No matter where you live on earth, it is safe to say coronavirus has affected your life. As we find ourselves forced to stay at home, change the way we work and think carefully about how we get food, it is hard to ignore the lessons that COVID-19 is helping us to learn. The gravest of which is to value our elders, each other and life as we know it.
But the myriad of lessons that COVID-19 brings are not all as sombre as that. For example, it is teaching us to stop and slow down. And it is forcing us to stay at home and focus on our family.
It is highlighting the fact we are not above each other, whatever our wealth or education. Health is after all, the great social leveller. No one is above disease.
It is helping us to remember to value our medical workers and caretakers, and all the people that do work that support our healthcare system—people that are otherwise never really given the attention or credit they deserve.
It is reminding us to breathe, and to be grateful for breath. We don’t breathe enough. And now we are witnessing a disease that threatens our very ability to breathe.
It is inspiring us to work together, to help one another, and to look after every member of our community, in an age when many had been forgotten.
It is motivating us to work as a union, respect our law and be grateful for government. As much as everyone dislikes taxes, in times like this, most of us suddenly appreciate the role our government plays more than ever.
It is teaching us to take a moment to taste our food, smell the roses and be grateful for each and every sensory pleasure we have. COVID-19 causes many of those diagnosed with it to lose their taste and smell—two abilities most of us take for granted each day.
It is showing us the value a good face-to-face conversation, whether it be for fun or for work. Suddenly the lost art of a phone call is our most treasured form of connection.
COVID-19, like all challenges, is making us rethink parts of our lives. It is shining light on the areas that need attention, and physically forcing us to stop and look at things we have been taking for granted. In a western culture fuelled by instant gratification, physical ‘things’ and money, one thing is for sure — as devastating as the loss of life has and will be, and as painful as the economic and social impact of this disease is, there are lessons here that can only be seen as a blessing.
May you all stay healthy and happy.