Values we can learn from the COVID-19 pandemic

‘Coronavirus, COVID-19, Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic,  2019-nCoV’ are some keywords I have been hearing in just about every conversation. I am quite guilty of it myself.  Whilst COVID-19 holds an unprecedented challenge in front of us, the pandemic has kept us home with enough time to brood over some of life’s endless lessons. Undoubtedly, the spread of the coronavirus has changed the way we all live and work.  We can deeply empathise with the grief many people are experiencing, and it is vital for us to come out of this pandemic as better individuals and a more tightly-knit community. It’s definitely certain that we won’t remain the same after the pandemic passes.

It is important to maintain some optimism during these times, as the glass may seem half empty. I think otherwise. If you are like me, then you’ve probably developed several redefined thought patterns about life, including new views of things, work, people, strengths and weaknesses too. I have thought of a few lessons outlined below that I believe COVID-19 will have hopefully taught us all, by the end of this nationwide lock down.

Patience is a Virtue.

Cambridge English dictionary defines Patience as ‘the ability to wait, or to continue doing something despite difficulties to suffer without complaining or becoming annoyed.”  Not something I will say, is my biggest strength. I am realising now, I was enjoying all the hustle and liveliness that Sydney had to offer. As a typical person, I have enjoyed life, the outdoors, visiting family, socialising with friends and travelling to work. This isolation period is tough, as I miss visiting my family, hanging out with friends, travelling to work, meeting with my clients or even maintaining social work connections with our nurses which is an important part of our business.

Patience in the pandemic of COVID-19.

“The human capacity for burden is like bamboo – far more flexible than you’d ever believe at first glance.” – Jodi Picoult.  We can be knocked down by life, tough times and challenges, but we can come back stronger than ever through patience, strength and determination. As we have discovered after weeks isolated at home, the lockdowns have given us all a great chance to sit back and learn how time is the one constant during this pandemic. That no matter how grim everything seems right now, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and it will only come with time. Time is our most precious asset and there’s never been a more necessary time to learn. This time of patience will teach us to plan better and bounce back stronger than ever.

Leadership Through Resilience.

“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.” ― Elizabeth Edwards

COVID-19 is affecting our health care community in unprecedented ways. This pandemic has brought out a trait that is one of the most important qualities for individuals and communities – RESILIENCE. It feels as if we can get through this, we can get through any road that lies ahead. Workers and employers have now gained skills of adaptability and strength. Most of all, these trying times have seen everyone showcasing some accountability and self-leadership. It has been amazing to see businesses take action in order to support our frontline healthcare professionals with donations, food and care. The virus will pave the way for all individuals, communities and governments in the future to be more resilient and show better leadership during a crisis.

Compassion, Collaboration & Appreciation.

The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are, and will be defined by choices. Those choices should be based upon values: compassion, collaboration, cooperation and appreciation. From the toilet-paper hoarding to profiteering from essential items of need, we have also seen a lot of self-centered behaviour through the weeks. I believe this was a blessing in disguise, in the form of a learning opportunity. After looking at the damage this has done to those in need, the COVID-19 situation will teach us to tackle future problems with a community-first mindset. The generations going through this will be able to give guidance and perspective to future generations about how to act during the time of crisis. Let’s ensure that the stories that will be told are of compassion and coming together: countering the fear and blame.

We have learnt that this is about ‘WE’, not me.  We want, we need and we deserve from this experience that deep lessons are quickly learnt. The world is wildly connected, once we accept this, then we can plan for future pandemics.

The struggle to contain the coronavirus is our number one priority as people, as an organisation and community. Life and death decisions are not only being made by doctors and nurses, but by each and everyone of us. Our collaborative effort in social distancing – together.  An oxymoron of sorts. BPNA cannot be prouder of the team effort that Australians have exemplified which has helped slow down the spread of infections. The pandemic has made the old cliché ring true; every person counts. We have learned to be mindful of each action, or we could end up being a risk to someone else. Each and everyone of us holds a piece of the better world we need, where compassion, collaboration and cooperation are the keys.

I would have never thought I would be washing my hands this much. I have taken so much caution in washing and sanitising my hands. I am certain so many of us have changed our hand-washing habits since the outbreak made headlines.

Lets face it, Coronavirus has changed the world permanently. We have learnt to take a step back and appreciate life, especially for the outdoors and life’s other simple pleasures. But for us Australians, we started to appreciate life long before the COVID-19 pandemic. Ever since the bush fires ravaged across Australia, we have been greatly impressed with our community’s reaction in the appreciative efforts for all firefighters, health care professionals, police and our community. The frontline health professionals have done an outstanding job showing selflessness and courage for us all. They have made us all very proud to call ourselves Australian. The Australian fighting spirit still continues…’at war with a virus’

Today, nearing the end of April, the future seems a little more reassuring. As with each passing day, our country is slowly progressing and flattening the Coronavirus curve. The trying times will pass quickly and a new chapter will unfold. We will have learnt lessons from this that will last a lifetime, and hopefully the next generation will be able to learn from our strengths and our mistakes. I can say, we have all gained new insights about how to work together effectively – global solidarity. None of us want to face another crisis like this again.

What I have learnt – that the rapid global spread of a COVID-19 has taught us that we are all interconnected in terms of our health and well-being.

What I hope – human capacity to overcome this pandemic together is limitless.

BPNA wishes everyone across the world to continue to stay safe, and we offer our deepest sympathy to all who have been affected by this. For many of us this is a really difficult time, although this will be temporary, we can’t relax just yet. It’s time for us all to be true global citizens and stand with the people in our communities.

Let’s continue to learn new lessons. Here’s to a better tomorrow. Stay Safe!


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