It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us.
Wouldn’t ya know! The enemy isn’t Russian, Chinese, or even North Korean. It’s not an enemy that the Pentagon can shoot down with a missile. Not one the NRA can aim an AK-47 at, shouting “Make my day!”
It’s just a tiny invisible thing that under the microscope resembles my grandmother’s pin cushion.
But, it’s got us – Russians, Chinese, North Koreans, Americans, everyone – asking:
When will the Coronavirus crisis end and we return to normal?
The simple and obvious answer, yet one that may seem difficult to accept, is: “Never.”
Yup. The old normal is gone. Global catastrophes like wars and the Great Depression change the world forever and this pandemic will have similar impacts to those of a major war or depression. Except the enemy is invisible. We won’t be breaking any bent-knees-general’s sword or demanding surrender conditions from a bomb-vested terrorist.
The impact of COVID-19 will be with us forever. It will change the way we live, do business, transport ourselves, feed ourselves, and communicate with one another. The only response that makes any sense from a psychological, emotional, physical, and spiritual aspect is that we now know we must expect the unexpected and we must be prepared for change. This virus is telling us – all of us, Russians, Chinese, North Koreans, Americans, everyone – to come together and recognize that, above all else, we are citizens of the world.
And, you know what? We’re blessed by this awakening to the fact that the navigators of space-ship Earth have been steering her toward disaster and it’s time to change pilots and reboot the navigational system.
I’ve been asked to specify some of the likely impacts. Due to the vagaries of local, national, and global politics, it is always a challenge to make predictions. It is especially difficult right now, at this time of critical elections, like in the US, and critical international relations, like those between the EU countries, OPEC members, and NATO. That said, here are . . .
Twelve Likely Impacts of the Coronavirus
1. Businesses will recognize the importance of moving as much as possible to selling their products online.
2. Many institutions, in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, will rely more heavily on online meetings and conferences. The coronavirus has shown that such meetings reduce transportation time (walking through corridors, stopping to talk to friends, driving, flying) and are more efficient (spending less time moving chairs, chatting, and other activities that many have viewed for some time as nonproductive).
3. Companies that deliver products, such as Amazon, UPS, etc. will move increasingly toward electric vehicles, drones, and AI-driven equipment that minimize the use of fossil fuels and are less dependent on human workers.
4. Such companies will also focus on a greater use of robots and other AI to fulfill orders, stock shelves, etc.
5. Individuals will increase their dependence on FaceTime, zoom, and other virtual ways of communicating with family and friends. People will still want to get together face-to-face, but they will recognize that there are also much less expensive and more time-efficient means of staying connected.
6. Educational institutions will conduct more and more classes online. They will divert funds from constructing and maintaining buildings to providing computers and better technologies for all of their students.
7. Many lessons will be learned from the reduction of pollution in places like China, Los Angeles, and other countries and cities.
8. As the world becomes more electrified, businesses that create, develop, build, install, and operate nonpolluting energy-creating technologies, including wind and solar and technologies not yet discovered, will increase and thrive.
9. The value of online businesses (Google, Facebook, etc) and ones that create the equipment that services these (Apple, Microsoft, etc.) will increase.
10. People have learned to live in simpler and more frugal ways; this will result in lifestyle changes for many, especially younger generations, and it will have a major impact on economies.
11. Policy issues will move toward a greater balance between spending on military weaponry and health systems. The US’s recent coronavirus relief package of $2.2 trillion (likely to increase) sends a strong message. Combined with the fact that the US has more cases and deaths than any other country and that the national reaction to the pandemic has been chaotic make it obvious that a robust health care system is essential to national security.
12. While nations will join forces to create systems to deal with unexpected global emergencies, at the same time local communities will work to become more self-reliant.
All of the above indicate that time spent by humans at work could be significantly reduced and that there is a need for nations to stop struggling against each other in military preparedness, threats and economic competition and instead to recognize that we are all citizens of the world and we can expect the unexpected — on global levels. We need to work together in greater harmony to protect ourselves and our planet. We need to focus on taking care of all people – whether or not they have jobs – all the time. And we need to honor all of nature, our planet, the ultimate life-support system.
Where is the virus taking us? To a saner human relationship with our planet. At least, that is the hope.
NOTE: You can order John’s new book Touching the Jaguar and get a “Jumpstart for Change” package free at touchingthejaguarbook.com.
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