Life Before and After the Coronavirus: COVID-19, Modifying Lifestyles- An Interview by Medicos

Life Before and After the Coronavirus: COVID-19, Modifying Lifestyles- An Interview by Medicos

An interview by medical students in Pakistan

Today we are confronting an all-around deadly well-being emergency, not at all like any in the previous multi year history of the United Nation.

An enemy that is killing people, spreading human suffering, and overturning people’s lives. It is not only a health crisis but also much more than that. It’s a human, economic and social crisis that is striking to the societies at their core. Terror of holding onto life has influenced the humans all over the world in terms of psychological, emotional, moral, and theological bents. 

The false discrimination of status, color, faith, religious persuasion, nationality, social standing and monetary stature are currently pointless.

Recall January? The days prior to the COVID-19 infection appear to be light-years away and one can hardly control not to be nostalgic for life before COVID-19.

A survey led to know us about people missing their life before the pandemic, Getting together with friends, dinning out, extended family time, taking kids to and from the school, going out at night, healthy eating, enjoying theatre and concerts, grocery shopping, going to gym & office (least).

Most likely, COVID-19 and across the country; shutdowns, have hindered what we thought our own direction for our life. Dread of infection, interference of our everyday life, loss of income, social segregation, rather everything about routine life right now is found to be bothersome.

The terribly increasing number of new cases on daily basis feels like an unstoppably early end of human life. The horrible impact on the socioeconomics, psychology and theological thoughts has led to significant deterioration and exhaustion.

With this lockdown forced, individuals have been compelled to remain isolated from one another for such a long span of their lives, causing a break in relationships that might be way more long-lasting than any effects of the virus itself.

Humankind has understood that rich individuals are more prone to infections, oil without utilization is a futile commodity, and healthcare providers are worth more than cricketers and footballers, the mental condition of secluded humans is similar to that of an animal in a zoo, and working from home can be a feasible practice, and the world can still be at harmony.

We’re super excited to welcome our cream of nation from different medical colleges to our site! We’re going to have a little chat and get to know about their opinions.

Let’s meet our medicos

We want to thank Amit K, Komal I, Mashal F, Danial S, Aymen J, Rabia S, Mahnoor F, Abdul S, Mehwish B, Fawad M, Rehman G, Mahnoor K, Mavra K, Kinza F, Saffa N, Ayaisha H for their precious time.

So without further ado, let’s get the interview rolling.

1. Describe the COVID-19 pandemic in three different words


2. For you, what is the best quote for this pandemic?

Ayaisha:         “If courage is contagious, then ignorance is pandemic’’

Fawad:           “Together, we are stronger than COVID”. It’s a campaign slogan of UAEU.

Kinza:             “At the end of the day, the goals are simple: Safety and security.”

Rehman:        If the heroes run and hide, who will stay and fight.

Mehwish:       Hang in there, as better times are ahead.      

Mahnoor F:   Nothing is certain and every little thing is beautiful; the pandemic taught us that.

3. Did this pandemic affect your inter or intra family relationship? How?

Danial:      Yes it has, and in a positive way. I spent this much time with my family members after so long. We played indoor games, had detailed discussions of so many important things, helped my mother in daily chores. So yeah, it has strengthened our intra family relationships. And there is not any effect on inter family relationships.

Fawad:     Yes, being at home all the time caused some conflicts at home. Everyone gets easily irritated and we fight a lot now.

Rehman:  Not much. Social media and gadgets like phones are keeping the interaction normal. Like it was before the corona outbreak. But it has affected in bringing the family closer…. I don’t know how.

4. How this quarantine situation influenced your mental state?

Saffa:              It is like maniac & panic phase. Sometimes depressing because of lots of deaths around. It builds the fear of death especially of your loved ones and sometimes a lot of refreshing and happy memories due to leisure time.

Mahnoor F:   The idea of doing everything you want and yet not doing anything at all is frustrating.

Fawad:           I already had anxiety and depression and needed constant distraction to keep sane. I always like event organization in my college as a good hobby to keep my mind busy. But now these mental illnesses have exaggerated by staying at home at all times. I wish I had antidepressants lol.

Ayaisha:         People being arrogant and unresponsive towards their health and their neighbor’s health is really devastating.

Aymen:           Literally speaking realities of life are now more clear to me during this quarantine situation.

5. Were you aware of corona virus before? What new knowledge have you built up in this corona pandemic situation?

Mashal:          I have only read its name before.

                        What I learned about Corona is that it’s a pathetic, life threatening virus. We can avoid it by social distancing only, unless and until the vaccine is introduced.

Mavra:           No I wasn’t.

                        But now I have a clear concept about its structure, mode of transmission, pathology and preventive measures. It’s all because of the mercy of corona pandemic. I am still learning new things about it every day though.

Mahnoor K:   Yes I was aware a bit.

                        I am thankful to corona for giving me a chance to learn about how to cope with a pandemic situation.

                        How the pandemic can lead not only to physical morbidity and mortality but to mental illness as well.

                        How to boost your immunity.

6. What do you think about impact of news, TV channels and social media on human life? How are they affecting you and your family?

Amit:          Most of the news channel are creating fuss just to raise their TRP nowadays so they are modifying the truth. I don’t have any trust in media.

