Today, we find ourselves in a place none of us ever thought we’d be. Entire countries are shut down, air travel is non-existent for the most part, and our daily lives have been disrupted to the point of only take-out and home delivery. Why? Not a war or a natural disaster but something most of us didn’t consider—a biological threat, of all things! This microscopic virus has brought our planet to a halt.
We have all had to rethink our entire existence. We have to think twice about everything we do now. Can we do this or that? What’s the risk? And the new term that defines the very essence of human nature—social distancing, which is an oxymoron if you really think about it. Let’s be social but only at six feet or more. It’s something I never thought I would see in my lifetime: hysteria over toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and the hordes wiping out grocery stores like we are on the verge of a zombie apocalypse.
Another new buzz phrase is “the new normal.” From record stock markets to the biggest drop in a decade in less than five days to schools closed and parks and recreation areas off-limits, we are told to stay home. Some have faced job losses, there has been an exponential rise in unemployment, and we are told to wear masks. This down-shifting to the new normal has left skid marks on everyone’s lives. It makes us all think about what is really important now. COVID-19 is the first thing you hear in the morning and likely the last thing before lights out. Today, it dominates the news and our daily lives—politics and science in a daily battle of the economy vs. life. The economy can be repaired in time, but the loss of life cannot.
However, one thing it has taught us is to slow down. Look at a sunset or reconnect with your spouse or partner. It has given us a chance to really look at what is important to us now. Family and health need to be at the utmost top of our list right now. Material things can wait. Check on that loved one, neighbor, or friend. This, like all the challenges we have faced in the past, will end in time. We cannot bring those lost back. We cannot restart too fast and risk further loss.
To read this entire column, which appeared in the May 2020 issue of PCB007 Magazine, click here.