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‘We will not be the same people we were’ – 45 quotes from India’s COVID-19 struggle

Launched in 2014, StoryBites is a weekly feature from YS, featuring notable quotable quotes in our articles of this past week. This special series of compilations focuses on India’s COVID-19 struggle (see last week’s post here). Share these quotes and excerpts with your networks, and check back to the original articles for more insights.

India remains hugely concerning, with several states continuing to see a worrying number of cases, hospitalisations and deaths. – Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO

Vaccination is the most important initiative to beat the virus. – Abhinav Sinha, OYO

With rising cases in India, vaccination is our most effective tool in our battle against COVID-19. Contributing to the vaccination drive in India is our biggest priority right now to help Indians be healthy and safe. – G V Prasad, Dr Reddy’s

We hope that through increasing vaccinations, humanitarian relief efforts, and critical donations of medicines and needed equipment, India will steadily recover from this crisis. – Pascal Soriot, AstraZeneca

It’s through COVID-19 that illnesses that are otherwise rare are coming more to the fore now, and mucormycosis is just one of them. – Oliver Cornely, EECIFI

Each person buying an oxygen concentrator for themselves is not scalable and will lead to inefficient distribution of precious resources. – Rahul Garg, Moglix

More than 60 percent of hospital bed requests are from panic-stricken COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms. – Soumya Arora, Unofin

In these testing times, each life we are able to save is a token of our service to humanity. – Manu Gupta, SEEDS

This is a time for mutual collaboration and leveraging human connection to make the lives of COVID patients and their families a tad easier. – Harsh Pokharna, OkCredit

The big aspect is how do we compile a central database across India, which is both trusted, verified, removes all the fraud information, and makes sure we can trust the suppliers and on the other hand, is very very dynamic. – Utkarsh Roy, IntroBot

It takes time to get leads and our volunteers make hundreds of calls to make sure to verify them on the same day. – Shrishti Sahu, Verified Covid Leads

As the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive progresses, the primary challenge for people has shifted to finding an appointment slot. – Arzooo

We want the people in India to know that they are not alone, and we will fight this together. – Dr Ashutosh Tewari, Global Cancer Foundation, USA

A devastating second wave of COVID-19 is sweeping across India, and young people have taken on an urgent call to action in the fight against it. – Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF

Not only are millions unable to attend classes (just 5 percent of adolescents in India live in a household that owns a computer), young people across the country are going without their midday school meal, weekly iron and folic acid supplements, free sanitary napkins, and nourishing social interactions. – Sonal Sachdev Patel, GMSP Foundation

The pandemic pushed some 58 million women and girls into extreme poverty, dealing a huge blow to poverty reduction efforts worldwide, and exacerbated gender gaps in income, wealth and education, impeding progress on gender equality. – Hamid Rashid, UN

The two-crore people of Delhi, we are a family. In these times of despair, we need to help each other. – Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

Lockdown, I would say is the biggest factor in arriving at a situation where we are now, when daily cases from 28,000 have come down to about 8,500. However, it is still a huge figure, and there should be no room for complacency, on any front. – BL Sherwal, RGSSH

After 100 years, such a terrible pandemic is testing the world at every step. – Prime Minister Narendra Modi

During these challenging times, ecommerce has emerged as a safe means of making purchases. – Smrithi Ravichandran, Flipkart

Several industries have adapted to a new way of working in 2020 as companies increasingly relied on managed services for their IT needs. – Tarun Davda, Matrix Partners India

As the world moves from a BC to AD reality — before coronavirus to after disease — we have arrived at the dawn of the age of digital learning.  – Deborah Quazzo, GSV Ventures

Due to COVID-19, everyone across the globe has understood the power of digital. – Himanshu Gupta, Lawyered

This volatile environment has created new challenges for businesses in assessing and monitoring the financial risk of customers, distributors, dealers, suppliers and other third parties in India and overseas. – Mohan Ramaswamy, Rubix Data Sciences

Thanks to digitisation in India, a plethora of edtech platforms, ecommerce companies, and other industrial management transformations have taken places. It is vital for businesses to understand customer preferences and stay relevant accordingly in this second wave. – Lokendra Singh Ranawat,

When businesses have shut again amidst the second wave and with the threat of a looming COVID-19 third wave, the capacity hasn’t built up. So, how will [MSMEs] pay these loans back? – Mukesh Mohan Gupta, Chamber of Indian MSMEs

The shopkeepers in India have played a significant part during COVID-19 by ensuring availability of essentials. It’s time now for them to start working towards unlocking. – Ashneer Grover, BharatPe

Investors look for founders who are fighters. Not those who give up and simply wait for a crisis to blow over. – Dhruv Nath, Lead Angels Network

New variants of the virus and the slow vaccine rollout are raising fresh concerns, which is also reflected in the sharp decline in the number of deals in April 2021 compared to the rising trend in the first three months. – Vivek Soni, EY

The advantages of online exposure are that there are no constraints of time, and viewers can come from anywhere in the world. – José Luis Hernández “Chepe”, Chitra Santhe

The disadvantage of online exhibitions is that there seems to be no difference between an A4 or a 6ft×6ft painting. – Priya Ghosh, Chitra Santhe

In this hour of need, all of us must do our bit to combat this pandemic. – Yogendra Kashyap, RapiPay

We must come together and help our communities during these unprecedented times. –  Bhavish Aggarwal, Ola

It’s crucial in the time of crisis to provide a pillar of support to our fellow citizens as pandemic waves hit the shores. – Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Paytm

COVID-19 continues to test our physical and mental well-being. One thing that truly matters is having more time for our loved ones and ourselves. – Ritesh Agarwal, OYO

It is truly rewarding when troubled minds are calmed. – Ekta Prakash Sharma, Humanising Lives

Humanity is being tested like never before. – Theodora Lau and Bradley Leimer, ‘Beyond Good’

The events of 2020 have laid bare how damaging it is to continue to allow antiquated systems and business models to persist. – Ramsey Alwin, NCOA

Now is the time for us to work together in a way to ensure that the needy are served in the best manner possible. – Gaurav Singh,

The current crisis calls for a collaborative effort. – Shweta Sastri, Canadian International School

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. – Edith Wharton

Practise learning the art of being thankful for what you have. – Sapna Bangar

We are continuing to live through the worst humanitarian crisis ever. And we may not be able to stop it but we can definitely alleviate the distress of many around us. – Ramesh Balasundaram, Bal Utsav

Till acceptance comes, the grief remains with a lot of suffering. – Dr SK Chaturvedi

It’s important to note that even when the pandemic ends we will not be the same people we were beyond it. We need to embrace that. – Upasna Dash, Jajabor Brand Consultancy

YS has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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