I don’t think the world will ever be the same after what we saw happen when the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Before this announcement we saw massive restrictions start to be self-imposed by businesses on travel and a shortage of supplies in our grocery stores. There was a growing fear of uncertainty as more cases were confirmed. We heard of schools, churches and even major events being shut down. It seemed our world was completely freaking out and no one was calm yet we kept telling each other to remain so.
During this time our family practiced the hand washing and other protocols for safety prescribed by the experts. We had our son wash his hands as soon as he came home from school. His teacher was placing a stamp on everyone’s hands to see how much they washed their hands during the school day too. We wiped down surfaces regularly and did what we thought was necessary to stay healthy. We bought groceries for what we would normally need and prayed there would be what we needed next time. It was hard not react like we saw so many others doing. We saw our investments start to take a downward turn and talked of what might come next. It became a subject we talked about at dinner to see what our plan should be for remaining safe.
What amazed me more than the virus itself though was how people were responding and reacting. It was all people talked about and seemed to the only thing you saw on the news or social media. Yet our world had and still does have so many significant problems beyond this one virus that has existed for years. I believe we lost our perspective about so much during this time. It seems we forgot how to think and could only panic, freak out and react. If something were to really happen in our world that was significantly more severe I fear what it would mean in taking care of our families, securing supplies and being responsible to deal with what was occurring.
In looking back at this event I feel a need to consider what could happen next that could be bigger, more devastating and even more catastrophic. I’m not considering becoming a doomsday prepper by any means but I do think there are some valuable lessons all of us could take from this COVID-19 experience. Given this response I fear the reaction of others more so than I think I do most other events that could happen. That is unsettling when you would think these types of experiences would bring us closer and united in addressing the problems we face commonly.
First more than any other time in my life certainly I believe this experience teaches us of the necessity to be living more naturally. When we are less reliant on mass produced products like cleaners and even food we can sustain a more even control of our need to knee jerk react. We can be prepared through the work of our own hands and feel more secure, confident and capable to deal with major events that impact our community. We can feel in control and provide support and comfort to others who need it. We can be examples to our children for what they may one day in their adult lives need to experience on this level. What a valuable lesson to consider indeed.
Many of the supplies needed to control the virus like soap, sanitizer and cleaners can be made with ingredients that are natural and supportive to our immunity and overall health. In the mass hysteria for things like Lysol, hand sanitizer and other products I personally was comforted by not having to be in that group. I had what I needed in my home that was natural and effective to protect my family. I could make more if we ran low. I also didn’t have to be worried about being overcharged for what we needed. Basic every day natural ingredients instead of relying on things that were being swept from shelves faster than they could be delivered. That is a security and comfort that gives you a sense to consider other things like what your plans should be if you have to evacuate, help others or even just be able to sleep well at night.
Next, where we cannot make something like toilet paper we need to be mindful of what we use. The shortage of toilet paper was incredibly interesting to me. I don’t believe anything like that has ever happened before. I certainly do not want a mountain of toilet paper in my home but I would like to have a couple rolls waiting for when they are needed. The idea that people would fight, stab each other and even steal from others for toilet paper is insanity. Surely, we can behave, respond and act in a responsible way when it comes to these staples everyone uses and needs. Was it really necessary to purchase cart loads of toilet paper?
The more this experience swirled up in social media it showed just how powerful our own voices were in how people responded. The danger of this situation though was our experts who we needed to be figuring out how to cure, manage and treat this virus had to stop what they were doing to address panic and hysteria swirled up from the media and social media. Sadly too their responses and time away from finding answers only caused more panic and their advice mostly fell on deaf ears. How many lives could that have saved if we hadn’t been hyped over it all? How much faster would we have been able to bring this under control?
Knowing we have the power to impact our world on that level means we need to learn to use our voice more wisely and use it for good. Knowing we can crash our own economy in a matter of a few short weeks by chaos and hysteria is irresponsible and hurt all of us much more than this virus did. Knowing it didn’t have to be like that is a lesson all of us can apply as we consider how to prevent it from occurring again. That to me is the lesson here. Wielding that power to live more naturally so we can control how we respond and react to emergencies is something all of us can use to protect ourselves, our families, communities and economy for next time.
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