Calamity isn’t calamitous after-all!
Calamity emerges often with little space to prepare to face it or no time at all thus placing the affected face to face with challenges to fight, needs to meet, damage to fill in and tasks to keep the normality of life rolling. Human beings have never been guaranteed protection from and immune to natural crisis or pandemic from time immemorial, and never in written history have they succumbed entirely with existence.
The existing crisis of Covid-19 facing humanity globally in varying degrees has posed a threat of unfathomable nature adding yet again time to time novel dimensions with differences in time and regions entangling those working days and nights for antidote in different forms in further complexities making the immediate solution a fainter possibility. The fluctuations in death tolls and detection of the Covid-19 infected, the unimaginable failure to contain it by the super powers despite financial allocations, better ability to deal with domestic problems and scientific attempts directed towards a solution, have pushed us even in further abysmal of despair with faint light in near future.
With these contexts, and flushes of breaking news breaking our patience and tenacity, popping up of statistics preying on our confidence, we are, no doubt, going through a tough time we have never before and hopefully, will face never after. But are we whiling away time with no productivity or keeping away from the utilization of our time? Nope, we aren't passing that much bad time, or bad time at all!
I am serving in a private university, and we were holding our midterm examination of Spring 2020 while, all of a sudden, we were bound to halt all the academic activities including the remaining examinations in the middle of March with two weeks of emergency vacation, the type of holidays we never imagined in our career. And then we are in an uncertain abundance of holidays with no certain dates to do the normal activities as we did previously. We, however, initially felt happy and heaved a sigh of relief for being out of the routine bound life and planning a lot to finish multi-unfinished projects and works.
Time passed and within a short span, we came to feel a missing point severely, and that is our work place, the abode of our maximum quality time, the ground of our social standing, the breeding ground for our knowledge and the very source of our livelihood. Apart from the holistic vacuum, we started feeling the missing warmth of collegial interactions, the vibrant company of the students, the vigorous discussions on important-not so important -unimportant issues over foaming coffee or healthy green tea. We in our virtual communications come to discover a common love missing! We,then, really love our workplace, and that we didn't know much. Then a big thanks to Covid-19!
We never ever thought of any alternative in carrying out our academic activities as well as nonacademic tasks. But the compulsory complete shutdown of the university has distanced us from the usual practices as well as pushed us in serious thoughts to look for alternatives and explore our potentials for distance teaching -learning. That process was, not to mention, to many a complete Greek, a narrowly practiced area for some and a piece of cake for a very few. Covid 19 has made us think of an old adage with practical meaning beyond the examination-required-memorized-understanding, necessity is the mother of invention.
And yes, we along with many others of different universities on an emergency mapped out the routes, chalked out the programs, accepted the challenges with some orientations to online course conduction, prepared us for the classes specially with materials and started afresh.
And yes, we did it. In April, 2020, we conducted the courses and complete the required syllabus with difficulties arising in different levels and solutions provided immediately to a tolerable degree. The initial skeptical eyes these days are widened to see the success! Crisis is not then a waste of time and life. It turns to be a time to explore the unexplored and achieve which could perhaps never be possible in normal days!
Then again the time we are passing with our family could hardly be managed in such a manner. This can be a breeding time for bounding up life in the perfect possible chiseled manner. Some practices and habits can be formed within special attention on food, reading and exercise to enter an era of life which we failed to manage earlier for lack of time and lack of understanding of these practices. If the plan can be made and formed into habit, this crisis time will surely be remembered with bad memories and big thanks that better, brighter life ensued after this crisis.
No, I am not playing with words to bury the burden we are bearing in our lock down days, neither is it an attempt to simplify a complex life in ever most complex time. What I am saying is, we don't afford to waste our time by delving in the test time of Covid 19. We do have our dimensions yet to be excavated, potentials still to be flourished and space further to enrich in a befitting manner. In this era, we have our smart devices with access to the seas of knowledge, wisdom, entertainment and development.
We have our own never-materialized-dream plans to pursue. At least we as human beings are yet to know ourselves even in a small bit. Why can't this crisis period with spare time be a boon in being a better human being if not in the holistic sense, be partially in any area. That will also be rewardingly remarkable.
The writer is an assistant
professor, Department of English,
Green University of Bangladesh