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Are We Going Back to Normal?

Nature is doing its job—we just need to support it and the world will heal from the coronavirus pandemic.

People stand and cheer for healthcare workers outside Mount Sinai West Hospital at 7pm on Manhattan's Upper West Side during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, New York, U.S., April 13, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar
People stand and cheer for healthcare workers outside Mount Sinai West Hospital at 7pm on Manhattan's Upper West Side during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, New York, U.S., April 13, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar

One thing we have certainly learned from the coronavirus quarantine is that nature could live peacefully without our interference. As countries begin to consider lifting the lockdowns imposed to avoid further contagion, we see unequivocal signs of the planet’s ecological recovery. Nature is a master teacher, now it is our turn to become exemplary students, pass the difficult test handed to us, and advance a grade by improving the relationship between us and the environment.

“As people stopped commuting and traveling, the Earth’s surface vibrated less,” reads a recent National Geographic article which explains how the coronavirus has “quieted” the world with the measures to curb the pandemic, thus reducing seismic noise. It puts in perspective the tremendous impact of humans on nature for better or worse.

Since COVID-19 pushed the world’s pause button, satellite images released by NASA show a significant reduction in toxic emissions and pollution in America. The air is dramatically cleaner in big cities across the globe, the chirping of birds has replaced the unbearable metropolis noise, and animals reclaim their habitats penetrating the big cities. One obvious conclusion is that instead of man’s hectic race to manipulate the world, it is much better when we sit quietly and allow nature to breathe, recover itself, and bloom.

Our attempts to control others out of pride, and particularly, our predatory behaviors toward each other, have brought despair and affliction upon us. However, humankind has the ability to consciously make a change. The first step toward change is awareness. Otherwise, it is impossible to fix something that we just assume works well.

Flattening the Negativity Curve about the Future

If we stop producing, acquiring, and accumulating the unnecessary stuff that is choking the planet, if we discuss and internalize what really matters in life and invest more time in nurturing good and healthy relationships, we will stop feeling that life is a dead-end road and our future will seem brighter and clearer.

Like never before, we are on the verge of a historic breakthrough. As humanity impatiently awaits the reopening of society and businesses, we should not become nostalgic about the past. Returning to what we call “normal” would be returning to the abnormal state that constantly left us unfulfilled, chasing unrealistic goals, and immersed in exhausting competition to succeed at all cost. However, since the old, egoistic patterns have proven themselves unworkable, it is worthwhile to look forward to welcome change, instead of backward. Ultimately, the current crisis has come to raise us and all of creation to a higher level of existence, so we would be wise to flow with the harmonious power of nature and allow it to heal us.

How do we ensure that we do not derail our trajectory toward a renewed and rehabilitated world? We will stay on the right track if we realize that nature is whole and round, where all its elements must be connected in one integral system in which they support and complement each other.

Humanity needs to replicate this pattern and move in sync with nature by gradually refraining from treating one another badly. We must understand that we constitute a delicate system in which each person depends on the other and we need to constantly strengthen social cohesion. This is the formula of nature for a wonderful and balanced existence, one that is complete and eternal. Thus, it is precisely from this enormous coronavirus crisis that we can flatten pessimism about the future and raise the curve of the positive new life.

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