OdishaPlus Bureau

Prof. Ujjwal K Chowdhury and Dr. Sunayan Bhattacharjee

It seems like we are in the middle of a sci-fi action thriller. There is always an expectation that a hero will come and save us from the impending disaster. But alas, no such singular hero exists in real life. There are more than one heroes though, who are fighting it out each day for us. They wear white aprons and give us the rare ray of hope in a situation that is turning gloomy with each moment. Yes, I am talking about the doctors. That’s all for a prelude!

doctors day
doctors are the real gods today

Our intent was a design a comprehensive communiqué for my dear students, who are currently holed up at their homes due to the 21-day-long lockdown announced by the Indian Prime Minister in a last-ditch attempt to stop the victorious march of Covid-19 in the country. Therefore, here we are and how!

In what now seems to be a dystopian setting, you all are doing online classes and learning digitally. We appreciate you quickly getting adjusted to the online classes and digital learning through the usage of innovative platforms such as Google Classroom, Zoom, Microsoft SharePoint and other conventional email-based online resources like PDFs, PowerPoint Presentations, Links, Cases, Coursera course links, Swayam Course links, LinkedIn SlideShare resources, and the likes.

e-learning represenation

I concede that the transformation hasn’t been that easy. As teachers, we are learning along with you. In fact, we are perhaps traversing a decade in just a fortnight in implementing an essentially EdTech-assisted teaching-learning pedagogy. Someone rightly pointed out that necessity is the mother of invention indeed.

As India crosses 560 cases and 10 deaths, it’s getting scarier by the hour. We are not sure of the actual numbers in society as mass testing is not yet being done. So dear students, it is absolutely necessary to be indoors, avoid all interactions with outsiders, wash hands repeatedly, consume hot lemon water, cook and clean yourselves and keep yourselves engaged in productive and creative things apart from studying.

coronavirus representational image

This is the time to explore deeper and form new bonds with close family members, catch up on their past stories, sing, dance, paint, recite poems and be in social contact through telephone and social media with friends and members of the extended family. Your one Hello may cheer up many in distress or depression and you can be the golden angel for them.

We love you all and we shall meet soon after this humungous catastrophe becomes a thing of the past. Hopefully, we shall reengage as better human beings. This catastrophe should also make us more resilient, more respectful to nature, more concerned about hygiene, more thankful for our lives and more determined to make better use of our time on earth.


Please note that this is the biggest challenge for mankind in the last seven to eight decades, and nobody knows for sure as to when it well finally end. But, it will, albeit at a huge human and economic cost.

enpty streets of bhubaneswar
empty streets amid COVID-19 pandemic

It might have some positive outcomes as well. People will comprehend the futility of tiny bigoted identities such as religion, cast, language and race and start appreciating others’ choices in all spheres of life. Popular demands including better public health, enhanced availability of essential products and services in life and cheaper and more digital public education will be on the rise. These issues may bring in regime changes also – surely social upheavals of varying degrees.

At a personal level as well, there are bound to be changes. People will move to a more sustainable lifestyle – eco-friendly living and clothing, vegan food habits and lesser travel with focused interest in people and culture. People will value relations more, speed less, value life more and position or stature less, value health more and recklessness less. Those who smoke may please quit now. There never has been a better day than today or better reason than Covid-19 to quit smoking!

masked man in smokes
man with gas mask

The killer virus has effectively proved that religious differences are just figments of imagination and we are only humans for Mother Nature. Let’s love fellow human beings and respect nature and health far more than what we have done so far. The adages like the winner takes all, cut-throat competition, survival of the fittest and the likes should be out of our dictionary. Collaboration will replace competition. Self-focus will be valued more than external glamour and unsustainable high credit-driven life.

collaboration will replace competition

Be strong, both physically and mentally. This is a testing time for our resilience and the persons we are. Miss seeing you all! Miss talking to you! We will meet soon as better human beings – calmer and more peaceful.

(Both the writers are academicians and are currently associated with Adamas University in Kolkata)