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As we experience COVID social media overload, trying to discern lies form cruel reality, there must be some “healthy” lessons to be learned from this megademic or bad flu or whatever it is that your/my mind can wrap itself around to allow sanity to prevail. Hopefully some lessons for present and future generations to grasp, use and succeed with a better world.

It is an easy time to be tetchy and point fingers. Nationalism, greed and finger-pointing abound and the great divides between:

  • Vaccinators and antivaxxer
  • Home schooler vs. Old Boys and ladies
  • Vegans and meat-eaters
  • Organic or genetically modified to feed the world
  • Cannabis reaction or medicine
  • Even bike riders
  • Carbs the ongoing Noakesisms.

Basically its a time where hard opinion has split us even more. The media savvy world with easy access to wifi and data also have hours in the day to burn spueing opinion.

As doctors and parents, in particular, the hard emphasis on basic principles is key:

  • Be kind
  • Be understanding
  • TRY and be tolerant
  • From medical and life – “First do not harm” – Hippocrates
  • A hint of altruism.

These basic principles still hold very true and with empty streets but crowded houses, if we as adults remember all of our childhood lessons:

  • Please and thank you mean alot
  • Sharing is caring
  • Waste is just that – a waste
  • Choose wisely with things; people; information
  • Dont overindulge.

The world has shut down and we know for sure that’s not a cure, but hopefully a delay or slowing of a rush of sick and dying and yes less driving, less alcohol may be saving lives, but there is growing fear of:

  • Anarchy and food (and alcohol) related riots
  • Growing unemployment and poverty
  • Abuse and relationship break down.

It is hard, as an individual and collective nation, to comprehend how long the fight for reducing a disease that so far (I am talking SA locally) has failed to produce the mayhem we have/are anticipating. So is it coming? Probably and sadly or gladly, we have had time to medically prepare. It may mean some form of isolation well through winter.

While we ponder life as never before, let’s be KIND to everyone around us and on a grander scale, let’s allow nations to share knowledge and commodities fairly and supportively. Food supply chains, vaccines and science can all learn that better understanding and that different, be it in opinion, colour or religion, does not make anyone better or worse, just different. That is good; diversity allows broader thought and spectrum of approach and we need that right now.

While standing in a queue or a shared bedroom at home, smile and don’t expect one back. Give without always needing something in return. Remember that no matter the size of the group from a family, to work to a region tolerance will be required, and love and doing greater good has to surpass the individual. Even as doctors, we are learning to share again and not hold our nervous cards too tightly to our chest. No acdemic hierarchy, nor age seniority should hinder the progress of scientific endeavour to conquer this plague, nor interfere with the day-to-day care of the sick and dying. Heroes are needed and every chance should be made to make new light shine without endangering others with danderous talk or money making false claims.

Let peoples lights shine and we can only hope that there is recognition again and respect for the LITTLE people. From cleaners and nurses to the police and miltiary and a realisation that handing over millions for entertainment on the sports field and in the cinema or TV cannot be worth the revolting millions and billions paid out every year.

This COVID lesson can and must redirect our thoughts and our children’s lives toward a wiser world. Let our memories not be short. Let’s think before we act, live and strive as communities aiming to uplift people near and far. Not to be better than they, just better.