If you make a list of the current “weapons” against Covid-19, you will be quite disheartened. All we have are the masks, social distancing, and our “weapon of mass destruction,” better known as closure. But people are sick of wearing masks, longing to close the distance between themselves and the people they love, and cannot stay indoors indefinitely, so none of these weapons really works. As a result, Covid-19 is not only spreading, but it is becoming increasingly aggressive and difficult to cure.
There are rumors about vaccines, but nothing has been approved, and no one knows if and when it will happen. So much for conventional medicine fighting a non-conventional bug.
Instead of uselessly struggling with the virus with inefficient instruments, we should remember what Einstein said, “The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.”
He’s right. We created this problem, and in fact all of our problems, with our egoistic, self-centered thinking. This is why only if we adopt an inclusive thinking, one that takes everyone into account rather than only ourselves, we will be rid of the virus and the rest of the problems plaguing the world.
In fact, we can look at the virus as a teacher who forces us to change our thinking, our relation to each other. Against our will, Covid is teaching us how to build a more just and integral society. Look at what it’s done so far: It’s forced us to give out money, to realize that some people will never have jobs but we must still look after them. It’s forced us to start thinking of the elders in our community and make sure they stay healthy and safe. It’s forced us to accept that we are all responsible for one another because anyone can spread the virus that may kill others even if we may not be affected whatsoever. In short, the virus is teaching us to think of one another. So if we think of one another, we won’t need its teaching and we’ll be virus free.
You could argue that you can’t think of others because it’s insincere. That may be true, but how sincere are you when you smile at a salesperson in a store, when you say “Sorry” if you bumped into someone on the street, or when you say “Have a good day”? We see that we agree to insincerity as long as it serves our interests, but when we have to do something that does not seem rewarding, we promptly call “sincerity” to our defense.
This “double standard” is the real insincerity. Since we are already insincere, let’s put it to good use. Let’s make the best of hypocrisy. Let’s be nice even when we don’t see the benefit of it, because if we do it together, we will change the atmosphere in our society and people will become genuinely nice. Let’s pretend that we care, fake being kind, and let’s do it all together. Chances are that in no time, everyone will be kind and caring.
We can change the way we feel by changing the way we behave. All it takes is mutual determination and the understanding that we have no choice, since Covid-19 is smarter and stronger than any of us, if we stand alone, but cannot beat us if we act as one.