How To Survive (And Thrive) During The Coronavirus
By David Metcalfe
March 12, 2020
“Cancel Culture”, Crippling Economies, and Containment Attempts
Talk about “cancel culture”: everything now- from sporting events to religious gatherings to school to work to restaurants, etc.- is getting cancelled. This is a nightmare economically for many businesses, and maybe the economy itself. The McGill Professor, Karl Moore, was interviewed today on “CTV News”, and said the world will likely go through a recession because of this.
Some businesses that will be specifically affected very badly include: airlines, tourism, cruise ships, travel agents, and basically anything else associated with travel. As people get more scared to leave their houses unless necessary, many businesses that rely on in-person sales will suffer. People who work in places where people are no longer gathering, like school janitors or ticket booth workers, could face job loss. And obviously, anyone who gets the virus will have to take time off work, thus leaving important work undone and lowering labor production for many companies. With the stock markets dropping, many companies may be forced to do layoffs or shut down operations. With certain countries banning travel, it could affect economically important trading. More info can be found here: https://www.vox.com/2020/2/28/21153492/coronavirus-recession-china-stock-market-economy
Some businesses that could improve include: toilet paper companies (for some reason the collective reason of our society concluded that was the item of choice to save us from the virus), biochemical companies, anyone that sells medical masks, hand sanitizer, soap, etc., and then, potentially, we could see more online sales for items.
Surviving the coronavirus is pretty simple: don’t be over 80 years old, and don’t have a pre-existing condition. Preventing yourself from getting coronavirus is a little more tricky: don’t be a human. There are, of course, ways to mitigate your potential of getting it: washing your hands, staying away from large crowds, disinfecting things around your house/workspace, etc., (Yale Medical) but you can do all of those things and still get it. Whether you look at the WHO or the CDC or any medical association, they’re all saying a similar thing: this is a pandemic, and basically everyone will get exposed to it, and a huge percentage of the population- as high as 50%- could end up being infected (CDC).
But humans are tough, resilient, and of sound reason. We didn’t freak out about Y2K, we didn’t freak out about terrorism, we didn’t freak out about Ebola…oh wait, yes, significant portions of the population freaked out excessively about all those things. Mass hysteria catches and spreads like fire: a little spark and BOOM, people freak out. This case is no different. Other people are trying to excessively downplay the virus. But those people are being contradicted every day with each new case popping up. But behind all these excessive over and under reactionaries are teams of very intelligent people- from doctors who specialize in infectious disease to wise politicians to business leaders and economists and more- who are working very hard to solve these issues. If they can’t solve it, no one can. The scary thing is, they can’t.
But fortunately, as long as you’re in the healthy, under 80 crowd, it won’t kill you. But you might get pretty sick, and that sucks. The experts have come up with some important strategies- some of which include cancelling events and limiting travel- that can work to mitigate the spread of the virus, and they will continue to come up with more strategies and solutions as time goes on. We’ll need to listen to the experts, and set aside biases and political differences and work together for good. The media can’t spin the narrative on this one: it has to report facts as clearly as possible, for the good of humanity. And ultimately, we can probably mitigate its effects until a vaccine, or at least some form of treatment or prevention, can be found.
But what does it mean to thrive during something terrible like the coronavirus?
In Romans 5, Paul says, “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”
While terrible things in the world may happen, we can look to the way that they affect us as people- not just physically, but to the core of who we are. When scary things happen, do we give up? Do we panic? Do we run and hide? We can, but that doesn’t help anything. No, instead we develop endurance. We move forward with confidence to the challenges ahead of us, and meet them head on. That attitude develops our character. As Nelson Mandela said,
“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”
The coronavirus may kill some people and sicken many others, but it doesn’t have to kill and sicken our souls. When we have an optimistic attitude- that things will eventually get better- we can more effectively meet the challenges ahead.
We don’t need to be timid and scared; we need to be responsible, confident, and co-operative. Responsibility is about listening to the experts and doing our part to stop the spread of disease. Confidence is about going about our lives- working, spending time with people, etc.- without fear. Co-operation is about moving beyond our differences- whether political, religious, economic, national, etc.- and working together to end this disease.
The coronavirus is one of many hardships we will have to face in our lives. Many people suffer the terrible affects of war, various other diseases, poverty, deaths of loved ones, natural disasters, and so many other tragedies. We cannot prevent every tragedy, but we can choose how to respond. Let’s decide that, in whatever difficulties we inevitably face, we will produce endurance, character, and hope, and “keep our head pointed towards the sun, and our feet moving forward”. In time, when coronavirus is old news and we have it under control, let’s have become better people through it, and look proudly on the way we acted.