While we try to wrap our heads around the real-time and long-term consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, optimistic (maybe more like wishful) thinkers might find comfort in considering the occurrence of some unintended, yet potentially very positive culture changes once we get through this:
GLOBAL THINKING AND ACTION: National borders will become virtually irrelevant as climate change, pandemics and other global concerns require international cooperation and solutions. A global, “worldview” will become the commonsense perspective, and isolationism and populism will become anachronistic.
WORLDWIDE AUTHORITY: The presence and authority of the United Nations and World Health Organization, among other international enterprises will rise exponentially.
MILITARY REPURPOSING: In this vein, military preparedness will include responding to pandemics as a priority. Such multitasking will be a key factor in all funding and resource allocations. Internationally, enthusiasm will wane for hostilities, aggressions, warring, nation-building and other contributors to dystopian-like futures.
TRUST: Leaders and leadership during times of crisis will be measured by public trust as much as by actions. Trust will be an influential factor in political campaigns. (And, wishful thinking, voters will value conscience over consequence; see arrogance for ignorance; and promises without price tags for pandering.)
PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS: Mechanisms will be put in place to initiate on-demand public-private partnerships for resource sharing.
INTERGENERATIONAL RELATIONS: People of all ages will realize the value of mutual respect, along with knowledge, reliability, integrity, compassion and longevity, in times of crises. (Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases will be awarded a Nobel prize.)
REMOTE PROGRESS: Workplaces and schools will establish more flexible schedules, accommodations and remote practices.
PUBLIC RELATIONS: Private businesses and organizations will be more willing to seize opportunities to serve the public interest, knowing their contributions will be more than offset by the goodwill they will earn.
SOCIAL NETWORKS: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms will be repurposed as social connectors rather than “news” providers. Nonpartisan experts within government agencies and reputable institutional authorities will be the trustworthy sources for news and advice. And, “Just checking in” will become a common refrain among families and friends.
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL WELLNESS: Exercise, hygiene and nutrition will improve. Vaccinations will increase. Deniers, dismissers, defiers of science and medicine will succumb to truth and reality. Flouters and flaunters of social conventions will get their comeuppance. (For better or worse, jokes about “survival of the fittest” and “social Darwinism” will flourish.)
HUMILITY: We will be humbled by our individual and collective failings in response to this crisis. We will learn from this experience and, along with the cumulative effects of other constructive, unintended consequences, do better next time.
That is the hope of all compassionate and wise thinkers/people perfectly articulated. My favorite blog post so far Stu. This is exactly right! And Dr. Fauci deserves a Nobel prize already for speaking truth while Trump looks on after he tells his lies. And not getting fired. Yet. I’m sure many people hope and pray for these unintended consequences you might say of a pandemic like this. Our Judeo Christian ethic has been preaching this for 2000 years. Not to mention the Judeo side for 3000 years before that. That we should all become one. That in essence we already are. Make America great again, or make America white again, or make America first again, is absolutely the antithesis of this but what seems to be happening with a large part of our citizenry. I hope it doesn’t take a few pandemics or other global catastrophes for the amount of people necessary to think this way for these ideals to actually become reality. This is exactly what our leaders should be speaking to us about from the podium! These are the exact things that all the leaders around the world should be aiming for. (Please consider coming out of retirement and speech write for your favorite candidate. They’ll surely get elected!) In my heart I believe what you have described in your blog will come to pass one day. This is the world we want to leave our children and grandchildren. This is the world our parents and grandparents wanted to leave to us. What you’ve described. I believe this is what heaven is. Our father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Amen. Or as Paul McCartney said, let it be, let it be.
Les — Beautiful contribution to this essay. Thank you for the insight and validation. — Stuart
All are very positive results of a very tough situation. I particularly like the aspect of vaccine dismissers coming around.