COVID-19: The Outbreak that might save humanity?

Life in lockdown can be rough but there are signs pointing up.

“Man what a time, to be alive.”

– Aubrey D. Graham

What truer words have been said? Just some words of wisdom I have to share with you during these trying times, and trying times indeed.

In an age where society seems to be rapidly, sprawling and hurdling to the future, I didn’t think anything could slow us down. Every year that passes seems to be more complex than the last, it seems only natural that something had to give.

I guess it takes a highly-infectious, globally spread disease, to stop the wheels of material life from turning.

The last article I wrote about the Coronavirus pandemic was fueled by frustration and resentment. A week and a half later and 10 days into quarantine, I surprisingly am feeling – optimistic?

It can be hard to see the light in this situation. We’re fumbling around in uncharted territory and taking our lumps along the way. What I do see however, are great intentions and acts of humanity that underlie our trials and errors.

There’s a line by Xavier Omar, featured in artist Noname’s song, All I Need, that underscores my feelings.

If it’s not how I want it, it’s just how I need it.”

“All I Need” from Noname’s Mixtape: ‘Telefone’

When I fantasized a revolutionary, societal tear down and paradigm shift, this is definitely not how I imagined it. But could it be just what we need?

~

Before this, I honestly felt like our species was slow dancing our way to an early apocalypse by either:

  1. World War III nuclear holocaust
  2. U.S. Civil War II
  3. A 2012-esque, environmental catastrophe.

The global lockdown threw a wrench in the cogs of the “MACHINE.” It’s caused the world to stop in its tracks, which has resulted in dramatic effects.

ENVIRONMENT

The lockdown has been rough for us humans but it has been just wonderful for the Earth.

“…reductions in coal and crude oil burning led to a 25 percent decrease in CO2 emissions from China when compared with the same period in 2019. – approximately 100 metric tons of CO2, or 6% of global emission,’  Myllyvirta writes.”CNET.com

As it turns out, we don’t need Elon Musk to build a car that’s powered by carbon dioxide and plastic straws, we can just stop consuming and producing garbage.

If there was any shred of respectable skepticism left on whether or not humans are the main contributor to climate change, it’s time to officially put that to rest.

We need climate solutions yesterday but this lockdown may have actually given us some time, however brief it may be. I hope we can remember and take this knowledge with us to the future.

[Perhaps a monthly lockdown of 48 hours to let the Earth catch its breath? Just spitballin’ here.]

We are seeing a beautifully pleasant surprise on the macro-level. Although, the lockdown’s effects are vast and not without downsides of course.

SOCIETY

On a Nationwide scale, things have been rough to say the least.

Our precarious healthcare system has been spread razor thin, medical professionals worked to the bone and hospitals held together by essentially glue and duct tape with little support. On top of that, the lockdown has resulted in massive unemployment and a crippling blow to small businesses.

With that said, I see the act of lockdown as an unfortunate necessity and inherently an act of compassion. We mostly have the understanding now that “social distancing” is not necessarily to protect ourselves but to protect everyone else. Specifically, the most vulnerable people in our society.

I believe acts of good beget more good and it’s important to look for that and acknowledge it. This lockdown has been the greatest act of cooperation I have ever witnessed in my life. We are working together and sacrificing for those who have it the hardest.

Hmm, the advantaged populations in society helping the disadvantaged, what a noble concept we have enacted. Sounds a little like – dare I say – SO……CIAL…ISM?!

How dare I politicize such a dire moment, so soon? Call it what you want, but the COVID-19 lockdown has defaulted to a case study in what our country lacks and needs. It exposed our need for robust social programs to provide healthcare for ALL citizens, funding for healthcare facilities and financial aid to people in need (everyone).

Isn’t it amazing, that Universal Basic Income is being most seriously considered under the TRUMP ADMINISTRATION?!

This is not some “Liberal Elite”, pseudo-humanitarian, partistan snowflake scheme. Providing resources for people is a RESPONSIBILITY of a well-functioning Government in a sovereign nation. Is it not time to start investing our efforts appropriately, to the parts of society that matter most?

*mini lesson: Save money when you can, you never know when life will throw a pandemic at you and you’ll be out of work.

And could this finally be the event, that will lift the red MAGA hat bill, from the eyes of the Trump cult?

The one, tangible shred of evidence that this administration touted as doing anything positive for the country, was the “booming economy” and stock market. And we all know what that’s like now.

