In the United States, we are only in the initial stages of this coronavirus crisis. It’s going to get much worse before we can even think about normalcy again, so it’s difficult to perceive what life will be like months or even a year (or longer) from now. However, I hope that, as a society, we learn some lessons that will serve the greater good in the long run.
I hope we figure out there’s more that unites us than divides us. Most of the issues we have faced as a society do have philosophical sides, and our disagreements have centered on deep-seeded beliefs and values and have oftentimes been political, in nature.
However, when it comes to this issue of the coronavirus, there is no discrimination. The virus doesn’t care what political party you subscribe to, what gender you identify as, or what you believe about any other societal issue. The question is: are we, as a collective society, going to compromise and unite together to combat this virus?
Recently, as a culture, we have been become more closed-minded in our thoughts and trained to believe in only like-minded sources. There is no universal agreement on what the facts are anymore. With regards to this virus, what makes sense to me is to use what we’ve learned from other countries and from our own scientific and medical experts in order to practice measures like social distancing to the extreme in order for us to “flatten the curve” and to get all of us to row the boat in the same direction. And then, we need to avoid the impulse of passing on, retweeting, and forwarding misinformation that is ultimately going to be detrimental to our society.
This is going to be difficult for all of us. We are going to have to change our habits, and as human beings, that’s not an easy proposition. We have not seen the likes of this in our lifetimes, so there are many layers to this that we aren’t even able to comprehend yet. People we know are going to get sick. Our friends and family are going to need help financially. Our neighbors and co-workers are going to experience a great deal of stress and anxiety.
Some of our long-standing beliefs and habits may have to be set aside for the time being. I know for me, that’s going to mean doing things like donating more time and finances than I already do to worthy causes and to the needs of others. I also have to readjust my personal priorities because of the financial hit I’ve taken from the cancellation of sports tournaments and work opportunities.
No matter what happens in the future, we need to look out for one another and put the needs of others and of society, in general, ahead of our own in order for us to weather this crisis.