“Hospitalizations in at least nine states have been on the rise since Memorial Day,” wrote The Washington Post. And according to an Associated Press analysis, “Cases are rising in nearly half the states.”
The coronavirus isn’t considerate. It doesn’t care that we want to reopen our economies and go back to the life we had before. If we do not avoid contagion, it will keep returning until we do what we must.
And what we must do is change our whole perspective on life in this world; this is what the virus is impelling us to do. We thought that if we found a good job and made enough money, life would smile at us. But in a world where we affect everyone so immediately, we can’t afford to think only about ourselves if we want to be safe.
To be safe, we have to think about everyone’s safety, even more than about our own. We must wear masks not in order to avoid catching the virus, but in order to avoid infecting others with it, because we don’t know who’s got it and who’s not, who is clean, and who is infected but asymptomatic. The masks we should wear and the distance we should keep are not for our own sake, but first and foremost for everyone else, to keep them healthy. Only if we think in this way will we be able to clean up the country from the virus.
And as we are cleaning up the country, we will learn how to really think about others. We will learn that only when we think of others, we ourselves can be safe. If we think about our own safety, it forces us to arm ourselves with protective gear and weapons. This, in turn, creates violence and casualties. But if we focus on keeping our community and city safe, everyone will be safe, our personal safety will grow, as well, our confidence and calm will increase, and our lives will be easier and happier.
It turns out that by teaching us to wear masks not for ourselves but for others, the coronavirus is teaching us to develop mutual responsibility.
[Photo by pixpoetry on Unsplash]