Instead of taking to the streets of Pakistan with patriotic fervour, this August 14 we can instead reflect how far we have come in light of the bleak circumstances. As relative normalcy resumes, the smallest of liberties—once taken for granted—have been reinstated and public sentiment has resultantly improved. In a pandemic stricken world, this is the best we can ask for, and therefore celebrate, in 2020.

Pakistan saw a total number of 286,674 registered coronavirus cases; while we lost the lives of over 6000 people, we have also seen 264,000 recoveries—a staggering 92.1%, with the statistics only improving as more recover on a daily basis compared to those infected. This is evidence of the fact that the compromises made by the public, and strict adherence to protocols designed to prevent the transmission of the virus, have borne fruit. This improved status quo has allowed for the government to lift lockdowns, one after the other. As the virus continues to devastate the world, we stand in a privileged position as the possibility of extreme limitation, if not complete eradication, is well in our reach.

Economic stagnation and decline were, and continue to be, threats, but landmark progress has been made as industries and corporations were extended the permission to recommence operations. This continuation of business activity not only benefits the public at large but relieves the pressure off of thousands of workers who were scrambling to find alternate sources of income. Clearly, the threat of corona forced the country to digress but we must find a source of comfort in the small victories that help us to regulate impact and mitigate the damage done.

Pakistan is a resilient country; our people have struggled through immense challenges, but seventy-three years later, we continue to persevere. On all other days, we constantly chew over thoughts of where we have gone erred, but today, it is important to celebrate what we have built together over seven decades.