Who hasn’t yet been affected by the craziness and frenzy of the new coronavirus COVID-19? But as much havoc as we’re experiencing, there’s definitely a silver lining.
1. We Now Know That We Don’t Need Toilet Paper to Survive.
My house is well-stocked with a normal amount of toilet paper. But when I went to Costco and saw all of their supply gone due to people who needed to prep for coronavirus, I went into a mild panic. What will we do without toilet paper!!! (Again, I am in NO DANGER of running out any time soon!)
Then, I came to my senses and realized a simple reality. Humans survived for thousands and thousands of years without any, and they were fine. Even some of the most basic things we think we can’t live without are actually more of a luxury than a bare necessity. And that’s pretty great!
2. Scientific Advances Are Awesome!
There is so much discussion and debate about “fake news” and “false facts”, whether it comes to vaccines or climate change. But when it comes to combatting novel coronavirus, we are all on the same page. Never before have I been interested in the breaking news from the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
No matter where we are, or what we believe about a lot of things, we’re all rooting for the doctors and scientists of the world to come together to put an end to this coronavirus pandemic. And all across the world, from Wuhan, China to Washington, DC we’re glad to put our resources towards advancing scientific and medical technology.
3. Good Hygiene is Our Friend Against COVID-19.
I don’t know how many times I’ve talked to my kids about proper handwashing techniques or not putting their fingers where they shouldn’t. Sometimes they listened, other times, not so much. But thanks to COVID-19, our hands and bodies have never been cleaner.
While we are far from the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, our institutions, restaurants, stores, and schools are sparkling and free of any virus symptoms.
4. We Need (Safe and Hygenic) Human Touch.
While “physical touch” does not rank high on my 5 love languages, I never realized how much I enjoyed a firm handshake or social hug. The “social distancing” guidelines from the World Health Organization are necessary, of course, but we need to connect with other people. Since this outbreak, I’ve been giving my kids more hugs than usual. We all need that physical feeling of security during these uncertain times.
Even though we live all over the country, since the novel coronavirus has hit, it’s been so comforting to chat with my parents and siblings on FamilyApp. Since we can’t all physically be together, having that human connection and chatting about our fears and situations has brought us all closer together.
5. We Can All Take Better Care of the Earth.
When COVID-19 hit, and I thought through some of the over-arching implications of what this will mean to the global economy, I felt a little paralyzed. In the absolute worst situation, how would I make sure my kids had clothes?! Will we have all of the things we need (e.g. toilet paper)?
While the closure of factories in China or local stores might be inconvenient, this pandemic could be one of the best things that happens to the world on an ecological level. Decreased jet fuel and slowed factory production is a pretty wonderful way to reduce our carbon footprint.
And as much as I love new clothes, and just general “stuff” — I’m better off with less junk. The planet definitely is!
6. We’re All One Family.
When we’re faced with natural disasters, or even some of the previous coronaviruses, like SARs or MERs, it’s so easy to adopt an “us” vs. “them” mentality. The summer SARs hit China, my scheduled summer internship was canceled. But even that seemed so isolated and distant from my “real life”. Other than that experience, I’ve never had much of a connection to any coronavirus outbreak.
These diseases or other tragedies seem so far removed from our daily lives. So we can become callous to some of the realities. Even in the case of 9/11, when Americans banded together, there was still a hint of America vs. the terrorists. But COVID-19 doesn’t know geographic, socioeconomic, or any type of cultural barrier. We’re all in it together.
COVID-19: Our New Normal
The outbreak of novel coronavirus has permanently changed the world, and it’s painful. But it’s also shone a light into our own selfishness as a society. With technological advances, we expect what we want when we want it. I take basic things for granted every day, rather than giving thanks for them. So rarely do I live in fear for the safety and well-being of my family. But this coronavirus has forced me to rethink so much of what really matters. And having enough toilet paper is NOT one of those things!
In our fractured world, we often fail to appreciate one another as members of the human race. Instead, we can focus on all the differences that drive us apart. As much as I’d like to wave a magic wand that brings a vaccine to finally end this pandemic, I’m thankful for the reminders that we’re all on the same team.