Since the COVID-19 outbreak, especially from March 2020, the entire education system shifted to the online mode overnight. It was a luxury for many, while a lot were left struggling. No. I am not just talking about the ones who are not financially well off. I am also talking about the ones whose families have been affected by COVID because the virus didn’t discriminate. Those families have students too.
Currently, the COVID toll stands at:
114,000,595 active cases and 2,529,593 deaths, globally.
In India, 11,079,979 active cases and counting, and 156,970 deaths.
We all know these aren’t JUST numbers. But what do we REALLY KNOW?
Asking (rather, forcing in many cases) students to attend classes, study, and work during a time they should be grieving and taking care of their family at home, that too, when there is an option NOT to, is just downright inhuman. Do people really have a voice to stand up for themselves at a time like that? All while being threatened and shamed for not being able to cope and for being unable to adhere to deadlines because that’s just how the world functions? Or being told that institution protocols cannot be changed according to individual students? All this just to show the world that they are functioning just fine, despite the pandemic and taking pride in it. Despite the fact that people are falling sick and losing loved ones.
To date, it cannot be said for certain how the virus is going to affect the body. It sure is leaving the body weak. Only the ones who have had to attend long-distance funerals know how difficult it is. First, it was hunting for hospital beds, now it was the body not returning home. Not being able to cry, attending phone calls, talking and hearing about a dead person the entire day because you were at home.
No. All that does not matter. Why should it? A system cannot be changed, and people have to adjust accordingly. Everyone has family issues. Deal with it. It’s the new normal. Well, I cannot see what’s normal in all this. Can you?
There are many for whom their home is not a home, those with dysfunctional families, abusive households. Then there is the declining mental health from having been indoors for almost 11 months now. Why should we care? We are okay.
But if you do care, PLEASE, speak up. Stand up for the ones who can’t, for the ones whose voices have been thwarted over time, for the ones who have become victims of COVID, for the ones with family members in ICU or worse, dead. Stand up against the ones who have the power and our money, against the ones trying to show the planet that they are ‘functioning’ as they were supposed to despite the pandemic, and taking pride in that fact, against all those universities, schools and institutions who are treating their students and staff members inhumanely. Because there is power in numbers.
And I can’t do it alone. Not anymore. I am done. Depleted.
An over-exhausted student.
If this resonated with you, if you’ve seen acquaintances struggling, or you weren’t given the time you needed, you and your family members had to struggle because of COVID-19 (which still is widespread), or if you just agree with even bits of it, do share ahead. Maybe it will help generate a wider discussion as to what can be done because things do need to SLOW DOWN. Maybe it will reach the hands of the ones who are putting money above being human. As far as I know, I am definitely not alone. I hope.
Here are the social media links to the same if you choose to share publicly:
I have tried very really hard on my own to the point of feeling empty. I am used up. I can’t anymore. Alone, my voice reached ignorant ears.
Why should you care? Because it could very well have been your family instead of mine.