Alumni Voice


“As a young initiate from Myanmar”

Htet Aung Ko

University student (Philosophy)

In March 2020 with the onslaught of the Covid-19, Myanmar, likewise, has been experiencing many unprecedented challenges. The impacts are likely to be massive for Myanmar. Consequently, the hustle and bustle of cities turned into ghost cities. Schools, universities, supermarkets, restaurants, offices, parks, basketball courts, religious buildings and public places have been temporarily closed to prevent local virus transmission. Thousands of Myanmar people, mostly the aged, had succumbed to virus. Around 25 people meet their tragic death everyday in Myanmar. People from different backgrounds are stranded in the midst of difficulties and challenges in the name of health, education, business and social developments. Therefore, there is no doubt that the impacts of Covid-19 change the whole society with fast-moving and unknown variables.

Myanmar being one of the most generous countries in the world, countless volunteers emerged enthusiastically as heroes to participate the battle against Covid-19, even if they have great danger of coming into contact with this virus. In an effort to combat the alarming increase of Covid-19 cases, emergency treatment centers have been set up in many regions. Myanmar people are eager to make generous donations to quarantine centers, hospitals, homes for the aged, and orphanages not for being impressed but with devotion. They are examples of humanity flourishing through local volunteers in communities of Myanmar.

For the sake of worthy lives of positive patients, each and every Myanmar health care professionals are battling on the front lines. They always do shoulder extreme work conditions and sacrifice with the high risk of being infected. Myanmar received personal protective equipment (PPE) and other digital health equipment from Japan and other countries during this critical time. Such equipment is of great help to Myanmar. Meanwhile, the whole health care system is doing everything they can to control and prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Unfortunately, this pandemic leads children to dire trouble in many ways. Some children in Myanmar do not gain educationally at home because parents are not be able to teach them or their households might lack access to the necessary internet connection, telecommunication and electricity. Digital education for students is still pending in Myanmar.

Moreover, Myanmar is struggling with both pandemic and “infodemic”, widespread misinformation on social media. Biased and misleading news, false reporting, rumors, tabloids, hate speeches and selfish propagandas harm people’s interest and boost their fear of the disease. In the aim of coping with stated conducts, the intellectuals and young Myanmar technologists cooperate to dispel news and reporting which have to be truthful and alert. Only handful restaurants have been running under announced preventive measures. Likewise, factories and local Myanmar airlines have been barely in the movement. Tourism industry has been temporarily shut down since the first wave of Covd-19. Tourism revenue in Myanmar dips more in 2020. Yet Myanmar tourism is still trying to promote and imply as virtual tourism.

It should be noted that the life of working adult has changed exponentially and Work-from-home culture is recently adapted in Myanmar. On the other hands, some are less able to work from home facing with joblessness rampant and struggling with job losses and family burdens. It leads to food shortage or food hardship. Consequently, poverty does spike in Myanmar during this pandemic. Along with consideration for hungers and poor urban householders, a non-government organization called CARE TEEN supported by dozens of Myanmar youths initiated a program called “WASTE TO FOOD EXCHANGE PROGRAM”, offering foods in return of a bag of domestic waste. This incredible project yielded a dramatic result; not only thousands of the poor and the downtrodden received food but also their environment and area are cleaned and sustained. Consequently, this program instills the economically backward people with help and solace to some extent.

Unfortunately, over a thousand suicide cases in Myanmar occurred during pandemic according to survey from Suicide Prevention Organization Myanmar. In fact, philanthropists also attempt every possible ways to give people kindness, relief and solace. In the midst, the activists and artists are finding their ways to strengthen community bonds. Virus cancelled all colorful days of celebrations and seasonal festivals in the year 2020. Nevertheless, 27millions of people voted at the 2020 general election day held on November 8th. According to the Myanmar teachers Federation (MTF), more than 100 poll workers were primary contact Covid-19 while serving in this election.

The world misses the sophisticated, cosmopolitan society where we have interacted. Unexpectedly, new formed life-style has been evolved. People are getting used to wearing face masks, regular hands washing and social distancing measures. We might see people wearing masks wherever they go. In post-pandemic period, we all will respond with the same sense of relief and in search of community. We all will get back to our pre-pandemic lives and wander outdoors in the global environment once again. The greenery of trees and sweet fragrance of flowers will keep us active again. There breeze shall come. In the other hand, reaching those days will fully depend on our current actions and how to response. Being united in time of crisis is an essential to overcome difficulties _how big or small they are. Only then will we experience the post-pandemic world.

Our future generations, without doubt, are sure to face appalling hardship to survive if this current generation encourages nepotism, egoism, corruption, favoritism and narrow chauvinism. Needless to say, youths’ tireless effort played a vital role in saving the world from havocs, opening one after another door to a brighter future. As young initiate form Myanmar, I would put people’s interests before mine. Instead of pointing fingers and playing blame game, I would rather think more about my duties and responsibilities than my personal rights. I would endeavor to contribute in peace-keeping efforts and mutual cooperation which is essential for all-round development and growth of Myanmar. In conclusion, I have always aimed to create a greater, better and safer world which can be handed down to future generation.





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