Creative Content

We are not all in the same boat.

Written by Yoosuf Yaeesh – ME219

Unprecedented, unparalleled, or challenging, all these terms are an understatement of the current global crisis. With over ten million positive cases and five hundred thousand fatalities, COVID-19 seems to be turning this century into a world beyond imagination. Had the present situation
been foretold, people would have simply disregarded the matter. Yet, here we are living the unexpected. Here we are, facing transitions, never foreseen. I have come across many instances where people argue about everyone being in the same boat and use that argument as an explanation for their actions. But, are we really all in the same boat? 

The notion of being in the same boat equalizes one’s suffering to another, thus forces us to overlook the condition of people who are worse off during this time. This idea fails to represent a significant proportion of societies who are living their lives in unorthodox ways since the many challenges of COVID-19 surfaced.

This is my 90th day of lockdown away from my family in a foreign country. Fortunately, I do not feel alone or alienated, but never did I think that I would be spending one whole semester of my first year of medicine confined to my room. I have lost opportunities to interact with patients
and learn all those essential clinical skills. However, there are certainly a lot more people in the world experiencing much harsher, more difficult circumstances than I.

I often video call my family and friends and share how we have been trying to keep our time exciting and all the new dishes we have learned to cook and bake over the lockdown. This makes me wonder about the feelings of the person who gets their last video call with their family alone
in the hospital defeated in their battle against the virus.

During this lockdown, I have invested a lot of time cooking and trying new recipes. Some may even view my friends and me as panic buyers after seeing the overfilled cart of groceries for our monthly stock. But this does not make me forget the emotions of the breadwinner who cannot
afford to feed his family even one meal. Job security no longer exists. Mass unemployment seen all over the world has left those without a job or reduced incentives staggering through the fundamentals of life.

Fortunately, the cost of my studies are covered by a government scholarship. Here I am, trying to word my article and write the best piece I can, while there are thousands of students out there uncertain whether their parents can even afford their next university payment or have any hope of returning to campus when all this is over.

I had a fairly fun and exciting childhood. I have a family who supports me in all my decisions and guided me to where I am today. Lockdown to me has been a rollercoaster of good memories and many adventurous throwback posts on Instagram. However, I can only imagine what will be
going through the child who is now forced to spend even more time with an abuser or the woman who was free from the fear of her abusive husband only when he went out for work.

Yes, such thoughts are frightening and depressing. Yet, it is the bitter truth. The reality for individuals without a choice, along with the inevitable worries of the virus. We all are faced with changes uncomfortable and uncalled for, but do you think we are all in the same boat? You and I
are different. Our worries and struggles are different. The type and amount of help we need are different. We might be battering the same storm, but each one of us is in our own boat, hoping to reach a safe shore.


  • Tahseen

    So eloquently put and it really is a vital truth during this pandemic. Hopefully we all come out of this like you said as safe as we can!

  • Sathya

    Great insight. I think this essay does a great job in highlighting the disparity in people’s experiences during this pandemic.

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