The global pandemic that is COVID-19 came on fast and strong in the early months of 2020. It swept across borders, oceans, and the airwaves in news and rising death tolls. As May approaches, we draw ever nearer to the mid-year mark, and (hopefully) the decline of the virus.
As people everywhere are forced into social isolation, tempers flare. Meanwhile, the Earth herself seems to be recovering almost overnight with fewer humans on roads, trains, or public transportation. Surely, such a situation has plenty to teach us, right? Let’s look closer at what we’ve learned from COVID-19.
1. COVID-19 Has Shown Us That Our Society Is More Fragile Than We Realize
It’s always so interesting to watch human civilization grow and evolve. Our technology, our way of life, all of the things we take for granted are so much more fragile than we realize. We go through our days with an expectation that things will still be normal tomorrow when we wake up.
If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that our supposed invulnerability is truly just an illusion. Our society as a global and localized community is prone to all manner of problems, and governments the world over seem to have been unprepared for this chink in the armor. If something like a virus can have such devastating consequences, what else are we ignoring that we might have to face in the future?
2. People Are Good At Heart
If you spend any time watching the nightly news, you’re likely filled with dread every time you turn off the program for the day. The news is often filled with stories of violence, dread, and in the case of COVID-19, very little in the way of hopeful messages.
Luckily, the nightly news channels aren’t the only place you can find news about the virus. All over social media, we’re seeing incredible stories from everyday people. People donating food, time, resources, and more to their fellow humans in this time of need.
People all over the world have stepped up to the plate and answered the call. Healthcare workers are working around the clock, food banks are receiving donations, and there seems to be a general sense of we’re all in this together.
This kind of unity is something we rarely get to see up close, so take it for what it’s worth, and remember that humans are, at heart, good to each other.
3. Relationships Matter
Relationships are another part of life that we often take for granted. In our pursuit of a happy, healthy life, we often forget that our lives and the lives of those we love are inescapably finite. Since relationships fulfill a large part of our lives, they would seem to be of a high priority.
The truth is, we always have an excuse for why we can’t make the phone call to mom tonight, or why our friend will just have to wait another week to have dinner with us. We act as if tomorrow is a certainty, like life isn’t something so precious and fleeting.
Our time in social isolation has shown us the value of these relationships. It’s shown us why the people in our lives make up such an important part of who we are and where we stand. We’re all missing someone during social isolation, but don’t let that longing go unanswered. You can still reach out and let those you love know you care until we’re all reunited once again on the other side of this challenge.
A gift basket is a great way to let someone know you’re thinking of them!
4. We Need To Treat Mother Earth Far Better
We have but one place that everyone, no matter where they are or what their situation is, calls home. The Earth is home to all of us, our “mother” in a sense. It’s the only planet we’ve got so far, and we treat it like it’s also an infinite resource.
Much like our own lives, the Earth itself has a time limit. There’s only so much abuse, misuse, and maltreatment the planet can stand before it can’t support its ecosystems anymore. One of those ecosystems is human civilization.
Across the globe, we’re seeing great change due to COVID-19. For starters, air pollution has reached record lows in the US and other countries. It’s through this veil of pollution, of endless statistics and claims disputing both sides of the climate change argument that we see one resounding truth: we need to treat the Earth better.
We don’t quite have the technology to explore off-world options, and this sort of sci-fi future is as unrealistic as it is impractical. After all, why leave the home you have instead of just fixing it? One thing is clear: the more humans withdraw from the foreground, the better the Earth seems to be doing.
5. Self-Care Is A Necessity During COVID-19 and Beyond
In our endless “grind” of life, we often forget about ourselves. There’s always more hours to be worked, more paperwork that needs done, etc. Always something keeping us from just taking a moment to ourselves. Quarantine has revealed this sore spot. People everywhere are realizing that they’re working too much, neglecting important relationships, and watching life slip away before their eyes.
Self-care is an absolute necessity for a happy, healthy life. COVID-19 might keep us from our friends and family, but that doesn’t mean you can’t call, video chat, or send a message. Pour yourself that glass of wine, soak in a hot bath, take a day to do nothing but read. Just don’t forget about you during this pandemic.