Covid-19 and we the resilient nation

By: Dr Muhammad Akhtar Malik      Published: 02:17 PM, 11 Jun, 2020
Covid-19 and we the resilient nation

If recent weeks have shown us anything, it is that Covid-19 is not a myth. It is real. It is there. It exists. And, we must start treating it as such. I am aghast and totally stunned the way we have been behaving since the outbreak of the pandemic. I myself have been a victim of the virus.  Got recovered and back in job but it did hit me. Just one day before Eidul Fitr, I was tested Covid-19 positive.

Also, please understand that being Covid positive is not a taboo. It is a viral disease and it can catch you with even a little bit of negligence. So, if you feel any of the Covid symptoms, get yourself tested. Don’t hide it. By hiding it, you are only putting the lives of those near to you at risk.

Now, let me say, if Covid-19 is real so is the resilient character of our nation. We as a nation in our short history have had many crises. Some were self- inflicted, others were thrust upon us. Yet, others were a work of nature. But, thanks to the exceptionally resilient character of this wonderful nation, we navigated through turbulent times and emerged victorious almost every time. No doubt, it took us some time but we made through them, every time.

That is the kind of nation we are; hard, resilient and immensely hopeful. These are the basis of our national culture. This is who we are. This is us; you, me and every other Pakistani out there. Covid-19 is a medical crisis confronting us and we will not give in. We must defeat it with our resilience and little bit of caution.

There is this some unknown force that keeps us pushing. It does not let us give up and overwhelm by the obstacles. What is it? How does it look like? Ever wondered? It is this resilient character that defines us. It is deep rooted. It runs in our blood. It is what I have seen in far-off villages of the South Punjab and metropolitan of the mainland Pakistan.

Let me also admit that Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar truly a man of destiny and an epitome of resilience has chosen not to be overwhelmed by the crisis during these testing times. He is there in the arena, leading from the front during this crisis. Seeing him minutely monitoring the whole scenario and keeping track of the whole situation is immensely gratifying for me as a cabinet member and member of the committee on corona. During this crisis and working closely with him I have come to know, it is true that he is not a man crowd but a humble man with exceptionally resilient character and empathy for the common man.

It is also a fact that Covid-19 has impacted us in so many ways. It won’t be an exaggeration if I say that it simply has put the world upside down. Nothing is same. We are working differently. We are thinking differently. Online is the new normal. Positive has emerged to be the most negative word of the century. We, the humans who inherently are socializing creatures have been advised social distancing for our survival against this virus.  Strange times.

Last but not the least, being an optimist, I always look at the silver lining in the sky. I firmly believe in the light at the end of long and dark tunnel. No doubt, we are going through a national health crisis but the resilient and hopeful person somewhere deep down in my heart is whispering that we will get over this. Our brilliance in resilience will help us overcome this crisis. I still believe that this too shall pass! 

The writer is Minister for Energy, Punjab