PETACH TIKVAH, Israel — We can get all teary-eyed over it, but it won’t help. The world we knew until the beginning of this year is over and will not return. And with it, it took our childhood. Until Covid-19, we were like kids wrecking up the house doing whatever they want while the parents are out on business. But Covid showed us that they’re not gone; they’re just invisible. And instead of showing up and yelling at us, they sent an invisible force with the odd name, SARS-CoV-2, aka, the novel coronavirus, which sent us home and told us to stay home. And every time we come out, it returns and lands another blow until we learn we must obey.
We don’t like it; we want to get rid of it, but we are gradually realizing that we can’t, and probably will never be able to, at least until we do what it tells us: “Stay apart and stop infecting one another.”
We already know that Covid-19 is affecting our brains, but what we haven’t realized is that it is affecting our hearts. It will change our hearts from alienation to connection. For now, it only increases our loneliness, but at some point, we will realize that to connect and not be lonely, we have to connect in our hearts before we connect in our bodies. Only then we will overcome seclusion, the negative influence we have projected on each other will be reversed, and this will be our healing.
The virus has come to teach us how to be grownups, responsible for our common home, and accountable to one another. It has come to turn us from unruly children into caring adults, who tend to one another and to the world around them.
Just as children do not notice as they grow until they are already adults, we will see what we have become only after the fact. And probably, only then will we be thankful to the virus, without which we wouldn’t be able to disconnect from our previous, infantile, and destructive little selves, and become mature, responsible, and caring humanity.