What COVID-19 means for us as a species
and how will we shape the new world?
First of all, it’s a tragedy that people are dying in large numbers. And it’s concerning that people don’t feel safe anymore as they have been (most of them) accustomed all their life.
Most countries’ economies have seen an unprecedented downfall. This entails bad consequences for employees, for companies… for everybody. The current situation is not sustainable and must change for the better, and fast!
Nobody was prepared.
Not even the USA was prepared for such a horrific effect the coronavirus pandemic had. There weren’t enough hospital beds, not enough protective gear, institutions couldn’t react fast enough to prevent it from aggravating, people were not practicing proper self-distancing early enough. Other countries were poorly prepared as well and were slow to provide what was needed.
People started “self-isolating”. This is a term that I never heard before the past month. Self-isolating people still need to carry on with their responsibilities though: they need to use the internet and the current software available to provide meaningful work, they need entertainment, they need to socialise and nonetheless to have something to look forward to.
The future is uncertain.
It is hard for everybody at the moment to envision what the next year will look like, or even the current year. People cannot plan and they cannot travel. This is the most chaotic time period that many of us have gone through and nobody can anticipate what is going to come next.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”
— Charles Darwin
The bad manner in which the world functions isn’t new. It’s just that this crisis has revealed it to the public that we don’t stand united and our facilities and institutions operate too much by paperwork and protocol and too little by human urgency.
Marc Andreessen posted an article titled “It’s Time to Build” in which he states that we could have been much further in our technological advancement, and implicitly, in our societal advancement. He wrote about USA, but I think it applies to most countries.
The reason we, as nations, don’t operate anywhere near optimum efficiency is because the people don’t take a stand and get to developing ideas and implementing them into day to day life. They are not putting any effort to contribute and better their community. There are good examples as well, Uber and AirBnB changed industries in short time frames. They changed the world as we know it, and now we are never stepping back from this advancement. Why? Because people know that those ideas work and that people want ride hailing and convenient temporary housing. But think of how many other things humanity could use that nobody caters!
There are more than 7.5 billion people on the planet. They are all consumers. They also have talents or knowledge that they can put to use — they have something to offer. The time for change is upon us.
We also have the internet. It’s incredible to me how much the world has changed in a couple of decades because of this invention. Industries stemmed from it, people got educated through it, communities communicated through it. It definitely accelerated our evolution. But now we have to make use of it more than before.
People need each other. And self-isolation magnifies that. In a way, it is good that we are forced to acknowledge that. People are being catalysed to use social media and research local organisations, share news and collaborate on creative projects. If there is one good thing that can come out of this costly pandemic, it’s people strengthening their relationships and collaborating.
The world is changing. And we are the ones who will shape this new earth. The elder people have invaluable experiences and knowledge, they have been through many ups and downs society has encountered. The younger people have grown up with internet culture and digital skills, they have been living and breathing technology all their lives and are more skilled than they are given credit for (and more useful than they would believe themselves to be). The people in the middle of these age groups, some have resources, others have skills and connections, everybody has something valuable to offer and each person is unique.
Society is fragmented because it is diverse and overflowing with cultures and customs. There are roughly 6500 spoken languages and 195 countries in the world today (according to infoplease.com). However, we are all human, with human ambitions and human needs. There is always something useful to learn from one another which could be put to productive use.
I can’t see the future, but we are for sure at a tipping point. And only we, by standing together and putting a proactive effort can turn this situation into a big leap forward for humanity and make our global village more interconnected and productive. We will live the lives we create for ourselves.
In a time of domestic crisis, men of goodwill and generosity should be able to unite regardless of party or politics."
— John F. Kennedy