Let me begin with a story of a class.
One day Mrs. X decided to take a surprise test. The students had not anticipated this test and were caught unaware. There was no escape from this test! Students thought that Mrs. X was upset about the way they behaved, and this was her revenge. Each one in the class did the best to her capability, thinking I will prove Mrs. X wrong. The assessment of the test is pending, and so the results.
Are you wondering about the connection between the story and COVID19? Or maybe some of you have guessed the link. So the surprise test is COVID19, and obviously, the world is the class. I am not sure whether Mrs. X is nature or someone else.
While we, the human race, is fighting against COVID19 and trying to defeat it, every day we are sitting for some form of exams. The test has begun. Time will tell about individual and community performance.
COVID19 exam is testing the following abilities of every human:
- Trust: Do we, the people of a country, trust that our government will save and protect us? Do the government of various countries trust their citizens to follow the social distancing and stay at home orders?
- Integrity: Will you follow the rules set by the government to fight COVID19 even when there is no strict vigilance? Will you only buy what you need and not stock up as this might leave the needy short of things?
- Optimism: Are you spreading panic or hope about this test? Are you trying to lift the spirits in people or push them to be pessimistic? What good things to do or read did you share with your friends or community?
- Compassion: What have you done for others during COVID19? Did you help the needy – low-income strata or older people?
- Respect: Do you value the work done by other professionals in safeguarding you from the mayhem of COVID19? And here it does not mean whether you rang the bells on 22 March 2020 at 5 pm or not. Post the crisis, will you value the doctors, police, delivery guys and all other people who make our lives easier, including teachers and maids? Did you appreciate your family members for all the work they do for you?
- Relationship: During this tough time, did you reach out and empathise or sympathise with your loved and dear ones? Did you go beyond your problems to bring a smile on someone else’s face? Or you shut yourself up?
- Collaboration: Were all family members participating in household chores? Were you together in solving the challenges during the crisis?
Funnily, it looks like a surprise test of a Moral class. The difference being its practical and not theoretical. And you are the one who will do self-assessment of the exam. No one will judge you except yourself, and no one to impress. The COVID19 exam has begun. By the time the governments help us live through and revive from the crisis, you would know the results of your performance.
I too am appearing for this exam and honestly trying my best to do well in this exam. Post the crisis, when we meet each other, over coffee or dinner, the discussion will be around the efforts made by the government and individual initiative. Try not to be judgemental about this COVID19 Exam.
You may agree or disagree with me. COVID19 exam will teach us a lot about ourselves, our country and society. It will change the way we look at the future, and initiatives we would take as a society for the betterment of tomorrow.