It’s been nearly a year since the official outbreak of Covid-19, but we have yet to learn the message. The transformation in human connections that the coronavirus is bound to induce has not yet happened, though I cannot say it has not begun.
Because we don’t see where we are supposed to go, we still treat Covid like a bad flu. That is, we sit tight and wait for the vaccine to arrive and get it over with. But Covid isn’t the flu. It is an upshot of our poor relations, and if we want to keep our health, we have to work on our relations just as, if not more diligently than we work on finding a vaccine.
Moreover, waiting for a vaccine is not work; it’s a waiting game where we try to dodge the virus until the saving treatment comes along. But changing our relations is a task that requires the participation of all of us. It is impossible to improve relations in society unless all of society participates.
It is not immediately evident that the coronavirus is a result of our poor connections with each other. However, it is quite easy to see that in fact, all our troubles stem from our poor connections. Were it not for our poor relations with each other, we wouldn’t be exploiting each other. We also wouldn’t be exploiting domesticated and wild animals, plants, the soil, and the whole planet just in order to overcome competitors or enemies.
By exploiting everything and everyone around us on such a massive scale, we are throwing the whole planet off balance and engender countless adverse consequences, from earthquakes, hurricanes, and colossal forest fires, through extinction of species and invasion of species into other parts of the world where they disrupt the ecosystem, locust plagues, pandemics, and drug resistant bacteria, to emotional and mental crises in humans such as substance abuse, homicide and suicide, obesity, depression, and increasing alienation and loneliness. In short, man’s disconnection from others makes the world a dismal place to live in on all levels.
The coronavirus, however, is different in the way it influences our lives. It is not a local or a regional disaster. It is truly a pandemic. It has engulfed the world by storm and disrupted life on every level. It has shattered many western economies that we thought were rock solid, threw millions of people into depression and/or aggression in a matter of months, and dismantled the foundations of society almost overnight. The ramifications of the pandemic go far beyond the death toll and the frantic search for a vaccine; this is why it is unique.
As I said, the only way to really stop the virus is by changing our behaviors toward each other. The first step should be a transformation in our thinking so we will want not to harm others, as simple as that. We should imagine that bad thoughts are viruses and by thinking them, we are “infecting” others with our bad thoughts and making them ill. Therefore, we need to stop our bad thoughts in order to stop the plague from spreading.
There is no going back in nature. We will not be able to resume our pre-Covid lives even once there is a vaccine, assuming that it is efficient. At the moment, we are in dissonance with reality. Reality has moved forward to a connected world where everyone is dependent on everyone else, but our minds are stuck in the egocentric mindset of the previous decade. If we find a vaccine that actually works and try to go back, our conflict with reality will be extremely painful, far worse than anything we have experienced.
This is why it is so important that we understand where reality is going and follow the stream rather than try to swim against it.
It may seem as though the younger generation, the millennials, have an easier time adjusting to the situation. However, while older people want to go back to the old lifestyle because they don’t know anything else, younger people, too, do not look for connection but simply imagine a world that is more advanced technologically. Neither way works; it will not bring us happiness and will not align us with nature.
Our problem is that we need to understand, accept, and adjust our mindsets to the fact that the future of the world lies in positive connections among everyone, in solidarity and mutual responsibility. If we manage to transform our mindsets, then young and old will unite, and everyone will join hands in building a better world for everyone.