It is time for countries to move beyond routine measures such as wearing masks and keeping social distancing in tackling the Covid-19 outbreak. These measures were good first aid steps, but they are losing their effectiveness. It’s time to treat the virus on a deeper level, the social level.
Indeed, the social level is precisely where it’s hitting us the hardest. Although the virus has killed more than a million people worldwide since the beginning of the outbreak, this toll pales compared to the social, mental, and emotional toll it’s had on people.
The social distancing imposed on us heightens the isolation many of us already feel, and exposes how far we really are from each other in our hearts. If we felt close to one another, we wouldn’t feel the distance and we wouldn’t feel apart. In that sense, Covid-19 is the first social pandemic in the history of humankind. If we heal our ill society, we will cure the pandemic.
Until now, we have approached other people only when it suited our interests. We didn’t take other people’s benefit into account and manipulated them for our own needs. The coronavirus outbreak prevents us from doing this. From now on, if we want to approach other people, we will have to think of what is best for them first, and then we will be able to decide whether or not we should approach them. We will not be able to approach people as before—to use and exploit them for self-interest.
Bit by bit, we will create a dynamic balance where each of us is like an atom in a giant molecule which is all of humanity. We will move around, but not in disarray, according to our own whims, colliding and clashing with other atoms on our path. Instead, coordinate our movements in complete harmony and balance with all the atoms in the molecule. We will become keenly aware of the state of the molecule as a whole, and we will naturally coordinate our position with that of all other atoms in the system.
We will not need complicated calculations; it will come natural for us since our care for all of humanity and all of existence will guide us. It will be as though the molecule itself is telling us what it wants us to do, and we will do it in harmony with all of reality. We will be living in a never ending dance with all parts of creation, and that dance will give us delight and vitality.
This is the lesson that the coronavirus is teaching us. If we stop resisting it and listen to its message, we will find that behind the mask and social distancing lie great wisdom and happiness that wait for us to find them.