Day 26: Do we want to go back to “normal”?

Sure change is hard, and this is probably the biggest disruption to society we’ve had in a long time. People keep saying “when things go back to normal…” But what was normal for the average person? Working 40+ hours a week to barely be able to pay bills? Rarely getting to spend time with family? Valuing the stock market over the planet? Being constantly busy? If that’s what normal is, I don’t want it. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to see all my friends, hug my family, support my favorite businesses, and be a social butterfly again. But the “normal” we knew before Covid-19 is gone, and it’s never coming back. I, for one, embrace this disruption, and look forward to the new normal. I wonder what it will look like.

Well, for starters, can we all agree that being constantly busy is not good for us, right? We work too much. We have too many responsibilities and not enough time for the things that matter. We’ve equated being busy with a virtuous lifestyle. Can we start rethinking labor and quality of life? Can we stop working ourselves to death? Can we acknowledge that money is imaginary and that there are plenty of resources available to take care of everybody? There are many changes that need to take place when this pandemic is over. 

“The greatest misconception among us, which causes deep and painful social and political tension every day in this country, is that we somehow don’t care about each other. White people don’t care about the problems of black America. Men don’t care about women’s rights. Cops don’t care about the communities they serve. Humans don’t care about the environment. These couldn’t be further from the truth. We do care. We just don’t have the time to do anything about it. Maybe that’s just me. But maybe it’s you, too.” — Julio Vincent Gambuto Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting 

What can we learn from this pandemic and what do we want to change? According to Forbes magazine contributor George Kell, there are four lessons we should learn from this epidemic: 

“1) Human history and natural history can no longer be separated – human health and the health of the planet go together.”

Our disregard for the planet has made this pandemic all the more difficult. We’ve been careless in our endless pursuit of capital gains at the expense of the environment and each other. Is it time to rethink the way we do business? Is it time to finally value the well-being of our home and its inhabitants over the economy? 

“2) Prevention is better than cure – we must learn to listen to science.”

In an earlier post, I stressed the importance of listening to scientists and professionals instead of commentary from politicians and celebrities. When people ignore science, all of society suffers. So what do we do about the anti-vaxxers, climate change deniers, and conspiracy theorists? How can we encourage future generations to value science?

“3) Global threats need global collaboration.”

Now is not the time for divisiveness and xenophobia. If we want to solve global problems, we must work together. In addition to international cooperation, it’s time to end the military industrial complex and put a stop to the endless wars. This pandemic is ushering in a new era and it’s time we reevaluate what matters on a global scale. 

4) The pivotal role of the private sector”

For too long we’ve been putting the almighty dollar above everything else. We praise capitalism and ignore its downsides. We cheer on a good stock market while people starve in the streets. Is it finally time to value people over profit? The environment over the economy? And citizens over the stock market ? I hope this pandemic teaches us what really matters and we make the shift to a resource-based economy. There is no shortage of resources, and money is imaginary. 

What changes would you like to see take place when this pandemic is over? 

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