I’ve thought about it. I don’t think it is just my imagination. People are consciously kinder to each other. Of course there will always be that two percent of people who are unmoved. But overall, people are kinder. They are smiling at each other. Helping each other. There is a general sense that we are all in this together. There is a one world awareness that is even affecting our fantasy that we are somehow a super-power. There is a humbling, a joint sense of uncertainty, and an understanding that everyone is being affected in different ways and that some people are suffering in the extreme.
People are joining in agreement about the everyday problems and losses, nodding together over the toilet paper problem and the work at home challenges. I am out walking and people are keeping their six feet distance, but they are smiling warmly, waving, chuckling ruefully with a sense, “Well, here we are. We are all in this together.” We are beginning to get it: you can’t just take care of yourself.
We are watching the news, astounded by the impacts, awed by the medical people, frightened by the predictions. We are re-centering ourselves in where we can take action, even if it is only by staying in. We are trying to cooperate to protect our vulnerable people, and we are sharing our ideas, our news, and our experiences. We are learning to appreciate the small aspects of everyday life that we have had in the past: The chat with the car mechanic, shopping for food, sitting together with friends and family.
We will hang in and come out the other side. But nothing will ever be the same. This global trauma will define this generation just like World War II defined the young families of that generation. We are learning, and we are noticing, and we are practicing living in different ways. You can’t unknow what you know. We will remember, and we will be changed.