Emerging to the Aftermath of a Pandemic
What I hope we Learn from this Experience
When will we emerge from all of this? No one knows for sure yet. Weeks, maybe months? But someday in the hopefully not-so-distant future, we will open our front door and we will no longer be fearful of the unseen. We will no longer have to quickly leave our homes to grab our necessities and run back to escape the unknown. We will not wrestle with anxiety as we pep talk ourselves before we leave our homes and head for work (for those essential employees who still must leave their homes to go to work.) We will no longer fearfully anticipate what awaits us when we turn on the television or pick up our cell phones. We will no longer be forced to choose between our health and our family's health or financial stability for our families. Unfortunately for some families those are one in the same depending on what you stand to lose without financial stability.
What we will emerge to is a completely changed society. Scratch that, a completely changed world! Whether that change is positive or negative is completely up to us. Ideally we will emerge to a world in which we begin to value human life again. When we see a stranger suffering from afar I hope we will no longer be numbed by ignorance, by our fast-paced living, or the thought of “that could never be me". We will know all too well how easily that could be us, and we will have a deeper sense of empathy for our fellow humans.
It would definitely do our world some good to use this as a reboot of mankind. A complete shift in priorities. One where athletes and actors are no longer idolized, but instead we see the public transportation workers, grocery store clerks, and especially health care personnel, as the real heroes. The ones who are truly putting their lives on the line day in and day out, to keep our world turning right now. The ones who are going days, even weeks without seeing their own families so that they can help ours. They are working tirelessly and endlessly to do all that they can during this time to save lives despite literally risking their own.
I also hope we emerge from this with a completely different perspective on things we so easily take for granted. A new perspective where we appreciate a simple interaction with our neighbors, and where we visit with our friends a bit longer than we did before, and where every parent in the world has a whole new level of respect for teachers!
There are few things that I hope will not change as the dust settles and we head back into normalcy. I hope we will continue to bond with our families around a table topped with homemade dinners. I hope we continue to check up on our neighbors and pull together as communities have been to make sure everyone is well, and well fed. I hope we continue to appreciate the little things that we once took for granted like the blessing of having a job to go to each day, the joy of a child's birthday party, and even the simplicity of a safe and mindless stroll through our neighborhood grocery store.
If we can do these things than I know we will be okay. The human race as a whole is resilient. History has shown us that time and time again. No matter how devastating the hits we have taken we always emerge stronger, wiser, and better. But this time we all took the hit together, in unison. And we will heal and rise together to emerge to an even better world.