A few weeks after the coronavirus started to spread throughout China, South Korea, and parts of Japan, much of Europe and North America derided them for panicking over a new strain of flu. A few weeks later, South America, Russia, and much of Africa derided Europe and North America for the exact same reason. Today, no one is deriding anyone because no place is virus free. In fact, some places have already begun the second wave.
But in all this derision and pain, the best news I see is precisely that it’s everywhere. Now, at long last, we’ve got proof(!) that we are all in one boat. Now we know and feel that either we all swim out of the sea together, or we all sink.
I have no doubt that even as we return to “normalcy” and countries reopen their economies, many of the realizations we had gained during the lockdown will remain with us. Perhaps we will push them to the back of our minds, but they will nonetheless affect our thoughts, desires, engagements, occupations, and decisions going forward. When the second outbreak occurs, the experience will return to the fore, which will remind us of the realizations we had had and sink them in our hearts a little deeper. This, in turn, will take us one more step toward a life of more consideration, mutual responsibility, and connection. Eventually, the necessity to keep our distance will help us bring our hearts closer.
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