Pandemic Positivity in the Midst of Social Distancing

Photo by Anthony Intraversato on Unsplash

Social distancing, the newly paired words now commonly used in the media is a listed prescription for our times of pandemic. While the reality of this grave pandemic has barely hit its peak, the idealist in me decided to look at the big picture as an observer instead of being in the midst of panic.

How can we possibly be socially distant any more than we already are? In today’s world of social media, people feel more alone than ever. Even when we have a shared experience at a coffee shop or at a movie we aren’t being social with one another. While we are having a shared experience at an NBA game or a Broadway show we don’t necessarily turn to the stranger next to us or in front or behind us and share more than a few niceties yet we crave this now more than ever because it’s temporarily being taken away. It’s the energy of the collective in that shared experience creating new memories that are missed.

If we are to only be in our homes shut out from the world as if a consistent massive blizzard has blanketed our world what will it look like? Will our lives simplify? Why are historical dramas like Downton Abbey, Outlander, and Little Women so popular? Perhaps it’s the depth of the relationships they depict that are so captivating. The people from these dramas spend time reading, playing cards, playing music and singing, walking in the woods or gardens, harvesting food, tending the fire, taking care of one another and having actual conversations. There’s no take out food, there’s no store to buy clothes. Everything is made from hand by someone and taken from the earth or purchased from the local outdoor farmer’s market. Life is so much more simple and its purpose is clear to live and live well with one another.

In the U.S. our Democracy has become an us vs. them society. Survival of the fittest. Success is defined by what we have, what schools we attend and what cars we drive and there’s no room for creativity. There’s no authenticity, there’s no exploration beyond the inherent self-centeredness built into our very beings. This worshipping the dollar mentality is empty and why there is loneliness despite the hoarding of stuff and corporate ladder climbing.

Is there a possibility of not worshipping the dollar? What if our capitalistic society slowed down? We purchased less, we enjoyed the same clothes we had in our closet for more than a year, we made do with the food in the pantry, we interacted with each other in our homes and unplugged the t.v. We truly simplified. No more “keeping up with the Joneses,” no more Teslas, no more latest car or newest anything. The dress back in the closet is new again, the book we bought and put on the shelf is taken down, cooking up a storm to nourish our loved ones.

What if because of this pandemic it gave us a level-playing field all back to the time when we could live on a lot less income? If we have to pick up and find new creative ways to do things let’s do it with a better system in place with more respect for human labor and conditions. This is what we should have been doing in the first place. The air quality is better in China now that manufacturing has ceased. People can BREATHE there again. We are being forced to change the environment the hard way, by the death of humans.

Imagine the creation of new systems and businesses because of this pandemic. We cannot continue to do business as usual on a global scale once this terrible crisis has subsided. We have been doing business for cheaper goods but at what price? The air quality globally has increased dramatically, quickly and not without deaths. There always seems to be enough money in other crisis situations like the bank bailout of 2008. It’s time for an environmental bailout and for companies to do things that reduce carbon emissions. There could be job creation with low-carbon type jobs should corporations really take a look at their contribution to humanity.

Relationships, humanity will deepen and the collective consciousness will rise. It’s about doing the inner work that enables freedom and choice to not follow the flock. It is time to be wise in re-creating these systems for the betterment of our world and society. Perhaps the cottage industry will begin to thrive again with a better environmental footprint and the trades will be seen as cherished creative purposeful and needed. Local industries and small businesses will thrive again, bartering, exchanging services and more people-based initiatives and DIY culture will sprout up.

We have been taught time and time again that in crisis humanity gathers together to support one another. We cannot operate on our default settings any longer. The real value of life is to take our knowledge and turn it into wisdom. To contribute to the collective humanity in seeing the greater good.

“There are options within our power to make better choices in love, fellowship and the mystical oneness of deep down.” David Foster Wallace

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Shelley Karpaty

Shelley Karpaty

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Meditation and Musings - navigating life as a human BEing connecting the dots of the Universe.