There has been some triumph amidst all the sorrow, some heroism amidst all the pain, some bold decision-making amidst all the uncertainty. But so far the great story of COVID-19 is not one of wisdom or accomplishment or the triumph of the human spirit. The great story has been our lack of knowledge, our lack of wisdom, our lack of unity, our lack of resolve, our lack of accomplishment, our lack of good solutions.
It was in early 2020 that we first began to hear of this novel coronavirus that was sweeping through parts of China, then making the short hop to nearby Asian nations, then making the longer hop to not-so-nearby European nations. The reports out of China were alarming, the reports out of South Korea sobering, the reports out of Italy terrifying. Slowly and then all of a sudden it was in our countries, in our towns, at our doorsteps.
We are now into the second half of May and everything has changed. Or nearly everything, anyway. You can go to just about any store or restaurant at just about any point in the world and see these changes with your own eyes—the lines outside the shops, the empty shelves, the surgical masks, the social distancing dots. Three months ago we wouldn’t have believed it possible. Yet here we are.
What do we do now? There have been many calls in recent days for humanity to awaken to our power and potential. We can conquer the disease! We can go back to normal! We can establish a new and better normal! We can fix the economy! We can transform the economy! The calls come from every part of the ideological spectrum. No one ever wants to waste a crisis.