Lessons from the Time of Coronavirus


These couple of years have been nothing short of disastrous and trying. We have encountered crisis after crisis. The Coronavirus pandemic, plenty of political and social turmoil, and an economic challenge like never before. However, crisis begets opportunity for personal growth, collective improvement, and global alertness. In many ways, the time of Coronavirus is a time to learn and change for the better.

On a personal level, we learn many lessons about what our real priorities are in life. People we hold dear play important roles during this period. Their support carries us through difficult times and alleviates pain or agony that comes from loss of lives, lack of social interactions, and regular daily routines. We learn that health is the most important thing in life. Rich or poor, we are confronted with the same threat of a global pandemic that forces us to take a closer look at our diets, exercise habits, or lifestyles. We learn to take care of our finances and be prepared for rainy days. We learn to work/educate ourselves differently and rely on technology to continue sharing and caring as a community. We are swamped with many changes, but we survive the worst situations and are ready to restore our world.

On a societal level, we learn to act and react fast. We learn to trust science, not misinformation from fear-mongers or reality-fabricators. We learn to stay productive after a period of forced hiatus. Our dormancy does not stop us from befriending technology or the digital world. We learn to gather and interact with mitigation measures and still accomplish our goals. We embrace the natural world and refuse to be completely isolated or let loneliness take over. We realize the urgency of certain issues that require global attention or cooperation: wealth or racial inequalities, environmental issues, crisis-response protocols, scientific research investments, and leaderships that work to sustain humanity and progress.

“Humanity's memory is short, and what is not ever-present fades quickly,” Manisha Juthani, a Yale Medicine infectious diseases specialist, observes. The bubonic plague, ravaged Europe in the Middle Ages, and various viruses resurface again and again to threaten human lives. It is crucial to remember and learn from human history and experience. The time of coronavirus gives us a wake-up call; we cannot afford to return to the old normal but must “build back better” as the current US President proposes. We must keep in mind that next time, we may not be so lucky as to have multiple vaccines that can be distributed relatively efficiently. Think of the people or the regions of the world that still need to have equal access to the disease-fighting resources. We must recognize that we cannot win the battle and defeat the pandemic all by ourselves. Our strength lies in the humanity or love that needs to be shared: the learnings and findings about human lives, about the human world, and about what paths we should rethink and take for the future. Only with common goals and efforts, can we truly overcome crises and take opportunities to build a better world.


新型冠状病毒时期的教训

这一、两年实是艰辛和困难,人们经历了一场又一场的危机。新型冠状病毒的流行带来极大的政治和社会动荡以及前所未有的经济挑战。然而,危机也为个人成长、集体改善和全球警觉性的提升带来了绝佳的机会。在许多方面,新型冠状病毒时期是学习和改变的好时机。

在个人层面上,我们学到了很多关于生命中真正重要的人与事之相关的经验教训。在此期间,我们所珍视的人扮演着重要的角色。他们的支持让我们度过了困难时期,并减轻了因丧生、缺乏社交互动和有规律的日常生活而带来的痛苦。我们了解到健康是生命中最重要的事情。无论贫富,我们都面临着全球流行病的同样威胁,迫使我们更加仔细地审视自己的饮食、锻炼习惯或生活方式。我们学会顾虑自己的财务情况、事先为困境做好准备。我们学会以不同的方式工作/教育自己,并依靠技术继续于社区进行分享活动、传送关怀人间的信息。我们被许多变化所淹没,但在最糟糕的情况下幸存下来,并准备恢复世界。

在社会层面上,我们学会了快速行动和反应。学会相信科学,而不是轻易听信恐惧或事实伪造者的错误信息。经过一段时间的隔离后,我们学会了保持生产力。人们中断的群体活动或休眠并没有阻止我们以技术或数字世界为凭借成为朋友。我们学会借由缓解疫情措施之互动模式来继续实现我们的目标。我们拥抱自然世界,拒绝完全孤立或让孤独掌控生活。我们意识到需要全球关注或合作的某些问题的紧迫性:财富或种族的不平等、环境问题、危机应对协议及程序、科学研究投资以及致力于维持人类进步的导力。

“人类的记忆是短暂的,不存在眼前的事物会迅速被忘却和消失,”耶鲁大学医学传染病专家 Manisha Juthani 观察人性时有此说法。鼠疫在中世纪肆虐欧洲,各种病毒一次又一次地重新出现威胁着人类的生命。从人类历史和经验中学习而牢记教训是至关重要的。新型冠状病毒时期为世界敲响了警钟;我们绝不能回到旧常态,而是必须如同美国现任总统拜登先生所指出“将国家重建得更好”。我们必须记住,下一次、我们可能不会那么幸运,得以相当有效地分发多种疫苗。想想世界上仍然需要获得平等抗病资源的人们或地区。我们必须认识到,单靠一己之力是打不赢、治不了疫情的。人们的力量在于世界得以分享的善性或爱心:关于人类生活、对于世界的学习和发现,以及我们应该为未来重新思考和采取的道路皆必须透过共有的使命感来达成。只有针对共同的目标来努力,我们才能真正战胜危机、掌握机会来建设一个更美好的世界。