So by now, everyone is aware of the current situation in that we are experiencing a global epidemic. I have thought quite a bit about what to write here, since it seems to be such a relevant topic to write on. Then again, I can’t really add anything to what is already there. Especially scientifically. If anything, there is already too much misinformation. No need for me to add to that.
What I do want to point out is what I believe are key components to successfully get through this on a micro level. Meaning us, as individuals, interacting with other individuals.
There is much to be said what is safe and what is not, but when in doubt do what is certain. Avoid contact when you can. This will always work! No contact is better than contact at this point. You can’t argue with that. Obviously, this is not so easily done as it is said. For some. For some, contact is the epitome of existence and when that perishes, there is no holding on to anything.
Another point to be made is that more than ever we need unification and global solidarity as Yuval Noah Harari puts it in this striking article on the effects of COVID-19. How do these coexist? On one hand we need to isolate but on the other hand, we need to unify and collaborate.
I think we need to look at this from a brighter perspective. A more positive one without losing the truth of reality. In the 14th century, the Black Death killed over a hundred million people across the world. There was no idea what was happening; no way to track the disease; no way to prevent it nor a way to slow down the rate of infections. Today, we have all that. In two weeks we were able to figure out its genome and determine whether people were infected or not. Medical technologies are a huge advantage today and will eventually safe most of our lives. So we have that.
The social aspect of this all is being described as a terrible pain in the ass, but picture yourself in the eary 40’s of the 20th century. You were not being asked to stay inside but to go out and fight a bunch of Nazi people. Risking your own life and that of many others. Today we are being asked to stay inside, be with your loved ones and binge watch Netflix shows. Which one do you prefer?
And I get it, human contact is an essential staple to our species. It is biologically inherent to who we are but are we really without contact? Think of all the endless possibilities that technology gives us to remain IN contact rather than without. Is it not so that, when all of this taken into account, we pay a very small price for a healthy future?
The worst problem is not that we are limited in our freedoms, but that we can’t seem to be free when there are limitations.
For me, this is a time to reflect. Use the time you have now and work on you. Come to terms with some of the stuff you might have neglected. Meditate. Read. Write a journal. Paint or just enjoy a Netflix show with your daughter. And most of all, always, be compassionate. Be kind. Because there will never be a time like this anymore and any time to come will be worse. This is actually the center of the hurricane. The real shit show starts when the storm is over and we have to fix what is broken.