PEOPLE have been talking about this so-called “new normal” referring to our current condition amid the pandemic. This may also mean the situation after the pandemic, one that is basically not the same prior to these quarantines and lockdowns. By now, we should stop thinking or hallucinating about the things left behind. Count them all as “done” and “gone.” There is no way for us to go back to the past.
Unless we resign to the idea that we are facing an imminent “end of the world”, we have to continually remind ourselves that now is the time to prepare for the future. Let’s stop asking: “when will this end?” This is a pointless question. Instead we should ask: “how should we prepare and how ready are we once we shall step out from this situation?” Let’s not waste our time overthinking about our inabilities. There are things that can be done here and now, and among the most important of which is a change in “mindset.” We should stop conditioning our mind that we are locked and helpless.
When we will leave our houses and gradually start the things that we shall do for further survival, attitudes and set-ups will never be the same as they were. We need, for example, to educate or re-educate ourselves on the reality that electronic gadgets are part of our lives. We should be ready for changes in the mode and manner of work. Those among us who are digital migrants should learn not only terms but also the very realities they represent - that are not so familiar to us. We have to be ready for an increase in webinars and online meetings. We should start getting comfortable with submission using online platforms.
Those who do not have the access to these things should start considering saving money or finding ways to “connect” in the future. Let’s be realistic: after this pandemic having an internet connection would no longer be an option but a necessity. People should seriously consider changing their cellphones to one that is internet ready. I may sound like an endorser of capitalism however I cannot but be honest in asking: if we will not prepare for all these, what other option(s) do we have?
Our systems are practically human creations. As such they are not different from the minds that conceptualized and produced them: limited, imperfect and finite. The only way to move forward is to review the structures and processes we have made. If rationality is the ultimate characteristic of being human, this rationality must be used optimally for one ultimate goal: thrive.
Survival does not just mean hiding in our homes and looking for ways to feel safe. Merely “being at home” is not only counterproductive - it does not do much justice to who we are as human persons. So being at home, especially for those who have the means, should be a time to observe, study, think, connect and reflect. Why are we in this situation? What have we become? How shall we position ourselves should worse things happen in the future? Do an inventory of your skills or rethink, even, if you would continue with your chosen course or career. Is that the best for you given all these evolving realities?
We have been bombarded and surrounded by very negative and limiting terms: lockdown, quarantine, closed borders, curfew, warrantless arrests, suspension, amelioration, etc. Perhaps we may even need to rethink if these things are not reflective of the mentality of the people who thought of them. Are these terms and the realities they represent empowering us? It is true that Covid-19 is our enemy and we must defeat it. However, we must also remind ourselves that part of the objective is to emerge from this whole situation not only alive but also more resilient because we have learned ways of survival.
Finally, we should not forget not to re-elect persons who acted slowly on our needs during those times when their promises were needed most. Covid-19 is not the last and we should prepare for more challenges that will bring us to the very edge of our reason.
April 20, 2020
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