What We Are Learning About Ourselves from the COVID-19 Pandemic
Some say that life will never be the same again, that we’ll forever be haunted by the tragic loss of life, untold suffering, mental anguish, diminished economic prosperity, curtailment of basic human freedoms and so much more. On the other hand, what’s unfolding as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is a reawakened sense of life’s meaning and purpose, recognition of our hidden strengths, and willingness to tap into our core goodness and generosity. We are learning a lot about ourselves, which benefits everyone.
Learning to Quickly Adapt
There is no doubt that what America and the rest of the world is experiencing is a reality that no one could have anticipated. Despite the fact that some in the medical community and those who’ve extensively researched viruses and past pandemics provided warnings of collective ill-preparedness for any pandemic of the magnitude of COVID-19, most people went about their lives unconcerned about potential catastrophic and widespread illness and death.
Now, however, since there is a new reality forcing a reassessment of how to live everyday life while maintaining social distancing, businesses, factories and public and private places closed, we’re learning to quickly adapt. Long-held habits changed overnight. Commutes evaporated, replaced by the recommendation to stay in place.
Rediscovering Our Humanity
While there are instances of hoarding, selfishness, greed and isolated crime, most people in America are united in a common bond: We are facing the pandemic, doing what we must to survive, and pledging to work tirelessly to find solutions to universally-experienced problems. In the process, we’re rediscovering our humanity.
Adopting Technology at an Accelerated Rate
From online business meetings to being able to connect in-person and live with family members, loved ones and friends, we’re adopting technology at an accelerated rate. Social media networks, long a technological tool for connection, are even more important during a time when people are inside for weeks at a time. Mobile and online ordering for curbside pickup of staples, food, meals and medicines is rapidly becoming the go-to way for Americans to conveniently and safely get what they need on an immediate basis. There’s a measure of confidence in adopting technology for these purposes, since it means we’re not going to starve, run out of toilet paper, or much-needed medicine. Telehealth is also ramping up, as medical practitioners and patients connect via secure and HIPAA-compliant portals to ensure necessary medical and mental health needs are professionally addressed.
Discovering We are Resilient
No one knows when the threat of the COVID-19 virus will subside, or if it will resurface again, perhaps seasonally, or undergo mutations that could be even more deadly. There is an unwavering focus on developing effective treatment medications and vaccines to combat coronavirus. Dealing with such uncertainty calls into question our personal and collective ability to bounce back. Yet, in the face of the crisis, we have discovered just how resilient we are. We have strengths we took for granted, and courage that we didn’t know we possessed. Recognize that resilience is a strength that can be cultivated, and can then serve as a reservoir to utilize as needed.
Repurposing factories, tools and processes to meet urgent medical needs.
From the automakers to plastics-makers to tobacco companies and virtually every type of business with machinery, equipment, and the processes and know-how to jumpstart an entirely new model, we’re repurposing assembly lines, retooling equipment and revamping processes to meet the country’s most urgent medical needs. These include making ventilators, N95 and surgical masks, gowns, gloves and other personal protective equipment (PPEs) so desperately needed by front-line medical personnel, first responders, police officers, and others serving a citizenry affected with coronavirus.
Becoming More Generous
Parents raising their children at home during this challenging time can impart invaluable lessons about the importance of generosity by serving as examples. Put together shelf-stable items such as canned goods, flour and baking items, spices, condiments, packaged milk and other staples and deliver them to the doorstep of someone who’s unable to get out and shop, or may be ill, or is scrimping just to buy food. Americans are also showing their increasing generosity by donating money online, funding critical resources for disadvantaged individuals. In times of calamities and natural disasters, people in the United States have always stepped up to the challenge, yet the COVID-19 pandemic is proving just how generous this nation’s inhabitants can be.