The corona virus is now officially a pandemic. On Wednesday evening, President Trump announced that there will be a European travel ban starting Friday. Nobody will be allowed to travel from Europe into the US. The exception being the UK.
Universities are closing and students are being sent home. All large gatherings nationwide have been cancelled. The NBA has postponed its season. The Saint Patrick’s Day parades have been cancelled. Disneyland has closed. Stocks are plummeting in an unprecedented manner…
Things seem bleak, indeed. Even apocalyptic.
But is there a bright side to all of this? There may just be.
First, it may give birth to unity. Over the past few years, we have witnessed an unprecedented amount of division in our nation. Democrats Vs. Republicans. Progressives vs. Conservatives. Anti-Trump vs. Pro-Trump. Pro-impeachment vs. Anti-impeachment. Pro-gun-control vs. Pro-second amendment. The list is exhausting and goes on and on. Is it possible that we will now (possibly) transcend these divisions and unite with the one simple, common goal of staying healthy? Because that’s all that really matters in the great scheme of things. Doesn’t it?
Second, the corona pandemic may slow us down, which is probably a good thing. We don’t even know it, but we go through life like zombies, racing around from one place to another, never really thinking about what’s the meaning of it all? We’re programmed to be on the run all the time. But now maybe the virus will slap us out of our somnambulant lives, wake us up and make us think about what’s really important and what really matters.
Third, we may stop placing so much of our faith in economy. With the stocks plummeting like they are, maybe this is a way of drawing attention to how much worship we put into the Almighty Dollar. Money is material and, more importantly, fleeting, something that can apparently disappear in a snap. Perhaps we will walk away from this corona pandemic realizing that we should place our faith into other things, like maybe a real God instead of the false one worshipped on Wall Street.
Fourth, the corona pandemic may reconnect us with nature…because, really, being alone in nature will probably be one of the safest places to be during this corona craziness. It will force us to unplug from civilization and take a deep breath of fresh air. We will get our feet dirty again, with soil from the earth, instead of concrete and tile. It could be a much-needed period of grounding.
Fifth, we will walk away from the corona pandemic with more gratitude than we’ve had in a very long time. We take so much for granted, especially basic things, like all the food that lines the supermarket shelves. Over the past couple days, it’s been an unsettling sight to see these shelves suddenly scarce or even bare. When have we ever needed to worry about having enough food to eat? Not for a very long time—that’s for sure. When corona is all done and over, we will certainly have more gratitude for the most simple things in life (yes, even toilet paper).
In short, a pandemic like corona may be what we need to finally shake our current (and narrow) concept of what reality is and we will open ourselves up to something much broader and of greater importance.
There is always good that can come out of something so grim.