“By the time this is over” was a song made popular by Peabo Bryson, the same guy who made the popular Disney track “A whole new world” for the movie Aladin in 1992. Perhaps I should have changed it to “By the Time this long Night is Over”. Yeah we are going to experience a very long night with coronavirus aka covid-19.
The bitter truth is hundreds of thousands of lives would be lost. Humanity would be brought to her knees so much so that many would think the end has finally come. But the end as we know it is not anywhere near. At least not for now.
But at the end of it all, the world would be like a chick coming out of an egg. So many lessons would have been learnt. Humanity would never be the same again. The epidemic may after all be a blessing in disguise.
Lockdowns have suppressed Pollution
By the time this long night is over, air pollution would have been greatly reduced paving way for a cleaner and greener environment.
Before the virus struck, there had been a clamour all over the world by many environmentalists to stop the gradual depletion of the ozone layer and indeed the environment as a result of the terrible waste products released into the atmosphere.
And now that the virus has struck threatening the very existence of mankind, the only measure it seemed that could be put in place to flatten the curve was by introducing the lockdown.
Lockdown policies and the resulting reductions in economic activity have seen emissions take a steep dive.
Satellite imagery from the European Space Agency shows, the coronavirus pandemic is shutting down industrial activity and temporarily slashing air pollution levels around the world.
According to Paul Monks, professor of air pollution at the University of Leicester, predicted there will be important lessons to learn. “We are now, inadvertently, conducting the largest-scale experiment ever seen,” he said. “Are we looking at what we might see in the future if we can move to a low-carbon economy? Not to denigrate the loss of life, but this might give us some hope from something terrible. To see what can be achieved.”
The result of the current lockdowns in Africa particularly Nigeria would also bring about the same result.
The world has never been more united
By the time this long night is over, the whole world would have become better united and peace would reign in most places.
For the very first time the whole world is united against one common enemy, the coronavirus. From Asia to Europe to Africa, the message is the same. And countries are even sending supports both human and materials to other countries to fight this invisible enemy.
When this long night is finally over, it is believed many countries would forget their differences, just as they have temporarily done now and see how they can be more united and forge a better alliance.
Washing hands actually works
By the time this night is over, many homes all over the world would be more hygienic and diseases would be lowered to the barest minimum.
This might sound silly, but before the pandemic, most people might not have known that soap actually destroys certain kinds of viruses and bacteria. Now, having done a lot of reading on the subject and heard from experts, most people—and their kids—can probably explain in great detail why soap can obliterate microorganisms’ outer membranes, including the novel coronavirus. Who knew? Well, now we all do, and we’ll probably wash our hands a lot more frequently after this is “over.” Staying sudsy for at least 20 seconds is now part of our psyches.
We should listen to data (statistics)
In this part of the world, we use sentiments and religious beliefs to decide the course of our lives and events rather reality. We are so drenched in religion to the extent that we put everything that happens to us at the door step of God, when as a matter of fact we are the architect of most of these things. The rest of the world are still better off in this area.
As Cuomo, the governor of New York recently said in a press briefing, “let’s listen to the numbers and the data, not emotion and personal beliefs. The data show patterns that help determine the course we take, and the data should always come first. It would have been good to have listened to it much earlier on, but here we are. The numbers coming in every day may ultimately show that our approach can be more nuanced in the future—and hopefully it will be—but we need to understand what’s going on first.
We are super-social creatures
Psychologists and researchers have been saying this for many, many years—we have a deep innate need to be around other people and share experiences, and indeed our lives. All the research shows that people who are more connected are happier and healthier in the long run. And while many people knew this, now we really know it. Social distancing—now intentionally changed to physical distancing by the WHO, for just this reason—has been excruciatingly difficult as a way of life. We’re doing it, but it’s not natural or pleasant. But having done it will perhaps help us in the future realize how critical the “village” is, and how lovely it is to interact—the shake hands, to hug, snuggle, and all the other acts of social closeness that make us human.
Better and more responsive leaders.
By the time this long night is over, we would be having many leaders who have overnight turned into better listeners. They would be more sensitive to the plight of the common man. They would have realized that what separates the poor from the rich, the powerful from the downtrodden is just a thin delicate thread. They would have realized that when death comes calling not even your wealth or position can save you. Just take a look at how the virus has dealt with the high and mighty as against the “nobodies” of this world.
A better health care system.
By the time this night is over, we would be having a very robust health care system as result of the drastic and speedily established state-of-the-art health care system being witnessed across the different parts of the country.
By the time this epidemic was over, we would have lost many elites to the cold hands of death. They could have prevented their untimely deaths save for their lackadaisical approach to the plights of the common man. Instead of developing and creating better health systems back home, a slight headache would have seen them take the nearest flight to some of the world’s best medical facilities.
And when the virus struck and many countries of the world decided to shut the doors even against the high and mighty from gaining entrance into their territory, the deficiency in the health care facilities within our country became exposed.
Life won’t be the same after—and that’s o.k.
People have been saying this since fairly early on into the saga, but it was hard to wrap one’s brain around—it was much more comforting to imagine that we’d spring right back to it after a month or two. But as “stay-at-home” orders extend, it’s easier to see that things have changed, some irreversibly, and for better and for worse.
We’ve been immersed, for example, in unbidden—but extremely valuable—real-world experiments in the powers of technological connectedness: telemedicine and working from home. These things will probably “stick,” to some degree, and make life better in lots of ways. We’ve also realized the extraordinary importance of preparation; we knew a pandemic would come around at some point, but we were still somehow largely unprepared.
And while the social (physical) distancing experiment has been illuminating in the other direction—we want to get away from that part—we might be smarter in the future about how we interact. But hopefully we’ll also feel a new sense of appreciation if and when we do get to act normal again. And hopefully that, and the other lessons we pull from this over time, will stick around for a long time.
Olorunloba Adeniyi(Zeemo) is a professional web developer, a social critique, Writer, Blogger, Digital marketer amongst many other things. He is also the founder of Doctors Online, one of Nigeria’s fastest growing online health magazine, Master IT, Test Yourself and so many other online educational platforms. He can be reached at email@example.com