A huge, thick grey cloud covers the planet and there is no sign of it going away any time soon. This is how people feel after so many months of Covid-19 impacting our lives. Humanity doesn’t see on the horizon a way out and begins to feel tired, drained, and stuck in negative thoughts about what might come next. Our perspectives on the future are uncertain, and bewilderment has become a breeding ground for despair and depression. All this darkness could quickly change if we could discover the source of lasting fulfillment which the current crisis is leading us to reveal.
The pandemic has caused critical disruptions in mental health services in 93% of countries worldwide as the demand for psychological support has dramatically increased, according to the World Health Organization. Meanwhile, scientists warn of what seems to be an imminent new wave of the coronavirus in the upcoming winter, combined with the flu season. We have started to understand that the lifestyle restrictions are going to stay with us for a long time, at least until a proven vaccine is released, and even then, there will be no absolute certainty about its effectiveness as new mutations of the virus may arise. Our situation is changing the way we perceive and approach our lives.
Some are trying to maintain some sense of normality, going to work—if they are still lucky enough to still have a job—and include in their daily schedules some exercise to stay fit and healthy. But deep inside, the joy and enthusiasm for life has faded. The internal distress caused by the crisis is triggering apathy and bitterness.
The pursuit of materialistic aspirations has lost much of the relevance it had in the past when we craved power, money, and status. Now, the madness of endless competition and the ongoing quest for pleasures have become secondary concerns. And since life no longer offers a clear purpose, people feel overpowered by fatigue. Some struggle to get out of bed, having fallen into depression and powerlessness, while others react with angry outbursts against the pandemic-related restrictions, lockdowns, and preventive measures.
These manifestations reflect a lack of perspective about the future where we fail to see any compensation for the suffering we face. Subconsciously, humanity asks, “Why do we have to endure this situation? For what purpose?” Nature is precisely pointing out what humanity needs to change. It is revealing to us that the way we have lived our lives until now, driven by our egoistic impulses and actions for self-benefit, is no longer possible. The world is increasingly being revealed as behaving like a complex and mechanistic system of cogwheels, where we can only guarantee its smooth functioning by taking into consideration how to mesh the complementary and correct gears of all its elements.
The more we invest in the general wellbeing now, the more we will be able to safeguard the mindfulness and good spirit of society.
Therefore, we need to adapt to our new reality. We have no control over the virus, but we do have control over how we deal with its consequences as a human society. We must therefore help each other to stay afloat during the plague’s storm. It is imperative to find ways to battle the state of general despair and to organize support systems that will strengthen individuals to prevent them from falling into helplessness. The more we invest in the general wellbeing now, the more we will be able to safeguard the mindfulness and good spirit of society. Every country in the world should make all the possible efforts toward making communities more cohesive, where no one is left alone, where everyone has group support as a safety-net, employment, and the option of engaging in physical and social activities such as group games, music, and sports.
We can achieve the desired cohesion in our societies through a fundamental shift in our values: from competitive, individualistic, and egoistic to cooperative, connected, and altruistic. When our desire to enjoy is redirected, when we stop aiming to fulfill ourselves individually and start aiming to fulfill others, we will find the key to boundless happiness because we will be free from our enslaving self-concern. Only when we connect positively with others will we dissipate the looming cloud dimming the current atmosphere and will transform the climate into a sunny and shiny reality.