The Positive Side to the Coronavirus – Yes, There Is One

By  //  May 29, 2020

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The news has always tended to be depressing, but in recent months, it has just been plain awful. With the coronavirus running rampant in practically every continent, the news been anything but positive. And yet if one were to look closely, there is a bright side to all this. In spite of the chaos, fear, and uncertainty, there is a positive side to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The news has always tended to be depressing, but in recent months, it has just been plain awful. With the coronavirus running rampant in practically every continent, the news been anything but positive. And yet if one were to look closely, there is a bright side to all this. In spite of the chaos, fear, and uncertainty, there is a positive side to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leaders rise to the occasion

Tough times force people to show their true colors, and world leaders haven’t been exempt in the time of COVID-19. If anything, they have been brought front and center, with their constituents – and the entire world, for that matter – closely scrutinizing their every move.

Some leaders have done better than others. Still some have failed – and are failing – miserably. 

Of those who have stepped up, Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo is a stellar example. After having to deal with the controversial Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantine, which earned him more than his fair share of criticism, the Prime Minister and his cabinet were quickly able to put measures in place to contain the spread of the virus and handle those who were taken ill.

Though numbers are expected to rise in the following weeks, Japan has one of the lowest infection and coronavirus-related death rates in the world.

The country has garnered praise from external entities such as the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, which stated that “Japan’s national-level hospital capacities in terms of total and ICU (intensive care unit) beds were not exceeded by COVID-19 patient demands.”

Another testament to the effectiveness of PM Abe’s leadership is that the nationwide state of emergency, which was first implemented in mid-April, has been “cautiously” lifted. When he addressed the nation on May 25, Monday, the Prime Minister stated, “I made a judgment that the country as a whole had met the strict standard to lift the state of emergency compared to other countries.”

He reiterated the strength of the Japanese model and announced a fresh stimulus package. This new financial assistance brings the total to about 200 trillion yen, providing Japanese households and businesses with hope as they face the new normal.

Progress takes on a different hue 

The new virus has served as a wake up call in more ways than one. While the Japanese people have always been mindful of their health and personal hygiene, it is not the case in some parts of the world. This is changing because of the pandemic. 

Progress is not limited to individual habits, however. Because of the new normal that the pandemic has brought, governments and the private sector are being forced to have a different perspective. Innovation is at its height. The adage “necessity breeds innovation” has never been more true.

In Japan, and countries, the development of new testing kits and processes to detect the COVID-19 virus has been hastened. Even developing countries like the Philippines have shown their resourcefulness with universities and professionals creating their own testing kits and ventilators.

In some western countries, motor companies have banded together to use their existing resources and help create ventilators.

Research for a cure or a vaccine is being done in laboratories – both government and private – from east to west. In Japan, Takara Bio is spearheading the quest for a COVID-19 vaccine. The company is known for being trailblazers in genetics and is working actively to develop a DNA-based solution – something which has never been done in humans before.

People connect like never before

On an individual level, the COVID-19 has made us realize the many things – and people – we have been taking for granted. Due to the quarantines and lockdowns, we have been forced to stay in our homes and avoid face-to-face contact.

Some have had to adjust more than others, but after weeks of not being able to do the things we’re used to doing, we’ve developed different habits.

People who haven’t been in touch for a while have spent time catching up. Members of the same household have spent more time together than in the past year, perhaps. The overall result – human connection. While it may not have been intentional, the positive impact still remains.

The COVID-19 pandemic is not to be taken lightly. It is far from over, and all of humanity is suffering from it in one way or another.

Yet in these troublesome times, that spark of hope and life that lies within each of us has proven to be true. We can’t ignore the problems that the pandemic brings but we don’t have to succumb to despair. Instead, we take a look at what the future brings – the future that comes from looking at the bright side.

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