Coronavirus might offer the greatest lessons of our lifetime.
If you’re angry about people hoarding supplies and price-gouging vulnerable communities when they know they’re down, maybe now you understand what it’s like to need insulin that costs $6 a bottle but is sold without insurance for $300.
If you’re surprised at how easy it was to cut back on excess meetings, now you understand how much time we waste on work that doesn’t actually help anyone but wastes all our time.
If your company found a way in under a week to help everyone work from home, maybe you’ll consider that companies could have been doing that for disabled employees the whole time but chose not to.
If you’re disappointed that you cannot get tested for the virus when other first world nations are doing it easily, maybe now you understand that socially progressive policies are designed to help in times of crisis, because it’s important to prepare for the worst rather than voting like nothing bad will ever happen.
If you’re upset at how badly the government has bungled getting you accurate, vital information, maybe now you understand the importance of supporting people with knowledge and experience rather than novelty choices that “seem different.”
If you’re worried about how you’re going to make ends meet because your company cut your hours, or laid you off, now you understand the fear and worry that low-wage workers face when we slash their safety nets to make life more comfortable for big businesses.
If you think it’s scary that going outside feels like a constant risk and you never know what might happen to you or your family, now you might understand the plight that immigrants and refugees feel, and what might make them flee to somewhere where things are more under control, even if they’re not “allowed” to.
And if you think it’s impressive how many of your neighbors have stepped up to make grocery store runs, babysit kids, or provide meals to people in their neighborhood, now you might have a true sense of what the world could look like if we all stopped living in our own little bubbles and learned to strengthen the invisible ties that bind us all.
The lessons are out there. As bad as it might get, you can choose to learn from it, or not. It’s your call.