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    Coronavirus and Our True Colors

    Easa F. Al Gurg elaborates on the various reactions to the pandemic and advises on the best route to tackle them, and how to put our best foot forward.

    In times of crisis, each of us tends to react in different ways. Some would take calculated and measured decisions and actions, while others would over-react and jump to conclusions before even thinking things through, and some on the other hand, would get into simple modes of denial or panic. Ultimately it stems down to our nature and physiological reaction as human beings and what we know as ‘Fight-or-Flight Response’ – we have seen a lot of it lately, with many reacting to the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic around the globe in different ways. As of now, all I can say is that humanity is being tested, and some of us seem to be passing while others will unfortunately fail miserably.

    This pandemic is unlike anything humanity has ever experienced before. Some of the main factors that make it a difficult one with larger consequences is the fact that nowadays everything in this world is more connected, people are more dependent on one another, and economic markets are also seamlessly connected to each other. On the other hand, we have more advanced technologies, better healthcare, more knowledge, and the ability to instantaneously communicate globally. That said, the strongest link we have is also our weakest, and that is us.

    A wonderful example of strength in people can be seen in the reaction of the UAE government, the dedication of the Emergency Response teams of each emirate, the reaction of many government and private entities towards their staff and tenants, and even the co-operation from the general public towards government regulations and guidelines. Almost immediately, an economic stimulus package was implemented, businesses came out with their own initiatives to show solidarity with the government, the society, and their business partners as well; and majority of the market put the well-being of people ahead of personal economic benefit. Priority was given to Human Life and Safety over anything else, with no expenses being spared to ensure that we get through these times and emerge stronger than ever before.

    On the other hand, we see unfortunate examples across different countries of how some are not taking the necessary measures they should to curb the spread, be it at an individual level or otherwise. In some countries, politics or economic benefit is being prioritized, or people are simply not able to grasp the magnitude of the problem we are facing today and going about their lives as if the pandemic does not exist. We also come across examples of businesses trying to take undue financial advantage of the situation, without regard to human safety or the well-being of the society in general, a small example would include the price hike of certain food products, or even medical equipment.

    Sooner or later, humanity will get through this period, but the world as we know it, has changed forever. Countries view each other differently, based on who was supportive and who wasn’t, people would have realized who genuinely cares about them and who doesn’t; be it other people or the companies they deal with or work in. This pandemic will bring out who we really are – our true colors, and we will surely remember the good as well as the bad we all went through. We are all in the same boat and need to make sure that we stand by each other in any way we can. We need to remember that without each other, we are nothing. History has taught us that by being united and supportive of one another, we can get through anything.

    To conclude, I leave you with a lesson we should all remember and live by, a saying by the Dalai Lama: “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” I wish that you all remain healthy and safe in the coming period, May God grant each of us the patience and strength to get through these times and be there for each other. Stay Home & Stay Safe.

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