It is very unusual how quarantine these days forced people in most countries to live with a reality that was unexpected a few months ago, however, this period of unprecedented mandatory isolation has a significant impact on individuals of all ages. Such sudden change may be praiseworthy and welcome for many people, as an opportunity to spend more time with the family and gain some inner peace away from the noise of the outside world. For others, this may be more of detention that they were forced into, which is what I noticed in many people, mostly young, after observing their reactions to quarantine on social media.
Today’s youth social life is far from restrained and restricted, given that the reality surrounding them has shifted, granting them full intellectual, psychological and moral freedom via the internet and social media; this shift entails obtaining physical freedom as well, prompting youth to view this reality as despicable imprisonment. Nonetheless, as I mentioned earlier, this can be perceived as restricting freedoms, or it can be seen as a golden opportunity to work and prepare for a new stage that is about to begin.
I believe that the available time during quarantine is a golden opportunity for several factors: firstly, this period will prompt many to spend some time with themselves, paving the way for many ideas and potential energies of youth as I often hear young people complaining about the lack of time to practice what they love and what expresses their inner creativity. Hence, this period will catalyze the unraveling of these potentials that have always waited to emerge, and bring about change on a personal and societal level. The wonderful thing about that, which makes it very important, is its impact in the long run. After spending time with themselves to attempt to harness these potentials and ideas, young people will return from this period with an abundance of ideas that they can offer to the world around them.
This period, if utilized properly, may contribute to providing sufficient time for everybody, especially the youth, to work on different personal, practical, social and professional skills, given the many great initiatives on many websites, universities, and libraries that offer their contents for free during this period. Our world today gives us access to unlimited scientific materials on the Internet while in the comfort of our home, such as learning design, translation, languages, programming, marketing, writing and authoring, public speaking, recitation, developing communication skills, arts of all kinds and finally reading, which I believe today’s youth lack. As such, learning some of these skills will help both those who are going to the next stage of education to choose a better academic major and those who suffer from the dispersion of professional identity to find a different path to work and invest their efforts.
Moreover, many of these skills will become a part of an essential next stage that we are heading towards, given the remarkable increase in entrepreneurship with most companies and organizations increasingly depend on this type of business for efficient and effective investment of efforts, time and money. The reality we were now forced to live will inevitably spark this type of business in the near future, and I encourage everyone who wants to play an effective role in this change to take this opportunity to prepare for it and try to implement the change on personal skills.
Under these circumstances, we also need to look at the impact of quarantine on the psychological traits, work and educational ethics among the youth, as it comes with a lot of provisions. Most sectors, whether academic, scientific or professional, have started to implement tasks and work remotely, raising the question: will these changes open the way for greater creativity because of being in a comfortable and friendly environment at home? Or, on the contrary, we will witness procrastination and laziness in performing these tasks? Or will the reality be a mixture of both? It is indeed difficult to predict such scenarios now, but I believe that if this crisis cannot lead us to seize the opportunity to confront and discipline ourselves to perform our tasks and duties, then what can?
Lastly, it is necessary to discuss the relationship between youth and their families, and the effect quarantine has on this relationship. This may not seem an essential point, but spending prolonged time at home with the family will inevitably change the nature of these relationships. Thus, youth should take this opportunity to get closer to their families and learn their stories and experiences, and also try to assist them in learning what is new, as development usually stems from a combination of the old and the new.
In conclusion, the current situation is not an easy one at all. I wish all world nations and countries safety from this epidemic that is ravaging the Earth from pole to pole. Still, we must think and look carefully at what is happening from a perspective that helps us progress, accomplish and create, rather than stop, regress, and delay. Most writers’ books and scientists’ inventions in addition to the rise of nations and the teachings of prophets were the results of solitude followed by more solitude. The hope for a bright future remains, and is inevitable if we seize our present well. It will be a challenge to witness what our world will look like, and the nature of its course, during and after this epidemic. This is what I leave the reader to think of and contemplate.