COVID-19 Is Trying To Tell Us Who We Are
I am not here to speak to the actual severity surrounding COVID-19, or as I prefer to call it, That 'rona. I'm not an expert on viral infections, as much as I have pretended to be in the last several days. What else are we going to do, right? with all the coffee shops are closing, churches not meeting, and basically every public event on the planet being postponed due to the concerns surrounding the novel coronavirus (are you as sick of hearing those words as I am?), we don't have anything else to do but pontificate and compete for being right about what's going on.
My point is, I don't know a thing about coronavirus. I do know that like everybody else, I have a bad case of confirmation bias. My bias is that we are overreacting, and I have done my best to trivialize and delegitimize this whole pandemic by sidestepping it with humor and ill-informed opinions. If I say it isn't a big deal with enough confidence, I'm right. Right?
There is a decent number of people who have been handling this whole thing like me. On the flip side however, there is a lot of people who are treating coronavirus with extreme caution. A good friend of mine is on that side of the coin. I have found myself getting extremely angry with him in my heart over the last several days when we discuss what's going on. He thinks I'm under reacting. I think he's being cynical. This novel coronavirus, this invisible infection that we can't see and especially can't control has put a strain on our friendship.
It occurred to me this morning that COVID-19 is the biggest peek behind the curtain into the human heart my generation has ever seen. My generation has lived behind the carefully woven fabric of the curtain of our internet aesthetics, and socio-economic/success statuses our entire adult lives. There has never been any legitimate threat to our way of being. We've had the tremendous luxury of worrying about how liked we are or how important we feel in our social circles.
Over the last week though, it feels as though the world changed forever - and it didn't ask permission. Instagram aesthetics mean nothing now. For the first time ever, we're at the mercy of something we have absolutely no control over. Even worse, we've grown up enough to know that nobody in charge has any control either. So we have a priceless opportunity on our hands; We have an opportunity to see ourselves for who we actually are, without our fancy curtains to hide behind. Without control, we quickly become exactly who we truly are.
Coronavirus has taught me that my true self is calm, cool, and collected - to a fault. My true self in the face of fear is insensitive to the fears and grievances of others. I would have never known this about myself perhaps if it wasn't for this time of helplessness. For some, they may find that this time of hopelessness reveals that their comfort with their being was too heavily rooted in man made entities (the industry they desire to work in, the economic status they strive for, their favorite sports team, etc...).
This virus has our world moving in slow motion. It sucks. It's an adjustment, but it is a beautiful opportunity if we would like it to be to use the slower pace to reflect on our true identities and discover the whispers of our true selves that have long been struggling to be heard in a loud and fast world that is temporarily on hold. Listen for the whispers. Don't let this time pass you by without learning something valuable, without getting to know yourself.