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Opinion piece: What the pandemic has taught us

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Opinion piece: What the pandemic has taught us

By Jo-Ann Tosen

A lot of problems have occurred ever since the coronavirus came to earth like aliens in the movies. It certainly hasn’t come in peace, but it isn’t all that bad, for we have learned a few things from it.

What’s happening around us is real; this is not a dream you can pinch yourself out of.  We must deal with this chaos the virus has created. It is depressing listening to the news informing us about death tolls, daily infections and restrictions. It would seem as though there is no hope, but all things need to come to an end – this includes the virus and our old ways of living.

Friends and family

During this time we realise how important it is to be with your friends and family. Today could be their last day, or perhaps tomorrow. You cannot take anyone you care about for granted, for they could be gone before you know it. Spending time with them is essential to stay happy and sane. You need to love them with all your heart, hug and kiss them as much as you can, because they are all you have at the end of the day. Do so after the virus as well, because circumstances should change nothing to your connection with your family. No matter what goes on in the world, you have to cherish each other.

Health

All of us must have realised by now how important it is to keep ourselves healthy, especially in these tough times with the virus. This is no ordinary cold, so we should keep our health in mind and follow the procedures. It is important to develop a healthy lifestyle to fight against this virus. Taking part in some fitness activities can also help towards developing the health you need. It’s not just your physical health – your mental health is also just as important. Many of you might have felt a little crazy at home. It is not easy trying to cope within the four walls of your room. Even travelling around the house doesn’t help much, although some say taking out the trash is a blast! Try to keep your mental health in check and take care of yourself.

Spending money

We need to think about how we are spending our money. In normal circumstances we would go to the mall every chance we get to buy something new, but is it really necessary?  With the lockdown in place, we spend money less and learn what we should be thankful for. Money is of the essence now with most people out of a job, so having an emergency fund is not such a bad idea after all. Maybe that piggy bank of yours is not as useless as you originally thought. Saving your money to become wealthy instead of rich is a pretty good idea. Learn how to spend money wisely; you never know what else might happen in the future.

Teachers

You might think right now that staying at home instead of attending school is the best thing that ever happened in the history of schools, but hopefully some of you have realised how important our teachers really are. Without teachers, there wouldn’t be a future. You wouldn’t have the chance to follow your dreams because there is no one to teach you what you need to know.  We all need to appreciate the effort our teachers have put in to make each one of us a success. Maybe we should rethink being disrespectful to our teachers next time when the schools are open once more.

Equal

Your status doesn’t matter anymore.  We all need to work with one another to survive the pandemic. No matter how “famous” or “important” you are to society, it does nothing against the virus. Even popularity in school isn’t on top of the list anymore. We all have to do our part and focus on the purposes of our lives. Even after this pandemic, we still need to treat each other equally.

Time

We keep on thinking about what might happen. Will the virus disappear? Will all of us be healed? Will life go back to normal as it used to be? Instead of living in the future, we should enjoy the present.  Many people couldn’t work, causing them to stay at home with the family. Everything you never had the time for; you have it now. You have the time to reflect on the situation and look for the silver lining. No one can turn back the time so now you should seize the moment. Life is short, so don’t waste precious time.

The beauty of nature

Have any of you realised what has happened to nature ever since the world went under lockdown?  The natural world has slowly begun to heal all around us.  The wildlife has walked freely down the streets of towns and cities. The decrease of the work of power plants and reduced traffic hasve allowed the atmosphere and weather patterns to change. Air pollution and global warming are the least of our problems now.  The virus has taught us how beautiful nature can be and how we can keep it that way by working together. We need to respect nature as it is. Yes, we may have received some earthquakes and floods, but perhaps that is Mother Nature’s way of punishing the human race for destroying what the earth has to offer in wildlife. You decide.

God

People have been praying more during the pandemic, in hope that God will take this chaos away. Religious beliefs were under-appreciated in the past.  People seemed to stop believing in Him. Some may think that God is bestowing His wrath on us now, but many other people believe that He is merciful and that He will save us. It is all up to you whether you want to have faith in Him or not. Whether in good times or bad, He will always be with you. Only you have to make the choice to let Him in. He will love you with all His heart.

So in order for us to make the world a better place in the future, we need to take these lessons into consideration. When all of this ends, we have our second chance to show earth that we will not let it down. We have to work on becoming better humans, not just for earth, but for ourselves.

Note: Opinions stated in this article are not necessarily the opinions of TeenZone Magazine. If you wish to submit a similar opinion piece, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us through lizzie@panorama.co.za.

Contact Jo-Ann for more of her writing on: joanntosen@gmail.com

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