Over the course of history, civilizations have suffered endemics and pandemics that have taken hundreds of millions of lives. We’ve all now been reminded of the Spanish Flu that, just 50 years ago, killed as many as 100 million people and infected 27% of the world’s 1.8 billion people at the time.
So, we should all be justifiably concerned, precautious, and diligent in protecting ourselves and each other. Human safety is our first concern.
However, our lives, our work, our political process, and our economy must go on, even as we are each more careful and do what we must to mitigate the spread of this dangerous Coronavirus.
Crises have brought us together in the past; September 11 being the most significant in recent memory. The death of a president or a beloved national figure used to give our nation a moment of collective pause.
This virus we now face is another opportunity for our country to be reminded of how fragile our lives, livelihoods, and communities are. We haven’t yet had to quarantine large groups like other countries. If we do, we will all have an even greater sense of the need to be unified and why each of us must rise to the occasion to prevail together.
What an opportunity we have now as live gatherings are being canceled to use our social communities to strengthen each other. To use opportunities when we are together in public to look up from our phones, hold the door for one another, be more patient in grocery store lines and take a breath during a heated moment with a loved one.
The right to gather at a shopping mall, our workplace, a movie theater, a conference, trade show, or religious service shouldn’t be taken for granted. And now more than ever, when we do come together to meet, to travel, to watch a sporting event, or fly on an airplane, let’s remember what it would be like without the opportunity to be in community with each other.
Hopefully we won’t have to experience the isolation, confusion, and disruption of a national quarantine. And until we are past this period of fear and uncertainty, let’s not let this crisis pass without seizing the opportunity for it to make us better.
Can I get an air high-five on that?