Quite probably, no danger has been downplayed more than the coronavirus. Since case 1, the virus has been described as a type of flu, a negligible threat to health, and basically, a non-issue. Yet, we can already see that this bug has a huge impact on human society. Covertly, COVID-19 has smashed the foundations of human civilization. Within two months, humanity has capitulated to an enemy it cannot see, hear, smell, taste, or touch, and whose noxiousness is questionable.
Flu or no flu, one by one, governments revoked all public activities, religious and political congregations, professional conventions, sports and entertainment, shopping centers, factories, hi-tech companies, transportation, and recreation. Despite the unimaginable cost, heads of state succumbed in droves to the bug and stopped their nations in their tracks.
Even more extraordinary, now, as governments are trying to restart their countries, people aren’t excited to partake. It’s not only that they’ve had no income during the lockdown, though this is true as well. It is deeper than that: Humanity is losing interest in a civilization that hails people according to their wallets.
Though policy makers and tycoons are urging people to pick up where they left off two months ago, as they stand to gain the most from the recovery, at our expense(s), this will not happen, not this time. People have changed.
Not only tycoons and policy makers have been given a humbling lesson by the virus, we all have. We’ve all learned how vulnerable we are, how dependent we are on each other for our most basic needs, from health and food to human compassion. We have learned that what really makes us happy is warm families and good friendships, not hot trends and smirking colleagues.
We are learning to be equal. We are realizing that it is more rewarding to complete than to compete, that it is so rewarding to share, to care, and to be free at last from our egoistic selves. By submitting our egos, COVID-19 has given us life.
And as every toddler does, we are taking baby-steps. At times we will stumble, at times we will fall, but our goal must be clear all along: We are learning to unite. If we strive to live in unity, life itself will teach us what we must keep from the past, and what we must cast away. We need not make decisions in advance, just try to bond with one another and see what kind of society emerges, how it caters to its members, rewards its champions, and reproaches its foes.
As our values change, so will our causes for joy and for sorrow. Our aspirations will effortlessly adjust themselves to the new environment, and we will thrive when everyone around us thrives.
Since human bonding will be the ultimate goal of society, we will not be afraid for ourselves, for our children, or for others in our care. We will not need to worry about food, housing, health care, education, friends for our children or friends for ourselves. Simply, we will not need to worry. And the only demand of us will be to do the same good for others as they do for us.
We should fear the virus and tend to our health, but we should also be thankful that it came to our aid. It saved us from killing each other and destroying our planet; it gave us a chance to start over. So in all honesty, I am grateful for the lesson in humility that COVID-19 has given us all.
[Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash]