In unprecedented circumstances, we adapted. We worked from home, we managed virtual communication, we sought fewer luxuries, we focused on our health and scheduled exercise into our daily lives. We realised that we could manage without driving to the shop on every whim. We dropped our litter into our bins at home, not in our streets.
We as a society began to recognise and appreciate those who matter: NHS workers, carers, refuse collectors, food store employees, charitable organisations. We learned that the highest paid footballers and celebrities were of little importance or benefit to society, instead we refocused on those who make a difference.
With our heads less full and our noses lifted from the grindstone we noticed the world around us, our parents, our children, birdsong, fresh air. We paid attention to each other and to the very best traits of human nature, for example, Captain Tom. We found time, we looked after each other.
Getting Back To Normal
And now the rhetoric refers to ‘getting back to normal’ in order to benefit the economy.
I have no yearning to ‘return to normal’. Normal, is unacceptable, normal harms and destroys, and only benefits ‘the few’.
This is what normal looks like:
- Species become extinct at a rate of somewhere between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than the natural extinction rate (WWF)
- Air pollution causes 9% of deaths globally
- Around 75% of the population survives on less than $10 a day
- 1% of the human population own 44% of global wealth
- Each year, 14 BILLION pounds of plastic is dumped into our oceans
- One person every 40 seconds chooses to end their life
- We torture and kill animals and call it medicine, or entertainment
- We kill our fellow human beings, daily, fighting for land, resources, for differences of opinion, because people in positions of power failed to communicate
Shaping your future
Think of all the ways your life has been impacted positively during the coronavirus pandemic. What would you like to retain? As master of your own destiny, what would your choices be?
- Work from home more
- Drive electric or hybrid cars
- Support wildlife
- Support the people who have a positive impact on our lives
- Lobby for change
- Vote people with integrity into power
- Look out for each other
- Stand up for what’s right, even when it doesn’t affect you directly
We must be better than this if we are to survive with any reasonable quality of life. Let’s not forget the lessons of 2020
“Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.”
― R.J. Palacio, Wonder