literally burning with wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and in particular Yemen, as the news cycle constantly reminded us that the humanitarian crisis in Yemen was one of the worst in the history of the world. Refugees from warn torn countries dying by the dozens everyday at sea trying to escape a fate worse than death, and yet nobody did anything. Yemen wasn’t the only reason I was sure humanity was doomed, Greta Thunberg, who was merely a teenager had to step up to the world stage and remind world leaders that the earth was in peril! A teenager had to remind powerful world leaders and scholars what the world was doing wrong. You bet I started to worry, it really did seem that Death, Famine, War, and Conquest were already here. However what I found to be more catastrophic than the arrival of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse was that humans have become the most selfish we had ever been. I was reminded of this daily when I read the news or taking a moment to step back and observing those around me. I felt so uncomfortable existing in this modern marvel of the 21st century. I felt out of place and wished that people would realize this comfort of touch of a button mentality with middle class necessities are actually smoke and mirrors for an illness that is slowly killing all of us. Technology was suppose to make our lives easier, a step closer to making sure hunger and diseases were no longer an issue. But instead, technology was used for all the wrong reasons, endless marketing and advertising gimmicks by “Influencers”, election hacking, economic power struggles and cyber espionage but most of all, deadly weapons to kill innocent civilians, women and children.

Humanity had reach a point where it forgot how to be human. How many of us truly cared about each other before COVID happened? Was empathy just a word in the dictionary or was it being practiced in our daily lives? I remember a while back I was so sick and couldn’t get out of bed and so I reached out to one of my cousins, who lived close to me and asked if he could send me some food since I was too sick to get out of bed. All he said was “try to get your groceries to be delivered”. As you can tell, it wasn’t about the groceries, it was the fact that I was scared of having a scorching fever, being all alone in my house and too weak to even get medicine from the cupboard. But did he care? of course not. And this was generally how humans are these days. We believed technology will solve our problems that we forgot the simple basic act that separates us from animals, kindness.

The day COVID-19 happen did anyone truly care, besides those living in China? It made headlines around the world every now and then but since it was mainly a pandemic in China, we all thought that the rest of us were safe as long as we stayed out of China. But then , like a serpent slowly tightening its grip on its victim, COVID started to tighten its grip on the world. One by one citizens of every nation, regardless of race and gender started to get infected. The virus spread like wildfire and most governments and countries stood by frozen, unsure what to do as more and more fatalities increased by the day. Doctors and nurses in the front lines started dying everywhere around the world as they were exposed daily to the virus with no guidance as to how to avoid it, what safety measures were needed and how the virus spread. As information started to trickle in to the masses, everyone started to help. It started with Christian Siriano, the famous Project Runway winner. He posted on his social media that he was making cloth masks with his atelier team to be given to hospitals in their area. Soon other designers started to follow and the masses started to pitch in, donating whatever amount they could and seeing this, even civilians such as myself began sewing masks for our own front liners. I haven’t seen comradery like that since World War II where civilians all around the world helped in every way they could to feed, clothed and support soldiers in their front lines against occupation and aggression . In the 21st century, our soldiers are doctors, nurses and essential workers who risk their lives on a daily basis against an unseen enemy who up to now remains unbeatable. Soon I began to see that humanity and this world wasn’t lost yet. The Four Horsemen were nowhere insight. Humans around the world became kinder to one another, more empathetic, more caring and less hostile. COVID was the reset button we all needed.

We are now currently in the phase of the “New Normal”, where COVID is part of our lives like your ex from high school who keeps sending you friend requests on Facebook. The world is starting to return to its normal state, in a good and bad way. Economies are starting to open back up and offices are returning to normal. With this sense of normalcy, people too are starting to revert to their old ways, becoming less empathetic, especially to those who have lost their livelihoods. In the early days of the outbreak, everyone seemed eager to help and empathetic to those who lost their jobs or businesses, but now due to the rampant and widespread of the effects of COVID, everyone is fighting for their own survival, similar to how things were pre pandemic. Humans seem to have forgotten that when we care and work together we are able to achieve greatness. Looking back at history, did we not build the tower of Babylon? all humanity working side by side to reach the heavens? All the great monuments in the world are examples which stood the test of time how when humans work together, we can achieve greatness. Instead of waiting for things to go back to the way they were, why don’t we try to make things better than the way they were and learn from the past. After all, COVID is the universe’s way of saying “Humans, y’all need to chill and reset, here you go. Thank me later”. From where I’m sitting, the universe sounds like one smart woman, we all should listen to her and pay attention.

Nonggol Darapati

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