After two long months, our official general public holiday or self-quarantine has ended. People are trying to start their normal life again. This experience is going to leave its mark and stay with us forever.
We reached out to a few educationists, economists and entreprenuers for their thoughts, realizations and learnings during this period. In their own words:
Director of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association
It is a new experience for me to deal with solitude. And, sadly we have lost few of our elders who have been the torch bearers of the nation, in their respective fields. It made me feel helpless. I realized that we should never take things for granted. We are fragile human beings in this great scheme of life.
We should learn how to appreciate this very moment, cherish bonding, enrich and develop ourselves with good habits. So, I have focused on making habits like spending more time on physical exercise, eating healthier and also picking up my old reading habit again.
Reading and researching have become more interesting than ever.
Since this shutdown, I have realized that many meetings can be done online. There were days when I attended more than five webinars, and it would have been impossible to have those by being physically present.
Syed Manzoorul Islam
Professor of English and Humanities at ULAB
The pandemic arrived long ago. When we could have been ahead of it, we just ignored it. Now we are walking towards the herd immunity. But I am afraid that if this continues in the long run, we might turn into a nation who has attained emotional immunity too, as people are becoming desensitized every day.
What was the hurry to publish SSC result amid this pandemic? Did anyone think about those students who have failed? I have realized that we are forgetting to be compassionate. Amid this pandemic, few people have showed love and compassion wholeheartedly but a certain class did not come forward – the way they should have.
It has changed me as a person and a teacher. I have decided to put more emphasis on moral values and will start my class with a moral lesson. If only one student learns something, that will be my achievement.
However, I am badly missing my intellectual addas with my friends, my oxygen – my students.
Executive Director at Centre for Policy Dialogue
Surprisingly, I have noticed that few offices do not even need physical office to work. They can continue this work from home further and simply save the money. So I have realized that it will create a social impact too as it will decrease the pressure of traffic on roads.
Currently, I am not wasting three hours in a day trapped in traffic, and as a result while saving my energy. Hence, I have been working more to meet early deadlines, reviving good habits at home like reading books, writing and bonding with my loved ones.
I have learnt that for our loved ones we should protect nature and stop running after materialistic things. Those are meaningless, in the end. This whole world should invest more and more money on health and medical research and so should Bangladesh.
Managing Director at Berger paints Bangladesh LTD
My realization can be summed up by Socrates's quote – "How many things can I do without?" I am learning this every day and practising minimalism.
We are social animals but living a life without any gatherings. Right at this moment, being alive is the most cherishing thing.
I am trying to have a grip and live at this moment. As nothing is in my control, I am just doing what I can do. I am working and trying to be productive so that nothing lags behind, taking care of my physical, mental health and my family.
This pandemic has taught us to enjoy life even if we are at the tip of an iceberg. We should look at the bright side and start dreaming of a new tomorrow.
Ahsan H. Mansur
Executive Director of Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh
I am feeling helpless. None of the doctors I know are picking up my phone calls. It seems like if something happened to me, I would die at home without any treatment. But the scenario was not supposed to be like this. We had more than four months to beat this pandemic. If we had planned and executed plans properly, we could have easily put our life on track, by now.
Our government is not willing to adapt to anything, not even technology. Nonetheless, they should, as our private sectors and foreign countries are using this frequently and doing well.
By taking a few wrong decisions, we have just destroyed our economy and it will take forever to revive. I was about to open a resort at in village but then I had to call it off. Now, I am at a loss, as are many businessmen of Bangladesh.
People are going to be traumatized and no one is talking about this. Roughly, 60-70 percent families will be affected by this pandemic. We are observing a once-in-a-lifetime incident.