** Why gas only, their crisis is multiplying everywhere ** A number of children admitted to Thakurgaon Adhunik Hospital for cold-related diseases compelled to stay along with their parents outside of the hospital due to lack of beds. This photo was taken on Wednesday. ** 1 in 3 BD kids fed properly ** ADB trims GDP growth forecast ** HC orders freeze on Evaly asset sale ** Truck, covered van workers call off strike ** Another case filed against Evaly couple ** SAARC FMs' UN assembly sideline meet over Afghanistan cancelled ** Biden pledges 500m jabs for developing nations ** e-commerce scams Writ seeking judicial probe ** Supply shortfall hits gas sector ** AI demands 2b Covid jabs for poor nations ** US should ask forgiveness for betraying its core values and mass killing ** Hundreds of people crowd in front of a Covid-19 vaccine centre at Mugda in the capital on Tuesday. ** Can e-commerce be rescued? High-level meet today ** High fever common among city children IEDCR for early diagnosis ** Evaly CEO remanded again, wife sent to jail ** Truck, covered van owners, workers go on 72-hour strike ** HC rule for stopping fraudulent ad ** ACC frames charges against ex-DGHS driver, his wife ** Suu Kyi goes on trial for incitement ** Aggrieved customers and sellers of controversial e-commerce platform Evaly engage in a scuffle in front of CMM court in the capital on Tuesday. ** Covid infection rate drops below 5pc ** Garment worker gang-raped in Chattogram ** Biden urges unity at UN amid tensions with allies **

The best side effect of Covid vaccination

22 March 2021
The best side effect of Covid vaccination

Maryann Karinch :
I belong to an organization that meets monthly to focus on projects creating higher education opportunities for women. Like so many other groups, we've relied on Zoom for months. After the meeting, all of us talking heads in our little Zoom windows updated each other on what was going on in our lives. The dominant question was, "How sick did you get after the second shot?" Or for the younger members, "How sick did your parents get?"
It was not a repetitive, boring conversation. It was an exercise in empathy that felt like a real hug rather than the virtual hug it actually was.
In a weird way, I was glad that I'd had chills and vomiting for eight hours. The experience made me really listen to what other people were saying-genuinely care about how they had felt or were feeling at that moment.
When I had cancer and was going through chemotherapy, that was fundamentally a lonely experience. Sure, I could talk with other patients who had suffered the usual fatigue and hair loss, but I was never in a big room-like our Zoom room-where nearly everyone had a "sick story."
Last year, just before the world shut down and we all hid behind closed doors, I went back to my hometown to bring my mother home from a facility where she'd gone for physical therapy after an illness. Most of the people there were elderly. As I'd walk down the hall and glance into rooms, I saw frail men and women in wheelchairs. Unlike my mom, most of them didn't look hopeful. Many looked trapped in pain.
I thought about them after my eight hours of vaccine purgatory. An episode of discomfort that I knew, all along, would end soon.
And the next day at our post-meeting chat session, I remembered how I had felt, but that physical ordeal was over, an experience in my past. Only the empathy remained.
What a great side effect!
That's why COVID can provide a "silver lining" and a new empathetic opportunity, according to Lynne Azarchi, author of The Empathy Advantage: Coaching Children to be Kind, Respectful and Successful:
"A new window opens to walk in the shoes of First Responders, the many families that have lost a loved one, or perhaps those long-termers suffering months from COVID's side effect with no end in sight. It puts the side effects of the vaccine in perspective, allowing us to 'feel' for others and perhaps take empathetic action."
When we observe people trapped in pain, we won't just walk down the hall. We'll take a precious minute, notice an empty water glass on a tray, and say, "Looks like you need a refill!" Then, we'll take another precious minute and fill that glass. Pretty soon, the precious minutes of empathy become years of a more fulfilled, engaged life.
In terms of relationships, having the world be in close contact with the same disease and the same (or similar) nauseating immunization process may be a great blessing. It should provide perspective and remind us of others who have probably been more stressed, homeless, lost jobs or suffered more. If a few more people, or maybe millions of them, let those experiences trigger their compassion, we will see a proliferation of healthy and empathetic connections.

(Maryann Karinch is the author of human behavior books and founder of The Rudy Agency, a full-service literary agency).

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