WARNING: This post is on a more serious note. Reading it may cause deep thoughts and reflection.
Okay, you’ve been warned. And you’re still reading?
We’re now at the point where most of us are beginning to lose track of how many days. How many days since our last night out with friends? How many days since our last restaurant meal? Or how many days since the Covid-19 pandemic officially made an imprint on how we carry our lives.
But we’re also at the point where we can reflect on the lessons it’s teaching us about ourselves and society. These aren’t the surface-level lessons we’re learning, like the fact that we’re finding innovative ways to make virtual learning and work possible. No, these are the hard-hitting lessons we may have recognized but may not have internalized. The ones that could, sadly, be forgotten when this is all said and done. As businesses start to open up again, let’s take time to reflect on them.
I encourage you to share these lessons so they remain in our minds when this period in time eventually becomes history.
Five Hard-Hitting Lessons From Covid-19
- The environment and wildlife had been suffering. We’re now beginning to compare images and videos from before this pandemic began to now. Images of city skylines once covered in smog to clearer skies. And now that we’re spending more time indoors, we’re also seeing videos of animals coming out to roam in places we use to have more foot-traffic. In a way, reclaiming their territory.
- Some of us have been wasteful. Now that we have to be more resourceful with what we have, we’re thinking twice about how much we throw away. For instance, when certain things in the health care profession (such as gloves and hand sanitizer ) have passed their use date, they are quickly thrown away without hesitation. Now, that common and surprisingly frequent practice is being revised. Another example might be how much less we’re wasting food and household materials in an effort to make fewer trips to the store.
- Social inequalities result in a longer and more difficult road ahead. We cant ignore the fact that some people are at greater risk of not only contracting Covid-19 but also dying from it. They have to continue working to sustain a living, they’re in a living situation that makes social distancing more challenging, or they have subpar access to testing and healthcare. It’s during times like these that societal inequalities have results that affect us all.
- We undervalued service workers. Service workers such as grocery store workers, nurses, doctors, EMTs, delivery workers, truck drivers, waste management workers, and mail courier serve essential roles. They’ve always been there doing their jobs, but it’s times like these that we actually notice and appreciate them most.
- We took a lot of little things for granted. Things we did all the time and people we would see all the time are some of the things we now miss and may have taken for granted. For instance, going to the movies, hair salon, restaurant, and more.
A Possible (Post-Pandemic) Future
When we do eventually arrive at a new normal and this is more or less behind us, I can only hope that these lessons will have the following impact on the world at large:
- We’re better stewards of the environment.
- We’re more thoughtful about our usages and waste.
- We prioritize everyone’s health, knowing that if a segment of the population is vulnerable, we’re all vulnerable.
- Our appreciation for people who work in essential jobs increases and doesn’t diminish over time.
- We have a deeper sense of gratitude for things that are often taken for granted.