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Writer: Bilal Wardak English Department Alumni

The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is changing lives, especially my life under the lockdown period. For me, the future feels very uncertain as everyday life is on hold across the country. This devastating pandemic is sent to remind us of the crucial lessons that we seem to have forgotten.

The COVID-19 epidemic has transformed life as we know it. It continues to evolve rapidly in Afghanistan, as the number of positive tested cases exceeded more than 2,000. It has forced all the people to close everything straight away and imposed a lockdown in the country and worldwide.

I am thankful; that I’m healthy and have enough space to quarantine myself. My life has been changed in many ways: I have been working from home for some time now. Things have been changed much for me as before I worked till late at night in the office. Luckily, I also got a chance to spend some quality time with my family, which I could not look after them before due to the heavy workload and busy schedule. I am currently busy working on my blueprint, which should be strictly followed by me shortly after the quarantine period. In the meantime, I helped my mother by preparing some delicious foods. It has changed my family’s daily lives and the way we interact; we cannot gather in public and engage in social distancing. We are confined to our homes; schools are closed, and staying home is the only way to stop the virus right now.

As a matter of fact, there is nothing new for us to stay at home, but this situation is different. How long is it going to last? This situation hinders governance, holding back the peace process and undermining the response’s effectiveness to the unfolding pandemic. I am deeply concerned about the people who live in an area with inadequate medical care. I live in a war-torn country where the health system is on its knees; we even can’t test people for the Coronavirus. The laboratory staff is not well-enough trained to identify the virus. Most people are day laborers and have to work; they have to earn money for their families.

Whereas; many see the Coronavirus as a great disaster, I prefer to see it as a “great corrector.” There is a purpose behind everything that happens, whether we perceive it as being good or bad. This pandemic caused me to have some review of my life. It reminded me that we are all equal, regardless of our culture, religion, community, or how famous we are; this disease treats us equally. We are all connected, and something that affects one person affects another.

Briefly, it has forced me to keep aside my ego and think; what I can do to help others and reminded me to stay grateful. To be thankful for everything I have. How precious our health is, and we have to move to neglect it. How short is life and how to help each other, especially those who are old and sick? How important are family and home life is and how much we have ignored this?

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