We are all in this together, so none of us can afford to be selfish
Today is, without a doubt, a very different kind of Pohela Boishakh.
Instead of going out to crowded venues to join in the celebrations, this is a time for all to hunker down and observe the quarantine, so that we may contain the spread of Covid-19 in Bangladesh before the problem gets out of hand.
That does not, however, mean the spirit of Pohela Boishakh does not matter. On the contrary, at a time of crisis such as this, it is all the more important for all of us to remember that Pohela Boishakh represents change, a fresh start.
The Covid-19 pandemic has taken such a toll on the world that it is becoming more and more likely that we will not go back to business-as-usual, even after the crisis is over. In that case, we do need to work towards a fresh start, to re-evaluate what matters, to find out new ways of working together while in isolation.
Fighting a pandemic is a collective and global issue: We are all in this together, so none of us can afford to be selfish. The young and healthy who see themselves as not at risk, for example, would do well to remember that carriers who do not exhibit symptoms can still infect others, and the consequences could be lethal. Social distancing, then, is not just a responsibility for some of us, but for all of us, to whatever extent possible.
As we usher in the Bengali New Year, let our resolutions be appropriate to our unprecedented current reality: Let us pledge to fight, defeat, and emerge stronger from this deadly pandemic.