Do you wonder how the effects of the Coronavirus will change us as an individual, family, nation, and world? The immediate results are obvious. Children are having to be homeschooled, parents are working from home or being laid off, an increase in the need for technology and internet…they are just a few that come to mind. I have to admit I wasn’t prepared for the shortage of toilet paper or hand sanitizer. It was this kind of mind-baffling scenario that brought some humor to it all.
Focusing on the impact on family, I look towards our dependency on one another. The global message is to save lives by staying home. The family’s relationships are more important than ever. We suddenly need to meet all of our needs with one another; social, emotional, physical, economic, and safety. The ability to be independent has drastically been affected. One’s survival instinct naturally searches for the most trusted individuals to surround themselves with. Options are limited since surrounding oneself with new individuals or too many increases your risk of contracting or spreading the disease. The pressure this puts on caretakers is impressive. Each individual has had to quickly adapt to a new value system that puts more emphasis on safety as a collective. Something that we haven’t had to do for a long time. We look towards our state and national government for answers.
Resources have taken a new shape and the effect that it has put on our government is apparent. Our current model is not prepared to manage the financial strain of compensating for so many out of work and in need of medical care. This has serious ramifications because it means more individuals have to go out of the home and expose themselves to potential harm in order to meet the most basic needs. Not meeting medical needs risks more individuals being exposed. This arms the enemy. To wipe out this virus we need compliance of society, medical care for all, and of course financial resources that focus on family survival. This is a group effort. We all need to live this model. To be successful, individual wealth needs to take a back burner.
To answer my question of how our current state will impact family, I will first have to see how it impacts government. Will enough of our lawmakers understand the need for a shift in how it views success. A successful society needs to have healthcare and economic resources to provide for themselves. This pandemic has brought that point home. We need strength and safety at all levels of the economic chain to find stability as a nation. This scenario allows individuals to not only focus on their own growth and quality of life but also how they contribute to society.
Another scenario at the other end of the spectrum is if the government rests on the principle; every man or woman for themselves. Each individual’s starting point is further back. The primary focus has to be providing survival means before focusing on the survival of society and improvements in one’s position and situation. Healthcare and economic stability rest on the individual’s ability which also puts race, status, religion, and sexual orientation into the equation. Society as a whole is now dependent on many variables.
As we settle in this new “norm” there are other interesting areas to consider. With so many of us staying at home I imagine there will be another baby boom. What cultural norms will we be teaching then? Will the French still kiss each cheek in greeting, Germans shake hands, and American’s still insist they are “huggers”? Or, will we all be bumping elbows? I can’t imagine a time when these basic cultural differences don’t exist. It’s strange to think that there could be a universal agreement on how we greet one another. Cultural impacts will take time to measure and be influenced by a wide world audience.
The government’s response after Covid-19 will determine life after quarantine. If I’ve learned anything from this whole experience, I’ve learned that each individual has a definite impact on results. That proves there is a responsibility for society to clearly define it’s needs so as individuals we can have an impact that will ensure not only it’s survival, but it’s success. That means staying informed, getting involved, and of course, voting.