I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the past few months. Every once in a while I find myself covering my face with my hands, just at the thought of where we have landed. Not economically, not socially (although I do reminisce about concerts and basketball games with my friends as much as anyone). But as people. Humans. Communities. Neighbours.
We all giggled when we heard toilet paper was out of stock everywhere, but that quickly changed from a “haha that is hilarious” kind of giggle, to an uncomfortable and awkward giggle as the behaviour rolled over onto sanitizer, wipes, chicken! (I bet there are still freezers full in some houses) Who remembers the story of the guy that bought loads of sanitizer, and turned around to try to sell it for a profit? Or the guy that loaded his cart with beef, clearing out the store’s shelf?
As time has gone by, I’ve started to think about COVID differently. There is no doubt that it is out there, it is real, and many people have lost loved ones because of it. But what is also very clear, is that with every day that goes by, tolerance, and compassion, are slowly chipped away at. Instead of being for each other, more and more, we have become about ourselves. Not intentionally for the most part (I hope). But because we are left with ourselves. Our social cord is cut off. The interactions we need to be reminded that we are all connected are completely eliminated. Everything about COVID triggers fight of flight. And so we fight. With ourselves, with each other.
But, what if instead of getting triggered every time we see “COVID”, we use that to serve as a reminder, to be about people as much as we are about ourselves:
Compassion, Connection and Consideration
Ideology and individuality.
What if, it becomes a symbol of everything we should strive for. A reminder of what we need, together, to survive.
Because we do need each other to survive. Whether we realize it or not, we are connected, and our humanity and future are dependent on our collective effort to be positive and empathetic (now more than ever).
I beg you to reconsider. Take a deep breath, every time you feel the urge to argue, bash, shout. Treat everyone like they are your sweet grandmother, smile with your eyes, and above all, be kind.