Considering that our values, desires, behaviors, anxieties and responses are highly influenced by our surrounding society, then there is no doubt that the coronavirus and the changes it has introduced into the world has significantly impacted our lives.
In the beginning of the outbreak, most thought of it as a temporary phenomenon, that the life we lived would get “back to normal” soon afterward. Today, however, we already see that it is going to be around for a lot longer, and that permanent changes are set to emerge.
What will those permanent changes be?
The pandemic has made us reevaluate what is and isn’t essential in our lives. Today, even if we have the “privilege” in our areas to still be able to go out to bars, restaurants, malls, gyms and flights, many think twice before going.
To start with, the lockdown period we went through calmed down consumerist habits.
Also, economic uncertainty as to whether there will be another lockdown makes many reconsider where they spend their money.
It is as if the coronavirus made us step off of the materialistic treadmill that we were running prior to its outbreak, and we started to walk through our lives at a much slower pace.
We discovered a newfound interdependence and reliance on each other in order to maintain our health, as we depend on each other to uphold certain conditions in order to lessen our chances of catching the virus.
The longer the coronavirus affects our lives in such a way, the more we will realize that a permanent change is at hand: a change from using each other and the ecology in the name of personal profit and individual success, to a more balanced lifestyle, keeping us closer to our homes, to our families, and to rethinking our mutual influence on each other in society.
If we relate to the coronavirus as a lesson from nature—a lesson in becoming more considerate and responsible toward each other, doing away with our excessive consumeristic drives that distanced us from each other and nature—and instead focus our sources of enjoyment not in what a materialistic society promotes to us, but in developing positive connections to each other, then we would make good use of this period and experience its permanent changes positively.
However, if we stubbornly try to hold onto our pre-coronavirus lifestyles, then we will experience more and more suffering. That is, we would fail to learn from nature’s hint as to what we need to change, and thus nature would have to give us harsher lessons in order to wake us up to relate positively to our new tighter interdependence.
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