Rehman:       TV channels and social media platforms are helping the public stay sane and are making them busy. But the misconception that is caused by some minor entities must be contained.

                       I think the distrust of public in health care system is due to media. Media has uptil now portrayed only some selfish doctors in programs like ‘Sar-E-Aam’.

                       If this devilish image of doctors is not cleared, it may become a great problem for the health care workers & even for the general public. Media should be aware of the consequences this might bring.

Fawad:          I hate how Pakistani media spice up the news and then deliver it like hot wings. Wish they could learn a thing or two from international broadcasters like CNN, BBC or TRT World.

                       Have you observed how calmly they deliver the news?

Mahnoor K: Bring live updates about the pandemic situation, provide a proper information source regarding the disease preventive measures, signs and symptoms of disease, when to see the doctor, helpline numbers and it helps in keeping the population in quarantine. Spreads news about government’s plan of action.

                       It’s relieving to watch TV shows, movies etc. when one has nothing else to do in quarantine. We can stay connected to our friends and relatives. But at the same time media has a role in creating panic by exaggerating the situation and sometimes spreading wrong information.

7. What are your activities during this lockdown situation? Also comment on your previous activities that are now limited due to COVID 19 pandemic.

Rehman:       Zoom lectures. Sketching. Writing. Netflix. Walks. Social media. Pushups. Late night family talks. Zoom lectures are not enough; the motivation to study is lost.

Mavra:          Lockdown is all about house chores, cooking different things and relaxing. Study is limited since many students didn’t carry their books with them while leaving hostels, and online classes still haven’t been started by our college. Clinical classes in hospitals are also not possible. Visiting friends and relatives, and shopping are limited due to pandemic.

Mehwish:      Studies are not going well nor the physical activities are up to mark.

Amit:             I’ve started my own YouTube channel, Amit’s Lectures on which I upload my lectures on pathology and Pharmacology. I’ve started a new research work, I’ve started farming in my small garden.

8. Have you felt any non-specific anxiety or behavior modifications in you or in any of your family member, since you are staying at home for so long?

Mahnoor F:  Yes, the state of being prisoned for a long time obviously affects everyone and it has also caused a sense of insecurity and fear.

Fawad:          Almost everyone looks irritated at all times including myself. Being an ambivert, I crave freedom and privacy at the same time which I really don’t get anymore. We all have this constant worry of my father who is a cancer patient and is most likely to catch corona as he is immunocompromised. This worry also adds to the spice for us.

Amit:             I’ve seen such changes in one of my juniors, he was in severe depression. Later, I made him involved in research work and now he’s busy in working. Now he’s not feeling depression anymore.

Mavra:          No all of us are happy for unexpected break from our hectic lives.

9. Do you think this pandemic is affecting our economy? If yes How?

Rabia:           It’s Obvious.

                       Pakistan is not a developed country, and can’t handle if this pandemic gets out of control. Import export is being affected, Air flights are ceased, lower class is way much more struggling, the prices of crops are dropping.

Kinza:           All industries, offices, companies and local businesses are shut down as these are crowded places and many people are facing unemployment.

Saffa:          No. it’s not. Just have a look at oil prices?

10. What are the benefits of this quarantine? What positive things have you learned from this pandemic?

Mahnoor F:  Time for yourself and your family. A break from a hectic life.

How world works on online technology. How people help each other in their worst time.

Rabia:           Nope I am the same. I just can’t study at home as there is no evaluation system. I am just learning cooking and baking. That’s all.

Komal:          We can do many productive things such as gardening, studying something good, learning Quran with translation, etc. which were not possible in my otherwise busy schedule.

11. What is the perception of people around you, regarding this pandemic?

Abdul Samee: Everyone has its own perception and this is weird

Mehwish:      People are careless and reluctant towards it.

Danial:          Earlier there were some people who were not getting it serious. Now many of them have started believing in actual presence of this virus. But talking about preventive measures, that is what really makes me worried.

Fawad:        There are two extremes which I see. One Group is very fearful and very cautious about it. They are very pessimistic. The other group is fearless and doesn’t care about social distancing or other preventive measures. They are too optimistic. They say they have strong religious faith.

12. What do you think about the pandemic, will it end soon or last for long? Give valid reasons in any of the cases.

Amit:             Nothing is permanent in this world. We have very well experienced doctors, scientists, and all the health care workers. If people cooperate with them, COVID-19 will be eradicated soon.

Saffa:            It doesn’t seem that this pandemic will end soon. Infectious cases are increasing day by day. May be we have to live with corona virus.

Danial:          It is going to last for long but it’s prevalence may decrease after some time.

                       Reason is that it can be cured perfectly by vaccine. It will take almost 1.5 year to develop vaccine against it. Much time will be required to prepare it in such large numbers. And much more time will be consumed in distribution of vaccines throughout the world. So I think it’s going to last long.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Muhammad Ali Fayyaz
Zukhruf Fatima

Interviewers:

Muhammad Ali Fayyaz: Student of Final year MBBS at Quaid-e-Azam Medical College, Bahawalpur. Student Peer Reviewer – Pakistan Journal of Surgery and Medicine, Lahore, Pakistan.

Zukhruff Fatima: Student of Final year MBBS at Quaid-e-Azam Medical College, Bahawalpur.

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