Coronavirus Versus The World

The world as we know it is at risk — but we will win.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

On Saturday, I woke up at 7 am to do some shopping. As tired as I was, I knew I had to shake off the sleepy and get my shopping done. As I arrived I saw two people with N95 masks on and one man with a cart full of toilet paper. As I got into the store I saw that it was stocked as usual — shelves were filled with hand sanitizer, water, and even toiletries. The only thing missing was almond milk and a few fruits. Weaving my basket between isles and employees restocking shelves, I noticed that I wasn’t the only one who considered waking up early. In fact, it wouldn’t have made a difference in what time I woke up. The lines were near the back of the stores and the shortest line of all was self-checkout — how ironic.

I didn’t stack up on essentials. I just wanted kettled popcorn and Talenti ice cream. Besides an employee spraying the machines in between customers, I didn’t notice too much of a difference. It seemed like a normal day at the grocery store.

The Effects Of Coronavirus.

With the rise of coronavirus, we are seeing a shift in our everyday lives. This isn’t like other viruses we've faced — it’s something new. Stores are closing, countries are shutting down, companies are encouraging staff to work from home, and entertainment events are being postponed or canceled. Chances are you’ve received companies sending those copy and paste-like letters to your email accounts.

Also, contact with others is limited. As stated by health officials, those aged 50 and over and those with chronic health conditions are the most prone to the virus. The worry isn’t for most people, but for the care of their loved ones and the thought that they can unknowingly spread the virus to them. For now, the handshakes and hugs will take a backseat to other greeting gestures.

Despite the bad news, flight and gas prices have largely decreased. In many people’s eyes, this is good news in light of what’s happening. With people booking flights domestically and internationally, one can only hope their flights are problem-free and they can get to and from their destination safely. One can also hope they are accountable for the increased risk they bring themselves at the expense of low prices.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

The biggest impact of all was the financial sector. The circuit breaker — which hasn’t halted trading since 1997, halted trading twice within the same week. Markets crashed to record lows, even reaching levels untouched since Black Monday of 1987 — the very occurrence that introduced circuit breakers. Oil prices also tanked along with gold, Leaving many people to liquidate for cash for fear of a possible recession.

With the WHO declaring coronavirus a pandemic and President Trump declaring a National Emergency, I see the increased panic on social media. I see the conspiracy theorists proclaiming this as proof the world is ending. With all of this, there are those who make memes about the situation — though not as many as WWIII memes. I don’t believe these memes to be malicious, but a way to cope through a tough time.

My Approach To The Virus

What does it all mean? I see it as a make or break moment for the entire world. There are only two outcomes from this:

We contain the virus and continue with our lives or the world economy collapses and we burn. Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” With the constant updates and the front page news of the spread of the virus, it has caused many to have increased bouts of anxiety and hysteria. With an uncertain future, it seems like torture to fear what they don’t know for an unforeseen amount of time. This virus is an unfamiliar strain the world has never faced. We are in a battle against an enemy we can’t see.

What we should also account for are the reports of people recovering from the virus. China has closed its last makeshift hospital. Vaccines being crafted in real-time to combat the virus. While the news promotes coverages of spreading and death tolls, it’s important to know that we’re still in the fight and we are making progress.

The first thing that comes to mind is the movie Titanic. Everyone was carrying on with their lives until the ship hit an iceberg. As the ship sank into the sea, insanity ensued. While some lives were saved, many more were lost. For the ones who survived, their lives were forever altered by that moment in time. In the event we conquer the virus — and I am optimistic that we will — our lives will forever be altered by this global event.

This moment in time serves as a wakeup call to people of all nations. In the face of danger, the important thing to remember is we are all in this together. As citizens, it’s up to us to do our part in reducing the spread of coronavirus while the health industry finds a solution for it.

I look to moments like The Great Depression of 1929, 9/11, The Spanish Flu, The 2008 Recession, etc. I think of the events of the past that have threatened our lives and each and every time, we recovered. We are witnessing history in the making. This is a moment we will tell our children and grandchildren about in the future.

My advice is to not feed your fear. Don’t keep yourself glued to the television. Don’t scroll social media all day. Check all information about the virus instead of what the news tells you. Practice good hygiene and continue to live each day and adapt to the changes that come. Take care of your mental health.

This event is a reminder of how fragile society is and how things can change in an instant. Uncertainty is something everyone will face in life. In times of uncertainty, we must hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Since many people are self-quarantining at home, this is a chance to spend time with family and friends and catch up on a few things you enjoy.

In a post-corona world, we will come away stronger than we were. We will be more aware of the world around us and we will find out what we are made of under pressure. One way or another, we will recover. We will be okay in due time.

As Gloria Gaynor famously sings, we will survive.

As far as work ethic, we as humans can learn a lot from ants. Don’t be nice, be kind.

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