Much can be learned about humanity during a crisis. Some of our best and worst moments come from our collective responses to adversity. Currently, we face a new challenge in the form of a disease known as the ‘Coronavirus,’ which will likely test mankind’s resilience in one way or another.
As of writing this (March 17, 2020), we in the United States have just begun taking the pandemic seriously. It was only a week ago when the WHO declared the spread of the disease to be a pandemic, but we’ve learned a lot about ourselves this last week. We’ve learned even more since the first cases were announced in December 2019.
Here are 3 major takeaways I’d like to discuss:
We Take Our Conveniences for Granted
Toilet paper is nowhere to be found.
In response to the WHO’s announcement, people flooded the stores for essentials and bought ALL the toilet paper. News outlets across the country showed footage of empty shelves where large quantities were once stacked with rolls to spare.
Before the virus spread, we didn’t have to worry about running out. All we had to do when our supply was low was stop at our local convenience store and grab a package or two. Now the convenience is gone and options are limited.
My worst fears will be realized if the same happens to food and water. They too were convenient but with all the bars, restaurants, etc. being closed, our access to food may become limited.
We don’t have much control
Most of us are not self-sufficient. We may think we are in financial terms but if all our conveniences are inaccessible, what do we have? So few of us have the means to sustain ourselves with natural resources. We depend upon others’ contributions to society to provide the necessities for survival.
If this system of shared reliance/responsibility collapses, then we are left to fend for ourselves; skills modern humans have failed to learn as they haven’t been necessary.
Something else to consider is the powers our government has during events like this. We’re seeing restrictions on travel, social events, and in some areas, curfews are put in place. With a twirl of their pens, our lawmakers have the ability to suspend our rights or expand theirs; all without our consent (I’m sure it’s for the greater good but still kind of scary…)
What’s funny is that we’re in a “free” society and there’s been some uproar about these limitations to our rights. Imagine the restrictions put in place on us but multiply it by ten for those in oppressed countries. They have even less control, every day.
Many of us should remember this feeling of helplessness when others need our help
Money rules us all
During the initial stages of the quarantine recommendations, many continued going to work because they couldn’t afford to take time off. Unfortunately, that act put themselves and others at risk…all for money. I’m not blaming them. We’re so reliant on money for our well-being I’d assume the majority of Americans are going to come out of this worse-off than they were.
The problem is that people primarily concerned themselves about how they can afford to live rather than surviving the apocalypse (I’m exaggerating). And the jury is still out on whether the events have been overstated or dramatized, but the point remains clear: even when facing severe illness, money takes priority.
More evidence of money’s importance is how much we keep talking about the stock market.
Stocks are nothing more than a perception of value based on the production its laborers produce. Instead, we should invest in institutions that establish foundational necessities for those who labor, like agriculture and other basic populous needs. Greed is the name of the game in the current market which only works for a select few.
Lastly, the system in place cannot operate without money. We are dependent on it. No money equals no resources which leaves us vulnerable to outside powers and influence. It has such a grip on our lives, we don’t even realize how we’re slaves to it.
It controls us whether we have plenty or none.
We’ve equated money with a state of well-being. Our priorities have been mixed up. The whole system is screwy.
I hope I didn’t bum you out!
The reason for this list is so that we can keep perspective on what we should change after all this virus stuff is over. Even if it has a minimal effect on the population, we should consider making adjustments so we aren’t so reliant on money and have the means to be self-sufficient if our resources/conveniences get cutoff.
Before You Go!
Please be courteous to others out there! If we’re too selfish, others will suffer. It’s best to fight this together! We can rise to any challenge if we put in a cooperative effort!
Moving forward together is more important now than ever before!