Questions, anxiety, fear, suspicion, paranoia, caution… these words and feelings should sound more than familiar to you by now, given our current global state of affairs. For the first time in modern history, we are collectively facing our fragility as species. Our fragility in health yes, but also our fragility with our mind and our actions during times of uncertainty.
From all facets of the media, opinionated pundits, pandemic experts, the world’s top doctors and the sick world of clickbait absurdity, the public is left in a constant state of fear and questions.
During this last week in particular, my mood has shifted. I started off saying “everyone take it easy, this will move forward quick, as a blink”. I assumed the media was feeding into our fears to keep us glued wide eyed to the top news sources and, I assumed that the bulk of social media articles were clickbait and sensationalized. It wasn’t until I stopped by four grocery stores to find the shelves more or less empty of anything of nutritional value that I realized the panic had set in. I went home and got on amazon — same thing, everything is out of stock and backordered.
“Wow” — I thought, this is real. People had moved into doomsday preppers mode, and I started to get angry. I started to wonder… is this need for panic real? Should I be joining the masses with this fear? Are we creating this hysteria? Are we creating a self-fulfilling prophecy by fear mongering?
I started to ease myself down and reason with my mind and say “hey this will all pass in a few days, this is just the first burst of fear, but everyone will settle in and society will normalize”. Then I started thinking, what if this was a more extreme virus? A virus that took out a larger percent of the population on a more fatal level. How would be people react? Despite the global vulnerability, I see the same partisan bickering and figure pointing from all sides of politics. I see people hording for themselves and not thinking collectively. I see articles casting blame and division.
This situation has me reflecting on us as species more than the actual COVID-19 virus. It has made me wonder, what it would take or, is it even possible, to unite? Can we overcome the bickering and finger pointing to collectively work together? Can we rise above the ego and the “winning” and realize we all can be brought to our knees in a matter of days?
This isn’t the first and only time we will be faced with a pandemic. This is the future. I don’t say that in a fear mongering way. I say that in a way to make us open our eyes and level up — level up your mind about divisions, about politics and, about the need to draw a line between everyone and everything. People from all walks of life and social economic statuses are affected. Small business owners are ruined. Parents are struggling with children out of school, the financial loss is hard to even grasp right now. The global wave of shock will be felt on all continents.
I want people to take a minute and reflect on how they are handing this paradigm shift. How are they handling their actions right now? Ask yourself how you can cross the aisle, how you can encourage a collective global perspective. After the dust settles and we get this under control, and I believe we will, it’s time to move from the bickering and divisions. We are better than this… aren’t we?
My final words are on gratefulness. Things are scary right now. We can talk ourselves off and on the ledge of fear ten times a day — I know I do. During writing this article I went through a variety of emotional shifts from calm and hope to fear and anxiety to anger and frustration. One thing I want us to remember right now is to be grateful. We have an opportunity that comes out of this. We have an opportunity to plan ahead. To work together. To abolish the power of clickbait and fear mongering, to think smarter, to not let emotions rule us during trying times. To not let panic throw logic and strategy out the window.
We need to accept the reality of the effects globally and, at the same time, we need to focus on moving forward. This is what the human species do best. We bounce back, we move forward, we pick up and get creative. Let’s not do this alone though. Let’s not do this divided. This is a wakeup call for humanity. Take time and reflect.
Next time you want to get worked up on a trite topic or a racial judgment or someone’s religious views, just remember how quickly we can be brought to our knees. Mother nature is the great equalizer. We learn this over and over again from natural disasters to virus outbreaks. Let’s respect each other and respect this beautiful world as we get through this pandemic.
2020 marks a new decade and an opportunity to give hope and focus on how we can create global unity. Stay safe, stay positive and know this will all pass.