For quite some time we have been going through a full-blown crisis that has shattered every aspect of our lives. Everything that we had known has crumbled. We need to start over but we don’t know how. So instead, we wait and hope for a vaccine. But lingering is very bad for us; it only makes the necessary changes more painful and slower to occur.
The virus is hitting on all levels: biological, emotional, and social. However, its blows are not random; they have a clear trajectory: to separate us from each other, meaning exercise social distancing, and reconstruct our relations in a non-detrimental fashion. The virus may be a pathogen to our bodies, but it is a remedy to our society.
The sooner we acknowledge that we will not return to our lives before the virus, the better it is for us. To do that, we must understand what we are going through and what is happening around us.
The virus is hitting on all levels: biological, emotional, and social. However, its blows are not random; they have a clear trajectory: to separate us from each other, meaning exercise social distancing, and reconstruct our relations in a non-detrimental fashion. The virus may be a pathogen to our bodies, but it is a remedy to our society. It may be hard to see this at the moment, with all the contradictory reports and misinformation we are fed from all directions, but if we follow the orders given by the authorities, regardless of whether or not they are helpful in curing our bodies, we will find that they are helping us, perhaps unintentionally, build more caring communities and enhance our mutual responsibility.
We shouldn’t regard the instructions to wear masks or wash our hands, or keep a six-foot distance as intended to protect ourselves. This would only perpetuate the current, deleterious attitude that got us where we are. Instead, we should follow these instructions in order not to infect others. Whether it does or does not prevent contagion is really unimportant. What is critically important, however, is that this completely reverses our attitude toward others compared to the attitude we usually exercise.
If the majority of people adopt this attitude, to think about the neighbor’s health and take appropriate action to support it, it will revolutionize society. It will not matter what prompted the change, but simply the fact that the change has happened will work miracles. And since it would not happen were it not for the coronavirus, we will find that it’s the virus that has brought us to a new level of connection among us.
Naturally, in such a state of mutual concern, the chains of infection will all break and the virus will vanish in a matter of weeks. But more importantly, we will find that our society has risen to a new level of concern for one another, a new level of cohesion, and we will not want to return to the alienation, loneliness, and suspicion we had harbored before the onset of Covid-19. Instead, we will want to keep developing the new agenda that caring for each other heals.