With each passing day, it’s looking more like the opening chapter to Stephen King’s The Stand out there. At first, the Coronavirus seemed like a far away illness that hardly even registered in my mind. But now, just a couple months later, it’s reached my area all the way up here near the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
How did all this happen? I’ve heard reports claiming it had been anything from escaped bio-engineered germs, to bat soup. Regardless of how the pandemic began, we’re all here in the same boat trying to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, as well as sane.
Every day seems to bring more bad news and intensity to our doorstep, but we have an opportunity to change the way we look at things we thought we knew so much about. Social media, for instance, was originally meant to bring us closer together, but had many of us feeling more isolated than ever before. Intimate connections paradoxically took a back seat in the age of Facetime and text messaging. People began to stalk each other and broadcast themselves for the gratification of total strangers.
But now, with social distancing, we can use social media to connect us in the way it was intended to. I’m thinking now is a time when scrolling mindlessly through a newsfeed loses some of its luster. Perhaps we can take a step back and reflect on what’s most important to us during this uncertain time.
When every day could be your last, a strangely beautiful sense of gratitude creeps in. It’s either that, or a profound fear of losing what you hardly knew you had to begin with. It’s easy to take loved ones for granted. Maybe what we’re all going through can make us pick up the phone and make that call we’ve been putting off for so long.
We’ve all heard that the most at-risk demographic is the elderly. Right now is a great time to connect with our elders and talk with them. A wealth of experience is locked up in the minds and hearts of those who are on the second half of their life’s journey. Why not soak up some of that wisdom while we still have the chance?
Things are deadly serious out there. That much can hardly be denied. But the current global catastrophe could actually yield some silver-lined fruits for us in the end. With all of the opposing hostility happening in the political arena these days, my hope is that the situation at hand will make us begin to see ourselves in our “enemy’s” eyes.
Years of wasted time squabbling over petty nonsense can cloud our perceptions of the people who are closest to us. Now might be a good time to lay our feuds to rest and allow the past to recede into the rearview. Our future depends on each one of us being strong and hanging tight with one another. No matter what happens or how long it takes, we are going to pull through this.
Disasters have a tendency to bring out the worst, but also the best in people. Some might resort to smashing windows and robbing businesses for shiny trinkets, while others roll up their sleeves and lend a helping hand to those in need.
Through hundreds of thousands of years of struggle under unimaginable pressures, humanity has always persevered. All things considered, it really is a wonder that we’ve made it this far, isn’t it? However, we are capable of literally anything, if given enough time to figure it out.
Even when time isn’t an option, we spring into action and surprise ourselves. It’s as though we’d hardly had any control over mind and body when we somehow scraped through by the skin of our teeth.
Humans are incredibly special creatures.
I don’t know if it’s God smiling down upon His children or that we’re just evolved to be what we are. Either way, I have this theory that we will go on forever. Hundreds of millions of years into the future, we’ll be spreading throughout the universe, colonizing planets and harvesting others for resources.
Maybe it’s silly, but I don’t think there’s anything that can truly bring us to extinction… not even ourselves. For all I know, we have the capability of blowing up the entire solar system with the technology that’s available. I don’t think it’ll ever happen though.
We always pull through. We always have and always will. Hand in hand, we grit our teeth and set to work on what needs doing. Left or right politics may have seemed like an all-encompassing, insurmountable obstacle to keep us from working together. But in light of what’s going on right now, I’d like to think that we can set our sights to more noble pursuits than winning a debate or bad-mouthing the other side.
If we’re to survive, I think for now it’s time we lay down the pitchforks, get through this pandemic and weather the coming economic recession. When we’re safe and sound once again, then we can get back to arguing over yesterday’s misgivings. When things get bad again, as history shows they most likely will, then we’ll join forces and overcome the odds once more.
I have faith in humanity. If you do too, then we’ll be just fine.