Dr Deepali Jaju, senior specialist, Department of Clinical Physiology, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, who has been juggling between work, online lectures, attending to housework and keeping her family members in India motivated via chats, has a positive outlook towards life. During the pandemic, she says, many have been very positive and selflessly helping others, while some remain extremely fearful, paranoid, selfish, and insecure.
“Being a medical doctor in SQUH and medical teacher in College of Medicine Health Sciences (COMHS), I have been working. Our Medical College shifted regular teaching to online teaching. I did many webinars and courses to acquire new skills for teaching online, like how to make recorded PPTs, conduct online lectures and engage students, and create online exams, etc. Both my children and my in-laws are in India in lockdown status. Apart from work, the other time goes by talking to them and positively supporting them. It is very important to make them independent and fearless, so that their routine goes well and healthy as none of us can go to our home country at present to handle any emergencies. Me and my husband, Dr Sanjay, keep talking to our friends for the same reason,” she said.
Besides having busy days, Dr Jaju has also been pursuing some of her pending interests. She has taken up online courses in Indian Heritage of painting and textiles. In fact, the lockdown period has made her more busy, he says, adding that the pandemic has opened up online initiatives and she is taking advantage of it.
About the current change in public behaviour of people, Dr Jaju said, “I am witnessing a varied spectrum of behaviour. Many have been very positive and selflessly helping others while some remain extremely fearful, paranoid, selfish, and insecure. Probably, these negative emotions are forcing some to make irrational decisions. For example, one left eating salt and chilli because, it seems, that will increase immunity.Another person goes around with an alcohol spray bottle and prays every surface that is to be touched.”
She further pointed out that, for vegetable shopping, only one member from the family comes along and people have started avoiding each other when they cross paths at public places. At times, masks make it difficult to identify faces. Also, in the hospital, children wearing masks look perplexed and curious, she said, however, appreciating their willingness to accept change.
“The biggest lesson for all, is to learn 'to be with yourself'. It is about remaining stable and composed in the most adverse situations and following the given civic rules,” she said, adding, “Humans are slaves of emotions, habits and desires. We all need to introspect over this. To every situation, one can give either a positive response or a negative reaction. It's better to choose a positive response. It is also important to learn to maintain self discipline of daily routine, exercise and nutrition.
Lastly, Dr Jaju asserts, that acceptance of any situation leads to a positive attitude. Once a situation is accepted, one will think positively over appropriate alternatives rather than getting depressed, dejected or gripped with fear. “Every situation is phasic, and this time, too, shall pass by. Every situation comes by to learn something and change something within us. We must take positive and progressive lessons from these and move on,” she says.