The continual failures and embarrassments to our country and office by this administration are as consistent as a nuclear clock. Yet, somehow they managed to trump themselves once more, with another colossal flop.

Quick recap:

  • Ignored warnings far before the outbreak reached the U.S.
  • Failed to prepare and provide adequate resources (tests, masks, gloves) to people
  • Trivialized the severity of the disease
  • Lied, gave false and misleading information about the disease
  • Fired the U.S. pandemic response team in 2018 to cut costs
  • Created chaos from ignorant, vague and incomplete addresses to the country – when the most important and simple duty of the President in times of chaos is to above all, reassure the people.

I hope the people of the U.S. realize that this President is not here to help us. At this time, we literally can’t look to the Presidency for support, reliable information or comfort.

However, remember to avoid lumping all Government-run institutions into one. We use our own judgement and give trust to the institutions we respect because of their actions and merits.

The most valuable insight Trump has offered us, is the realization that we are pretty much on our own. The good thing is that we are on our own – together. In times of disaster, the Government probably won’t be there to help you up but hopefully your neighbor will.

Now is as good a chance as any, to reconnect with the ones closest to you and strengthen the bonds of our communities.

PERSONAL AND MENTAL HEALTH

For the average middle-class, white collar citizen like myself, our primary health concern is keeping our sanity while being locked in our homes with our housemates for weeks on end.

But frankly, I’d be more concerned for our mental health if we never got this break at all. I think most of us NEED some time at home on the couch. The external world can become so overwhelming, that we forget to look inwards and at what/who is in front of us.

The best thing we can gain from the lockdown is the opportunity to – slow – down. No meetings, appointments, forced social gatherings, parties you don’t really want to go to and all the other bullshit. Use this time to do the work that your “work,” has been distracting you from.

Like that famous quote, “in every crisis, lies opportunity.” By… uh, you know – that famous person…

If you’re struggling with cabin fever, remember that abandoning the lifestyles that we have cultivated and depended on, is for the betterment of our kind and is a noble sacrifice.

And what are we really sacrificing? Going out to eat, movie theaters, bars, our work spaces? These are social arenas that bring us physically together but do they connect us? What have the poor deprived people, resorted to during our desolate desperation?!

i.e. Jogging, biking, going on walks around the neighborhood, watching movies with their partner, mass group video calls, dancing, being silly, reading BOOKS FOR GOD”S SAKE.

People have actually been noticeably more kind and caring when I pass them on the street. I’ve chatted with fellow doomsday preppers at the grocery store about what their favorite quarantine snack is or show they’re currently watching. I think COVID-19 puts us all in the same boat, it reminds us of our mortality and that we are all in this life together.

And that should make you feel good, happy to be alive and well, in the able-body you have been given. Take this time to enjoy the presence of others, or just yourself, in a finite and fleeting experience of life.

In a grand sense, we’ve been given the gift of time and what can be more valuable? With the future so uncertain it’s hard to plan ahead, so take this time to be present. Maybe, try meditating like I’ve told you so many times before? If you are bored, you can always count your blessings.

I’ll leave you with a final quote,

“This too shall pass.”

If you are or know someone who is in lockdown with an abuser, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline via text or call at 1-800-799-7233.

Thank you, oh so very much for reading. Please “like” the post, follow the Blog if you haven’t or share it if you think it’s valuable. Comment and share your experience, agree or disagree with me. PLEASE. ILY4ever <3

2 Comments

  1. I think language matters, so for me it’s not really social distancing, ironically I feel more socially connected than ever before, maybe physical distancing is more accurate.
    The next question we should be asking is how will this end? Ed Yong in the Atlantic said it best.
    “ One could also envisage a future in which America learns a different lesson. A communal spirit, ironically born through social distancing, causes people to turn outward, to neighbors both foreign and domestic. The election of November 2020 becomes a repudiation of “America first” politics. The nation pivots, as it did after World War II, from isolationism to international cooperation. Buoyed by steady investments and an influx of the brightest minds, the health-care workforce surges. Gen C kids write school essays about growing up to be epidemiologists. Public health becomes the centerpiece of foreign policy. The U.S. leads a new global partnership focused on solving challenges like pandemics and climate change.
    In 2030, SARS-CoV-3 emerges from nowhere, and is brought to heel within a month.”

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