CORONAVIRUS. COVID-19. 2019-nCoV. These are some keywords I have been hearing in just about every conversation. I am quite guilty of it myself. Whilst COVID-19 holds an unprecedented challenge in front of us, the pandemic has kept us home with enough time to brood over some of life's lessons. Undoubtedly, the virus will change the way we all live and think. Whilst we deeply empathise with the grief many families are experiencing, it is important for us to come out of this pandemic as better individuals and a more tightly-knit community.


We must maintain some optimism during these times as the glass may seem half empty. We think otherwise. Our team has thought of a few things that we believe COVID-19 will have hopefully taught us by the end of all this.


Patience is a Virtue


Patience: the ability to tolerate delay, problems and/or suffering.


Not something I will say is my biggest strength.


After making the leap to move to Sydney from the South Coast; I was enjoying all the hustle and liveliness that Sydney had to offer. As a typical young man, I enjoyed getting things done here and now. Whether it was quickly booking high-paying locum shifts for Doctors or not having the patience to read books because they took too long to finish.


As we've discovered after our time in isolation, the lockdowns have given us all a great chance to sit back and learn how time is the one constant during this pandemic. That no matter how grim everything seems right now, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and it will only come with time. This test of patience will teach us to plan better and bounce back stronger than ever.


Leadership Through Resilience


“The human capacity for burden is like bamboo – far more flexible than you’d ever believe at first glance.” – Jodi Picoult. 


This pandemic has affected our livelihoods in every way. During this time, the virus has brought out a trait that is one of the most important qualities for individuals and communities – RESILIENCE. It feels as if we can get through this, we can get through any road that lies ahead.


Workers and employers have now gained skills of adaptability and strength. Most of all, these trying times have seen everyone showcasing some accountability and self-leadership. It has been amazing to see businesses take action in order to support our frontline staff with donations, food and care. We have also seen our government step up with an unprecented stimulus package in order to keep the economy afloat - helping businesses and individuals in need. 


The virus will pave the way for all individuals, communities and governments in the future to be more resilient and show better leadership during a crisis.


Compassion, Collaboration & Appreciation


From the toilet-paper hoarding to profiteering from items of need, we have also seen a lot of self-centered behaviour through the weeks. I believe this was a blessing in disguise – in the form of a learning opportunity.


After looking at the damage this has done to those in need, the COVID-19 situation will teach us to tackle future problems with a community-first mindset. The generations going through this will be able to give guidance and perspective to future generations about how to act during the time of crisis. 


We have learnt that this is about WE, not me.


Another example of this is our collaborative effort in social distancing – together. An oxymoron of sorts. BPML cannot be prouder of the team effort that Australians have exemplified which has helped slow down the spread. The pandemic has made the old cliché ring true; every person counts. We have learned to be mindful of each action we take as it could end up being a risk to someone else. 


I would have never thought I would be washing my hands this much.


Furthermore, we have learnt to take a step back and appreciate. This started long before the COVID-19 pandemic to me. Ever since the bushfires ravaged across Australia, I have been greatly impressed with our community’s reaction in the appreciative efforts for all firefighters, medical staff and the police. The frontline workers have done an outstanding job showing selflessness and courage to set an example for us all. They have made us all very proud to call ourselves Australian, as they continue to ensure our safety.


Today, nearing the end of April, the future seems a little more reassuring. As with each passing day, our country is steadily progressing. These times will pass quickly and a new era will unfold. We will have learnt lessons from this that will last a lifetime and hopefully the next generation will be able to learn from our strengths and mistakes. Let's ensure that the stories that will be told are of compassion and coming together: countering the panic and blame.


BPML wishes well to everyone across the world and we offer our deepest sympathies to all who have been affected by this. We hope everyone is staying safe and well, let's continue to learn new lessons and lift each other up.


Here’s to a better tomorrow.


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