As we all know, the current Covid-19 pandemic has ravaged the world with over 200 countries having confirmed cases affecting millions of people. In order to stay safe from the pandemic, we have had to make changes in our lives, some of which include studying from home, enforcing social distancing and washing our hands frequently.

Every age group has been somewhat affected, with most people choosing to self-isolate themselves in order to prevent contracting the virus. The time spent at home is almost like a vacation of sorts, and so has been dubbed “coronacation” by the youth.

Students, in particular have been put in an unusual limbo where we experience a sense of normalcy as our classes continue online, but also a sense of urgency as we increasingly become aware of the severity of the pandemic. Some who were studying abroad have chosen to go back home to be with their families, and as more and more countries decide to enforce lockdown, there is an increasing number of students who find themselves away from either their families or friends.

In addition to worrying about our loved ones, we worry about ourselves as well. What if the pandemic persists for longer than anticipated? How will we now give our exams? And if we do give exams at a later date, how will we apply for universities when our exam results have not even come in yet?

This unprecedented lockdown has led to ambiguity as to how to continue with the applications of our further studies, sky-rocketing our anxiety for what was already a quite grueling process.

However, there can be a light found at the end of every tunnel, no matter how dark it may seem at first. We must take this time to remind ourselves of the little joys in life and take a step back from our usually fast-paced lives.

In Italy, a country that has been in a lockdown from March 9, residents have taken to blasting music or singing from their homes in order to boost morale. In the United States of America, citizens have starting putting up their Christmas lights to brighten their days.

We must remember that “In the midst of chaos, there is also an opportunity.” -- Sun Tsu.

We can also perform small tasks like these to remind ourselves of all the joys life brings us, be it learning a new skill you simply never had the time for before, spending hours with family playing monopoly or Ludo, or simply sitting outside in your garden or balcony with a hot cup of tea and the cool spring breeze. There are also multiple ways to keep building your resume, even while at home.

Those of you who have academic enriching activities planned for the summers, do not be disheartened, these activities are not being completely cancelled, simply the way you must go about them has changed. Do not see this period as confinement, rather as a convenient way to accomplish all these tasks from the comfort of your home.

Instead of attending a summer course in person, why not choose from a wide variety of free online courses from multiple prestigious universities? In addition, online apps and websites can be used to learn another language, a skill that may be useful in the future.

Furthermore, do not forget those who are less privileged. In a recent coronavirus-related address to the nation, Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan, stated that “Twenty-five percent of Pakistanis cannot afford to eat two times a day.”

Why not partner with an NGO to provide food for families of daily wage earners (who are not able to earn during the pandemic), or even just offer basic groceries to those who work at your home.

During this time of crisis, a quote from the late Fred Rogers seems appropriate, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

Be a helper to someone, whether it be by providing material necessities or simply hope in these trying times and remember, this too shall pass.

Published in Dawn, Young World, May 23rd, 2020