The pandemic pause places our public and private lives in a pernicious position, and a precarious one at that. Pernicious because of it’s harmful effect on our systems and our psyche especially in a pronounced and prolonged way. Precarious because each day we experience insecurity, and the real or imagined likelihood of social or personal collapse in one way or another is completely dependent on factors outside of our control, like other people’s behaviors, policies, pharmaceutical companies, and more.
Our brains, just like society, being forced into an uncomfortable state, are desperately trying to find connections and to discover things about ourselves and our world that seem to add to our sense of dis-ease. And, whether on the individual level, family level, or at the level of our communities and our country, we are called to greater compassion, understanding and helpfulness in order to whether this (hopefully) last phase of the pandemic. Are we finding signs that we will emerge from the pandemic pause with new perspectives and newly discovered persistence that prepare us to get through anything?
No. Not yet. Or, if there are signs that we’ll come through changed for the better, they are subtle. Sure, we’ve seen the rise of psychedelics in research and popular media. We have a new President (but from the old school entrenched political arena). While pre-pandemic we worried about the warnings of “too much screen time”, we now welcome social media, zoom and many ways to connect other then in-person. The world is changing. It always has. It always will. As the saying goes…something like: nothing is constant except change? Perhaps the pandemic pause is preparation for purposeful propulsion into the future of humankind.