COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic on March 11 by the World Health Organization. The virus initially emerged from Wuhan, China and then quickly spread all over the world.
It was only December 31, 2019 when it was first reported to World Health Organization.
Within a matter of weeks, it was being termed an epidemic and, soon after, a pandemic.
Some of us only learnt the difference between an epidemic and pandemic as a result of this unfolding tragedy.
The spread of the disease escalated exponentially over a short time.
The term "global village" - coined in the 1960s with the advent of media technologies that propagated interconnectedness - has been given a new meaning in the last few months.
Unfortunately, at the moment we are connected by means of a global threat ... rather, a global calamity.
Whether we are in Australia, United States, United Kingdom, China, Middle East or Pakistan, we are all discussing the medical emergency.
Our media is in a frenzy, reporting the number of cases with every passing minute.
There are lockdowns and curfews in place. The health system of every country is fighting.
While some of us may be better equipped than others, human behaviours around the world have been at an ultimate low.
There are friends reporting hoarding from every part of the globe.
It all started with people sharing their pictures with a pack of toilet rolls from Canada, Australia and Germany on Facebook - now it's even hard to find bread and eggs in grocery stores.
Panic is prevailing over common sense. All of a sudden - from struggling to finding the right job and getting into the right university - we have turned our attention to hoarding grocery items and flu medication.
Have we once stopped to think, what if someone needs what we are stockpiling more than we do?
This dawned on me two days ago when my five-year-old came down with fever that we didn't have paracetamol in the house.
As I moved from chemist to chemist in search, I realised that there was none available.
Then came the day when we went to get bread for breakfast as per normal and couldn't find any. Even aisles with biscuits and chips have been cleared.
All this is not just causing chaos but also an imbalance in the supply and demand ratio, affecting the world's economy.
In times like these, we need to be at our best to cope. Instead, we are filling our trolleys unnecessarily as if there is no tomorrow. Haven't we learnt enough lessons through history ... panicking and acting out of fear of missing out will not solve the problem. We need compassion now more than ever. Be kind, empathise and share. Be the better person.
Australia was already struggling with the bushfires and now we are working our way towards the abyss.
The economy is in shambles. People are losing jobs, especially casual workers.
There is no semblance of normal in most parts of the world where schools have been shut down and children have been on house arrest.
In times like these, we need to be at our best to cope.
Instead, we are filling our trolleys unnecessarily as if there is no tomorrow.
Haven't we learnt enough lessons through history - world wars, civil wars, the war on terror, tsunami, Haiti, bushfires.
Panicking and acting out of fear of missing out will not solve the problem.
We need compassion now more than ever.
Be kind, empathise and share. Be the better person.
We can help curb the outbreak by adopting basic hygiene.
We need to stay clean, be sure to wash our hands frequently and avoid touching our faces when outdoors and otherwise.
Also, you should sneeze and cough into your elbow.
Let's use COVID-19 as an opportunity to develop good habits.
Calm your nerves and don't panic. Take precautions and have faith.
Use reliable sources of information, rather than resorting to quick, unreliable ones on social media.
Stay at home if you are sick. Go for an early detection and early response.
We need to modify our behaviours in order to deal with this unfortunate scenario as best as we can.
Ayesha Umar is a career development consultant