Human history is like a book with many chapters. Every generation writes their piece and leaves their mark. Some chapters are uneventful and boring. Our chapter is not.
The early part of the century brought us the Spanish Flu, the Golden Age, World War I, and the Great Depression. The middle of the century brought us World War II, the Holocaust, The Desert Fox, Vietnam, America's first orchestrated coup of a foreign country, Woodstock, free love, and bell bottoms. The later part of the century brought a break from the Gold standard, the S&L crisis, The Tax Reform Act, NAFTA, Desert Storm, bank failures, Cabbage Path Kids, and the a presidential impeachment. So far, the 2000's have brought Y2K, 9/11 , more Desert Storm, more coups, global warming, the 2008 mortgage crisis, another impeachment, BREXIT, bank failures, the Patriot Act, and most recently, a black swan called COVID-19.
COVID-19 is unique in that it has profoundly impacted the entire world and it was utterly unexpected by world leaders, markets, or working citizens everywhere. This one event is likely to leave its mark on the world for generations to come. Our kids and grandkids will be talking about the Global Pandemic. We're making history, and the decisions we make and actions we take now matter.
The World is Changing for "Good"
Of course, we see lots of bad stuff going on. First off, a global pandemic that has the characteristics of COVID-19 is bad. Being locked up in our homes and restricted from socializing is bad. Not being able to work and bring in income is bad. But you don't need come to this show to talk about the bad stuff. It's everywhere. Even where things are not that bad, the fact that humans generally don't like change amplifies the bad in the changes we're experiencing.
It is possible to find some good stuff if we look. For every negative, there is a positive (and vice versa), because nature exists in balance.
I've listed at least five things that are changing in our world. I suspect each of these things are changing for good. Of course, I recognize that they will change again sometime down the road, but there are some things that exist in different form before COVID-19 and after COVID-19.
Five Ways the World is Changing
- Social Distancing and the behaviors discovered and refined during social distancing are here to stay. We're not going to stay 6 feet from one another forever, but we will be thinking about vectors of transmission and about new ways of connecting will stick around.
- Technology is taking amore prominent role in our lives. The learning curve for adoption of some technologies like video conferencing is forced upon us. This will mean more of this technology in the future - along with the behaviors (like telework) that are enabled by these technologies.
- We're finding community again! Community becomes a lot more important when we need one another. At times like Global pandemics, information exchange, social outreach, and appreciating one another are all going up.
- The environment is getting cleaner! People are seeing fish in the water in Venice! The sky is turning blue again! The fact that we're not rushing around so much as the world is changing is having a positive effect on the environment.
- Families are being stress tested. Some families are buckling under the pressure, but many families are finding new ways to appreciate and support one another.
Always two sides to every coin
One the one side, we're seeing the negatives of the fact that the world is changing: forfeiture of human rights and privacy, death and pain from disease, financial ruin for many families and small business owners, etc. On the other side, we can find gratitude in having a family, in finding new ways to connect, and in appreciating one another like we used to!