We are currently living in unprecedented times. We have all found ourselves having to adjust to a new way of life rather quickly and abruptly. And we have no idea how long this new way of life will last.
In all honesty, we truly believe that this virus was what the world needed to realise what peril the Earth is in. This virus was the kick in the bum we all needed to wake up and re-evaluate our priorities in this life. It is a reminder for everyone to be more compassionate and understanding, and to appreciate the things we have that we normally take for granted. We have never been more grateful to have a safe and cosy flat to call home and to have enough money to buy groceries.
This pandemic is a stark warning from Mother Nature – she is cautioning us to rethink our way of life and our priorities. We must use this time for self-reflection and to consider the ways in which we really can make this world a better place – literally.
Zach Bush (@zachbushmd) posted some wise words on Instagram: “May this respiratory virus teach us of the mistakes we have made in disconnecting from nature and warring against the foundation of the microbiome. … When we separate ourselves from nature and destroy our diverse ecosystems, nature’s system of checks and balances kicks in. Mother earth is striving for life. We need to align ourselves with nature. It is not the virus we should fear, but instead, the human behaviour that created the biologic pressure for the mutation for this to occur, and the emerging immune system vulnerability of our global population we have collectively created.”
We should all take this strange time to reflect on our lives and our choices. Are our normally privileged lives contributing to further environmental degradation? Are we supporting the “right” businesses? How can we contribute more to our communities?
We hope that when this pandemic is over, we will move forward in life with a new normal, because we cannot continue living our lives “business as normal” when this is over.
Alongside our disconnect with nature is everyone’s intense love of travel. While travel can be invaluable and can teach us so many things about the people and world around us, it is also a considerable contributor to the degradation of our planet – most notably with air travel. This situation has given us the opportunity to consider (amongst other things) travelling and how we’d like to move forward with travelling while also respecting the Earth. Further reflection and thought is needed still.
Another glaring reality that has surfaced is the fact that essential workers who are absolutely critical to the survival of humanity get paid pennies while celebrities, sports players, and the like (while they provide us with entertainment) are paid millions and are unnecessary for the survival of humanity. And by essential workers, we not only mean healthcare workers, but also grocery shop workers, farmers, factory workers, cleaners, delivery drivers, bus drivers, rubbish collectors, journalists, police officers, firefighters, and funeral staff, among others. Systems changes are desperately needed.
This pandemic is also revealing everyone’s true colours – from individuals to corporations to governments. Let’s use this opportunity to take note of which corporations are and aren’t doing good to better understand which companies we should and shouldn’t support in the future. Let’s use our ability to vote to send a message to those in government about what kind of world we want to live in.
There are so many further issues to be addressed that we simply cannot cover in this blog post. We don’t have all the answers, but the fact of the matter is that we cannot simply come out of this pandemic by returning to our former normals. There has to be a new normal moving forward.
Let’s also not forget that many people are in much more challenging situations than we are. Some families are forced to be split apart due to one person being an essential worker while the other person is immunocompromised. Some have lost their household’s income and perhaps aren’t eligible for government assistance. Others are on visas and are deeply concerned about vulnerable family members back home that they can’t be with. Others still may be victims of domestic violence so their homes are unsafe places for them to be in. We truly hope that those in difficult situations have an adequate support network to lean on.
This situation has also put everything into perspective. We need to remember what not to take for granted after this – hugging our loved ones, meeting up with family and friends, standing on a crowded bus, seeing stocked supermarket shelves, sitting in a restaurant or cafe, going on road trips – the list goes on.
While there are indeed many worldly issues that need to be addressed, we have also just been plunged into an uncertain time, so let’s be gentle with ourselves. We are all experiencing our own struggles, whether they be financial, emotional, physical, or a mix of it all. Let’s remember to be kind and compassionate, not only to others but, perhaps more importantly, to ourselves, and not only during this pandemic, but always.