COVID-19’s Message to Humanity

The year 2020 started off with a proverbial bang, initializing a shockwave of disbelief and confusion once COVID-19 made its mark.  This latest pandemic, in all its shape and form, has coerced humanity to readjust to life in so many ways.   By nature, humans are social creatures and when deprived of this daily necessity, can experience a multitude of physical ailments and mental disorders.

Yes, we’ve seen staggering increases in depression, loneliness and emotional upset. As a direct result of COVID-19’s slap in our face, we’ve all – in our own, unique ways – have had to adopt to the virtual way of communicating with one another; it’s not as unforeseen as one may think, especially with the advent of technology; however, when you’re forced to contend with it as your primary means of connection, it can cause an ongoing wave of anxiety, confusion and disconnection.   Each person has been upended by this pervasive pandemic; some worse than others.   Tragic loss of life has occurred, jobs have been lost, financial issues have turned into crises, our primary way of associating has changed and the list goes on.   Without a shred of doubt, our natural order and daily rituals of survival have been overturned in so many drastic ways. 

With all of the challenges that have come about as a direct result of COVID-19, it almost begs us to examine the positives; the inherent message(s) we need to collectively heed from enduring this mass pandemic.  Let’s explore what this global virus is trying to teach us – albeit on a global scale, of course. 

I do want to emphasize that amidst what’s going on, the universe is begging us to take some time out, look inward and apply some self-reflection. Maybe, just maybe, this is the greater good’s way of reminding us to slow down, take deep breaths, get back in touch with our inner core and remember what’s most important.  This is a time, when social disconnect seems to be running the show; perhaps, it’s the ultimate crash course in the true meaning of human connection and togetherness.  Until now, we’ve taken it all for granted; then, in a blink of an eye, when it’s stripped before our eyes, we yearn to have it back again. Social distancing was in need of happening to remind us of the importance of relationships – relationships with ourselves, our loved ones, our friends, our co-workers and the many transient individuals we come across in our daily lives.  Whether we are consciously aware or not, each individual contributes to the nexus of society and the world at large.

We all lead busy, hectic lives. As such, it’s easy to lose sight on some of the smaller, most beautiful aspects of what it is to be human. Of course, we have to remain common-sensed and rational without over-hyped panic; maybe this “virus” is symbolizing the need to spread a sense of homeostasis among humanity – a restoration of balance, humility, wellness and vitality.  It has taken COVID-19 to remind us to live in the now, act with kindness, rest and relax, take up a hobby or creative endeavor that we’ve convinced ourselves we don’t have time for, get in touch with the pureness of nature and its everlasting beauty, stop and pay attention to the things that seem so little in life but are truly momentous.  Perhaps, our society has had to crumble just a bit in order to mutually build back up.  The foundation has always been there but it has taken a global situation to remind us of its importance and strength.  

So, let’s not resist the message that COVID-19 is attempting to impart. Let’s face it, head-on as a society of togetherness.  In the midst of this, let’s always remember the legacies of our fellow brothers and sisters who’ve succumbed to the fight.  If not for ourselves, let’s continue our triumph over tragedy for them and the world at large. 

Let’s Breathe Together

Note:  This was written shortly after George Floyd’s passing. 

As I digest the events surrounding our country – our world – right now, I can’t help but pick up a few things; things that are rather obvious if we each stop, look inward and pay attention.

It isn’t coincidence that a relentless virus is penetrating our globe right now amidst the onslaught of protests over an innocent person’s horrific demise. Let’s stop and each examine the various parallels between the two. I don’t need to sit here and type them out; I think they are fairly visible to those who are willing to see.

Regardless of where we come from, we each breathe the same air; our bodies are made of the same organs and systems; we are exposed to the same viruses; we each experience the emotions that come with anger, grief and loss; we can each stand for what we believe in…the list goes on.

The unfathomable passing of George Floyd – our fellow American, our fellow brother, our fellow son, our fellow father, our fellow friend -has ripped off the scar to a wound that’s been ever-pervasive in our society since the dawning of man. That wound, now fresh and exposed once again, is bleeding with an inescapable urgency and thirst for the greater good among all. In order to penetrate the nucleus and enact the principles we’re begging for, each one of us has to find the answer within. Only from that point, can we extend it outward toward our communities, towns, cities, nations, universes and galaxies beyond. It. Starts. Within. Each. Of. Us.

What exactly is this? It’s the embedded love, innocence and pure goodness that we’re each born with. Many have grasped onto these attributes and have never let go. Sadly, for some, they lose sight of them as they become buried beneath the torments plaguing our world. However, if one searches hard enough, he or she will find the light emanating beneath the rubble. When this occurs, healing and change will take place. The light never turns its back on anyone. It’s a patient friend and ally – to us all. But we have to seek to find it.

“Isms” aren’t innate; they are taught. Until we recognize this, they will continue to be spread and engrained into the mind of society. Every single time the word “race” or “racism” is said, it’s powering the “ism” that continues to divide fellow man. Every single time we use the words, “white, black, purple or red” to describe someone, we are continuing to segregate instead of equalize.

George’s life matters – yes, I say that in present tense for a reason.

Sadly, history has taught us to divide and conquer. Until we all gather together to re-write the scripts of the past, we will sadly continue down the same path of ignorance. Over and over. But we must do this with positivity and responsibility; it must be done with dignity and grace, not with revolting disgust.

Let’s honor George’s life and legacy by finally quenching society’s thirst for equity, respect, empathy and understanding. In order to love and respect our fellow human beings, we must first learn to love and respect ourselves.

Let’s give needed oxygen to brotherhood. Let’s turn “I can’t breathe,” into “I can breathe. We can breathe, together.”