No one could have foreseen the dramatic way in which the challenges of the year 2020 would alter people’s lives around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new complications to people’s lives everywhere, but among those battered most by its economic impact were those living in emerging economies where prosperity was already struggling to take hold.

Global progress against poverty during the past several decades has been fragile, if not misleading. The aftermath of the pandemic has pushed hundreds of millions into poverty, with some estimates suggesting as many as half a billion people could fall below the poverty line.

We have learned that wealthy countries are better able to weather economic storms. In the US for instance, after the onset of the pandemic, the government moved quickly to mitigate its fallout enacting stimulus bills.

There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling. It is why you were born and how you become most truly alive. Oprah Winfrey
We have learned some critical lessons during the coronavirus crisis. It has taught us that we can bring scientists together from all sectors in new and creative collaborative arrangements and get things done a lot faster than people might have thought possible before the pandemic.

We have learned that we need to be better prepared for the future. We have learned how to work through the social isolation that our patients and frontline workers in the hospital and families are experiencing and finding novel ways to communicate via the use of IPods, Face Time, Face Book Messenger, etc. The use of telemedicine has greatly improved our ability to continue a provider relationship with our patients.

We have learned how to embrace environments that are perpetually changing and to become adaptable in response to an ever-changing body of evidence. I believe that we have connected differently since the pandemic; perhaps our priorities have shifted and we value things we did not prior to pandemic.

The amount of isolation that we have as a society has been difficult to experience. It has been a culture shock; however, we have learned that things like wearing a mask and social distancing are for the greater good.

I believe it has also taught us how quickly we are capable of adapting to changes. Within months of the pandemic, many of us adjusted to living our lives differently; how we work, how we educate, how we interact with others, how we spend our time, and how we live our lives.

I have also learned that the world, people, places, and activities with which we interact have become much

The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, fear or new and richer experience.- Eleanor Roosevelt

 smaller, but we have been much more grateful and appreciative about things and have become more charitable.

As we reflect more on the tumultuous sequence of events throughout year 2020, we experienced many firsts, from wearing a mask to learning and communicating more online. It has been a learning experience for many of us all. Resilience is defined as the ability of people or things to recover quickly after something unpleasant, and this year has certainly shaped the way many of us, individuals, families and communities adapt to the significant changes. On a personal level, these are some key takeaways many of us bring into our personal experience.

We have also learned of some people who serve willingly without expecting recognition, bless their hearts. However, we have also learned of some people who take the pleasure of announcing the good things they have acquired, the good food they eat and the accomplishments they have made to feel important. Bit of we think about it, at the end of the day, it is not about what we have or what we have acquired nor ccomplished, it is about whom we have lifted up, whom we have made better; it is about what we have given back; that a genuine leader is a molder of consensus doing the right and noble things even no one is watching because certainly, silent water runs deep!

By Tim Pedrosa

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, and to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. – Ralph Waldo Emerson