THE INTERSECTIONS & ASKING BETTER QUESTIONS BLOG

COVID19 | A Global Pause

A meandering thought ramble on the current pandemic to redirect my overly-anxious brain.

This week, New Zealand went into lockdown for four weeks after announcing a national emergency plus moving to the highest Level 4 alert. The opposite was sent to all mobile phones in the country to announce the nationwide curfew.

At the time of writing, we have nearly four hundred cases here (no deaths) and taking this approach could ensure the spread is contained.

Nearly all of my paid work has been cancelled although I just got notified I was approved for the COVID-19 Employer Payment for the next three months.

I feel lucky to be where I am.

However, the whole world is sharing this experience and every country is approaching it slightly differently, although many are adopting as isolation strategy.

I’m wondering (out loud) what good can come as we collectively pause together:

SOCIAL

We weren’t ready for this. Some knew:

It’s becoming clear that a mammoth economic recession is coming, along with a radical disruption of societal systems. This is a start not the end, and our overlapping society of nations will have to rethink many of its operating structures.

There’s a collective growing literacy at understanding exponential curves, inter-dependent industries and sectors plus how much small percentage points matter when it relates to economies.

Everything is being revealed as fragile.

Although this does present an opportunity to reflect on what is important. How, after a certain level of comfort and freedom is gained, everything else is a bonus.

We’ll also be critiquing the stale idea of traditional working cultures as swathes of humans turn to digital methods to deliver and continue their workload. However, as the crisis abates, I feel there will be a massive hunger for the physical and in-person again.

There are no special cases when princes, politicians, celebrities are getting it. The real super stars are those illustrating the innate goodness of humans:

ENVIRONMENTAL

The above video shows China’s nitrogen levels falling and then rising slightly again as some of the curfews are lifted.

Wildlife have rediscovered usually polluted areas like the canals in Italian cities:

As time goes on, this global pause will provide precious data and critical evidence for scientists to go further in proving the impact we’re having on the world.

CULTURAL

Talking here about the wider understanding that we all share a common space and are part of an operating system which is now in danger of collapsing.

Our streets and towns and cities personify the quiet we need to reflect on what’s crucial. To ask questions which transcend a rigged monetary system, to recognise the importance of community and amplify the need for evolving the politics of our time.

This forced reset is also ironic, separating us all from symbiotic elements of family, friendship, food, nature, place, space etc. which make us, us.

Going forward, the medical (especially front-liners) and educational establishment needs to be elevated, celebrated and remunerated properly (along with others who are now deemed ‘essential’ like rubbish men, supermarket workers, warehouse workers etc.), whilst we dull the idea of celebrity in its importance.

We have such a distinct divide of leadership during these times across nations from silly men who took so long to listen to professionals to other larger and even sillier men who thinks letting people die to save the economy is the way forward (Johnson is what happens when a guy like Trump can speak Latin) to our own PM here in NZ, leading with kindness and compassion (jumping online after putting her baby to bed to take a Q&A for those entering their first night of the impending lockdown):

This crisis simply illustrates how interconnected we all are.

Everything is linked.

All aspects of our well-being are joined to man-made constructs like capitalism as well as natural systems like the wider environment which need to remain healthy.

This is an opportunity to transform.

Become warriors and guardians of wiser and kinder system of living.

This joint deep breath, allows us a chance to redesign our intent as humans in focusing on the right things (rather than continue doing the wrong things righter).

The world has changed so much in three months, imagine if it we were intentional in rebuilding it.


Truly hope wherever you are reading this you’re staying safe and sane.

Your solitude will be a support and a home for you, even in the midst of very unfamiliar circumstances, and from it you will find all your paths.

Rainer Maria Rilke
Image credit.

5 Comments

  • Lisa Baxter 6 months ago Reply

    Thank you.
    These words of yours are so apt.
    It makes me hopeful.

    • DK 6 months ago Reply

      Appreciate your response and so glad it had that impact – stay safe / sane!

  • Chip N Conrad 6 months ago Reply

    You deserve a Nobel Peace prize for this.

    • DK 6 months ago Reply

      I’ll just take a world where I can hug my friends again please :-)

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