Faribah Mahdavi - Iran
How strange to think the far-fetched ideas of Jules Verne’s movies would become the reality of our daily lives: global warming, polar icecaps melting, wildfires, tropical cyclones, a global pandemic. In those movies, humankind overcame the unexpected and found a solution to survive. About two years ago, the world got news of a super-spreader virus in Southeast Asia, known as Coronavirus. It travelled silently and with agility; the spread became exponential. Health experts had no way of dealing with this new virus, so protection became the first resort. Starting with restricting socialization and movements, some countries closed their borders to protect their residents. The world was flabbergasted at being enveloped with uncertainty. Everyday interactions found their way into the virtual world: medical appointments, offices, schools, university, grocery shopping. The seasons changed, and rituals changed - you cannot celebrate if there is no hugging, chatting, and laughing with loved ones; you cannot mourn lost loved ones with no funerals, and no counsel from friends and relatives. Health workers took the highest risk, fighting to save lives, while COVID19 fought back by mutating itself. Eventually, research teams developed vaccines that produced a high percentage of immunity, so life could get back to what it used to be. This pandemic had lessons I hope we all remember.