I’m interested in healing the wounds, a healing that can only happen if we actually learn from the past this time. I really don’t want to fear the next pandemic. I don’t want to fear the next crisis. I want to be able to trust that my fellow citizens will look out for each other and not just their own interests. I want to believe that more of us understand that we are interdependent and that this interdependence makes us stronger, not weaker. I want to believe that we are better than our social media accounts say that we are.
While it still doesn’t feel real as I healthily sit at home grinding through helping my children with elementary homework and grading high school English assignments, it doesn’t take much to remind me that outside of our house the struggle to get our country through COVID-19 is very real. And with all the ways this can and probably will change our country (in some ways I hope for the better), it will fully hit home soon enough, because eventually the detached surreal will become very real for our family.
Make no mistake. This worldwide pandemic is going to devastate our global economy, cost lives, and make most of us uncomfortable–at best–for the next several months. It’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better and it is this loss of control over our lives and fear of the unknown that is driving a lot of the current panic. But when we finally come out of this, no matter how bruised and battered, my prayers is that we will be able to see a silver lining. The quick warnings and actions of doctors and scientists around the world demonstrated that they had learned from history and determined to see a better outcome in the 21st century. I believe that the rest of us can do the same.
It is understanding that connectedness that pushes us outside of ourselves, working to build a better world for the many, not just the few. When we embrace our interdependence, we realize that what is good for others can also be good for us as we work together for a future we can be proud of.