Imagine opening a time capsule in the year 3020 and reading about a world changing event that occurred 1000 years earlier. It contains a roll of toilet paper, a mask, a container of hand sanitizer, gloves, photos of people who lost their lives unnecessarily, and a scroll that explains the devastation that occurred that the planetary dwellers swore they wouldn’t allow to happen again.
In early 2020, a storm washed ashore on every continent on the planet. It was the stuff of sci fi/thriller films. A virus was sickening people of all ages, initially primarily people in a certain demographic- over 65, with pre-existing health conditions and weakened immune systems. Then the virus invaded those far younger. When the necessary shutdowns began, people took to their homes, sequestering themselves away from family, friends, the classroom and in some cases, workplaces.
Connection took place via technology as Zoom meetings, Google Meet, and Classrooms offered some sense of being together no matter the physical distance between the participants.
Medical professionals were among those considered heroes for their courage in facing the fire breathing viral dragon that threatened to scorch the people it touched. Beyond exhausted, their faces were lined with lacerations from their masks, bodies bombarded by physical and emotional stress.
People lost their homes and jobs and even more importantly, a sense of safety and security. They wondered if anything would feel ‘normal again’ as uncertainty was a predominant state. Some turned toward each other, reaching across self-created walls and taking care of their neighbors. Others had a ‘me first attitude,’ hoarding supplies. Some listened to the voices of science, others heeded the voices of conspiratorial fear.
The planet started to heal. In an article called called Corona virus lockdown helped the environment to bounce back, the conclusion was startling. This research aimed to discuss the COVID-19 effect on the global environment. The outcome of this research stated that “Although coronavirus vaccine is not available coronavirus itself is earth’s vaccine and we humans are the virus.” Images of dolphins frolicking, clear, smog-free skies, clean water felt heartening.
Humans have come a long way since then, realizing that they needed to blend their lives cooperatively or perish separately. They live together harmoniously. War is obsolete. Disease is controlled. The environment is thriving. The two-party system is no more. The representatives work in the best interest of all the people regardless of where they live. The archaic way of governing is no more. People are free to walk safely anywhere. All are respected without regard to skin color, socio-economic background, gender or sexual orientation. Religion is a lived experience, rather than merely doctrine. It is used to unify rather than divide. There is no violence as people have learned to process and then detach from their emotions rather than being hijacked by them.
People have come to realize that we all breathe the same air and drink the same water. What affects one of us, affects all of us. We are that connected.
You who are reading this now are the ancestors of those who will learn about what transpired in the 2020s. What would you like your descendants to think about your role in creating this new world?