COVID-19 is very serious. Many people have died and many more will. And nobody knows what the ultimate economic damage will be. But as of March 19, 2020, the virus in the countries first hit is slowing its growth, or has stopped altogether, and the rest of the world is learning from them. This too shall pass.
Here is my hope for the other side of COVID-19-
I hope we will start to realize and accept we share one home, one planet, and that we all are, truly, in this together. For the first time in my lifetime the whole world shares a single enemy.
Now we are all under attack. We are all truly in this together. In practically every country in the world schools are closed, people are working from home, people are dying, health systems are straining, and governments are coping. My sister in Spain, a friend’s virtual assistant in San Salvador, my niece in Amsterdam. All of us are sheltering at home. I hope you can feel that. That connection. Because if you can, it will change your behavior.
I hope our focus can be drawn away from growth, profits, and power that drives our culture, and focused more toward compassion. I hope we can learn that we can have a balance, that it isn’t a zero sum game, that growth, profits, and power don’t have to lose for compassion to win. Our most potent weapon against COVID-19 is compassion, not guns. It’s all of us willing to shelter at home — to stop our lives — to stop the spread of the virus to others. Close to 100% of you reading this won’t die from COVID-19. But 100% of us can, through our compassion, reduce the number of people who die.
This smacks of a weird science fiction story*, right? A world under attack doesn’t have to invent a new weapon to kill the invaders. The world’s people need to learn how to be more compassionate with each other to win.
*Those Star Trek fans among you will be quick to recall two episodes where the lesson of compassion (stop fighting) had to be learned to save the world.