World-wide, all of us are thinking about one thing - COVID-19 or the coronavirus. I'm not going to go into the whys, hows, what to dos, etc when it comes to the virus itself. After all, I'm not a medical professional, a virologist, or anyone really with the authority to speak on such matters.
Instead, I'd like to discuss us. In particular, I'm talking about the people in our communities, our states, and our countries. Whenever disaster strikes, be it natural or orchestrated by man, we are given a rare opportunity to see ourselves in a new way.
We can see our true selves.
It comes down to a lot of factors from a lot of different sources, but in situations like the one we are in now, we are given the opportunity to see our true self. That's right - I'm talking about the self that comes out when the pressure is on, when stress and fear threaten common sense and kindness.
While many have acted in ways that they are rather not proud of and perhaps let fear get the best of them in a bad situation, I'm not here to judge. Instead, I'd like to offer another point of view.
This situation has given us the opportunity to see our true selves ... but also to change our actions if we don't like what we see.
Let's face it, this isn't the first time a disaster has struck. In recent history, we've unfortunately had plenty of opportunities to test ourselves and see where we stand (here in the USA at least): 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Maria, the Great Recession, and many others. In each of those moments, we were given the chance to help each other stand on solid ground and succeed together. In some cases, we did ... and in others we didn't.
I think it's important to learn from the past and use that knowledge to move toward a better future. Fear is a powerful force, but only if you let it take control. It's easy to think only of yourself and your family when disaster strikes, but when it comes down to it, we need far more than just ourselves if we are to survive.
We need our communities, our societies, and our world to stand together.
So by all means, listen to what the WHO and CDC put out in terms of virus prevention and treatment. Take care of yourself, wash your hands, see to the needs of your family.
But don't forget those who live around you, those who aren't given the same opportunities or don't have the same means. Don't forget that each of us has value and a part to play in our society as we continue to grow and thrive.