The one thing that is certain about the Covid19 pandemic is that the world as we currently know it will no longer be the same after the pandemic passes. There will be tectonic shifts that will overlap in the post pandemic social, political, economic and spiritual realms.
Dramatic changes in any of the above realms rarely happen during periods of comfort and abundance. However during times of crisis or stress people are much more willing to consider ideas or solutions they may not have during the comfortable times. Many people have already encountered an eerie sense of quiet as external circumstances such traffic, activities, and events have been reduced or stopped completely. These "quiet times" can also be internal and often come after a traumatic event such as the loss of a loved one, job, relationship, or some other traumatic event. It is during these "quiet times" that people tune out the external world and enter into a period of deep introspection, and when they emerge, a shift has taken place and things are usually not the same. Some form of metamorphosis has taken place and we emerge as different people. This "quiet time" is a key part of our growth as individuals. This "quiet time" can also be a time of growth and dramatic change for our institutions, governance, and lifestyles.
This "quiet time" can be viewed with either fear or as an opportunity to reflect on life and the people who travel in this life with us. Will you use this time to cower in fear about the uncertainty we are facing or is this an opportunity to spend some quality time with your children, family, and to reconnect with neighbors? What a wonderful opportunity to play board games with your children, take the time to talk, dream, and plan with your spouse, and engage in things that really matter. The earth has sent us to our rooms to take the time to reflect on what we have and have not done.
We were meant to live our lives in joy and share that joy with others. How is it that we were fed the lie that the most important thing in life is all about working for others so we can collect a paycheck? Is your job really the most important part of your life? (This is not to minimize the importance of being able to support your loved ones, but should it be your top priority in life, and perhaps other things are more important? )We have been so busy working at our jobs that we have allowed our powers to be usurped by others in positions of power. This is a time to reflect on this question and come up with the answer that resonates with you.
Yet, this "quiet time" is being interrupted by a shrill corporate controlled media seeking to instill fear and divisions between us. It is like someone disturbing a quiet and beautiful scenic park with a megaphone. How can we grow at this important fork in the road when the "quiet time" is being usurped by those with an agenda? The powers that be would certainly prefer to keep us divided and in fear as it serves their purposes. These powers want things to change as well, but not to serve our collective growth, but for their own self-serving purposes.
Some of these changes have already been implemented and the resulting consequences are manifesting themselves. In many states businesses and schools have been forced to close, gatherings have been prohibited, unemployment is rapidly rising, Constitutional rights are being discarded, the bailouts of dozens of privately owned hedge funds, and "shelter in place" mandates that are spreading to more and more areas.
Certainly some of the above changes can be justified in order to slow the spread of the virus, but the question on everyone's mind should be on how many of these "temporary" changes will become the new normal and stay in place long after the crisis has passed. Consider what happened to your freedoms and rights after 9-11 and the 2008 economic crisis: the grossly misnamed Patriot Act, the wars without end, the constant and expanding surveillance of citizens, secret courts, the taxpayer paid for bailouts of criminal banks, and other examples where fear and hate begat more fear and hate. These changes were implemented during times of fear and are now still with us as permanent features of our political, judicial, economic and social landscape. We need to remain vigilant to make sure this is not repeated. The consequences of not remaining vigilant will be far greater than the consequences of the virus itself.
Do we really want to expand the powers of government and corporations for the illusion of temporary safety? Now is the time to reflect and decide if you want to live in a world of fear and competition or a world of caring and compassion. Living in a society of fear and competition would be a dystopian and Orwellian world.
The structures of our system are rotted and corrupt and would have eventually collapsed on their own even without the virus. The virus has acted as a catalyst. These structures certainly will fall now and will not emerge the same as they were before this crisis. This is inevitable. The question is what will they be replaced with? The fork in the road offers us an opportunity to institute real changes, but will these changes be for the better or for the worse?
The changes that need to take place must happen within us first before they can manifest in the external world. So what can we as individuals do to make sure that we take the fork in the road that will change things for the better?
The key element is not to become consumed by fear. The corporate controlled media is THE key source of disseminating this fear. Will you spend your new "quiet time" with your loved ones or watching the news with its never ending fear mongering? Certainly being informed during this time is important, but do you need to be glued to the TV or computer screen most of the day? Ask yourself: "is this news story designed to keep me informed or to instill fear?" Once you apply this filter to your viewing, you will be surprised how most news stories provide just a little useful information and that most of the content is about fear dissemination.
The economic impacts of this virus will be substantial. Already supply chains that rely on foreign manufacturing are being disrupted. Economic activity has already slowed and unemployment is rising rapidly. The dismantling of local manufacturing and shipping local production to global sources is one of the rotting elements of the current system. Globalization has benefited a small few enormously. What we need now is more localization, not globalization. We need to build resilient local communities that are as self sufficient as possible. Instead of going to a big box store, shop at a local merchant. Since small store has fewer people in it, there is the added advantage of less possible exposure to the virus.
A big box store takes its profits and ships them out of the community, impoverishing it, and often they pay less taxes than small merchants or even no taxes at all. The book "Free Lunch", by David Kay Johnston explains this in wonderful detail. The local merchant is paying taxes into the local system and profits are recycled back into the community. That 35 cents you saved by ordering from Amazon rather than buying locally enriches one person and makes it harder for the local merchant to survive. Get to know your local merchants by name as they are part of your community family.
Restaurants are one of the segments of our local economies that have been hit hard. You can help that local owner by ordering take-out. You can help by purchasing gift cards. This will provide these owners with immediate cash during these difficult times, while you will be able to enjoy the meals later once the crisis has subsided. We can help other local businesses in similar ways. Talking to owners who may have been forced to close permanently and expressing your sympathies will not help them or your community. Helping them NOW in their time of need will. Your support will be both appreciated and remembered, strengthening the connections in your community.