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Life after Pandemic by Divya Pandey (1st Runner- Up)

As I stay aloof from the social life, get-togethers and obviously the tons of works on hold because of the current pandemic of SARS-COV-2(Corona Virus), I sometimes pretend not to visualize the new life that awaits, the unbalanced economy, changes and struggles to compensate the time and lives we lost. I am quite sure that moving out from the pandemic after months of socially isolating yourself and accepting the life afterwards is not going to be easy as crisis happens to push us on different path.  The actual after-math of pandemic comes once we tend to detract from that path. 

Our strategies of dealing with the pandemic have an enormous role in directing the future of humankind and changing the course of history. Be it the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918 or H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic of 2009 or HIV/AIDS Pandemic of 1981, all of this crisis although having a huge number of death tolls and economic loss made the humankind to step into the new phase of life amidst the circumstances. The perception differs among people about their ways of accepting the situations borne out of the pandemic. In a way, crisis like this are causing dysfunction of world’s social, political and economic scenarios. Looking at the other aspect, they are a part of life lessons that motivates us to stay optimistic about life in any critical situations. Either way, life goes on and we can just make sure we live it the right way.

The greatest loss any pandemic could ever bring is letting go of your precious life. And the majority of ones who could battle against it have their failed business or out of job situation because of the whole downfall of economy. They have to start reverting to the stage of greater reliance upon the government. The government will in turn have to implement economic stimulus and support packages to keep individuals, businesses, and economies afloat. There will be disordering of rules and regulations and chances of failed governance can arise because of the increasing economic, social and political pressure. People will face mental health challenges, leading to more deaths due to suicides and depressions as they would not be able to balance their social lives after the pandemic.  International and even some domestic travels restriction can adversely affect the export-import mechanism making it difficult to keep global food supply chains alive leading to food insecurities and limited supply of health kits and medications. Our blind trust towards globalized world can change to some extent. The attitude of people towards work and education system can change as people rely more on WFH(Work from Home) Jobs and digital learning and may surpass the traditional classroom education. Simultaneously, this system can bring the problem of interrupted learning for disadvantaged families. 

Visualizing the silver linings of pandemic, there remains a chance for the countries worldwide to get together and create opportunities from crisis. The shared experience of crisis gives people a greater sense of solidarity and concern for others. Looking back to the pandemic can help people to have one look ahead to the future pandemics coming on the way because of increased alertness and resilience to face them. Despite the numerous jobs lost, these pandemics can also be an opportunity to redirect our energies into something else which could well- fit in the current situation. We can rethink our strategies by better management of cash-flow. We will have better travel habits and get rid of unnecessary gatherings. Comprehensive health care plans will be developed and sanitation will be of major focus. World can be a better place to live to some extent because of the reduced fossil fuel use resulting in decreased  CO2 emissions and improved air quality. 

Even after the end of the pandemic, the perception of threat among the people will never let the fear of its re-emergence go away. The only way to prevent the next pandemic will be to learn from the current one. People will try to normalize but there will be a new normal. Wanting to live back our old lives will just invite another wave of infection, instead focusing on creating a more efficient and resilient lifestyle will be a better and ultimate option for the whole humankind.