The first time we were told to stay at home and keep a six-foot distance, we largely obeyed. We didn’t want to catch the virus or put our elderly loved ones at risk. When authorities rolled back the lockdown and said we could go out again, that’s when we lost it. Not everyone, but enough of us to make the virus hit back ferociously.
But now we can’t go back. People’s patience has vanished, their obedience—replaced with defiance. It’s as if people are telling nature, “Catch me if you can!” It can and it will. If not with the coronavirus, then with some other virus, bacteria, or an entirely different disciplinary menace. Once nature has made a statement, it will not let up until we listen, since each statement is the beginning of a new phase in our development as a human society.
The coronavirus is telling us that we should stay apart from one another because we’re harmful to each other. We have been harmful to each other in so many ways, often deliberately, that our society has been falling apart and disintegrating long before the George Floyd protests began. But with COVID-19 spreading faster than ever, racial tensions escalating all over the country, a police force that has been demonized and delegitimized to the point where it has become powerless in many cases, and a rabid elections campaign whose virulence will only peak in a few months, we are seeing the making of a perfect storm that could tumble the most formidable superpower in modern history, and perhaps ever.
The next phase, the one that nature is forcing through the virus, will see a humanity that is much more considerate and caring one. But humanity will determine how fast that phase evolves, and how pleasantly and smoothly it overcomes the current, self-centered humanity we’ve all grown up with.
Any parent knows what to do when his or her child isn’t straightened out after the first admonition: give a second, much harsher one. Since we have been disobedient, this is what we should expect from nature.
But nature has no wish to obliterate humanity; it’ll only hurt us until we learn to treat each other and the planet better. We may challenge nature and throw COVID parties, and we may refuse to wear masks or keep our distance, but it won’t be long before nature grabs us by the ear and sends us to the corner.
Sometimes, when the odds are totally against you, it’s unwise to be a wise guy. Sometimes, the wisest thing to do is simply play along. And in this case, at the end of the game, we will discover that we are the winners and our defiance only delayed our victory.
Posted on Facebook