[189] Hope in Times of Corona – History’s Most important Lesson

This week I dive into some parallels with the Great War and the Great Pandemic; yesterday I wrote ‘They shall not forget‘, today I tell ‘Stand together, or stand not at all’.

To understand the full meaning we need to take a quick dive in history back to 1914, during the beginning of the Great War. It all started on that unfortunate minute  when the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was murdered.

Even though the armies might have been keen to go to war barring the assassination (as I described in a previous post), the murderer pulled not only the trigger of his gun, but of the entire war. The German army  then chose to fight France but had to pass the small country of Belgium on the way.

Unfortunately for them, the Belgian king was not too keen to let them pass, hence moving the frontline from France to Belgium. This moment of bravery (or tactics) did not only cause a delay that allowed the French troops to prepare, but it began to involve the entire world in this conflict with the known result: The Great War.

The Dwarf vs the Giant

Something remarkable happened at the beginning of the Great War, when the Dwarf Belgium stood up against the Giant Germany. If we didn’t know it was a true historical event,  one might think they were reading a comedic play. 

The Dwarf Belgium stood up against Giant Germany.

When Belgium said ‘no’ to the Germans, they knew they could not defeat nor stop them. Moreover, the Belgians were tremendously outnumbered by the German army. Hence, by denying them entry, they knew they would cause a lot of trouble. Belgium knew they were weaker; yet they stood firm and strong.


Obviously, they wanted to protect France by holding up the Germans and to give their neighbour time to prepare.  Belgium wouldn’t have done that if they were not sure their allies would come to help.

They had no chance against the mighty German army, but they knew they would not stand alone. They knew they had allies to protect, and allies that would protect them. They had no chance on their own, but they knew they wouldn’t be alone in this. They stood strong because they stood together.

Together they stood strong.

Soon the war escalated, not because both the French and German armies were mighty, but because they counted on their allies. None of them stood alone; all of them stood together.

United Against Covid-19

Covid-19 has taught us the same: stand together, or stand not at all. If we wouldn’t be all in lockdown, if we wouldn’t be all stitching mouth masks, respecting the rules of social distances, taking care of one another, and closing international borders, we wouldn’t overcome. We have to stand together, or we will not stand at all.

Covid-19 has shown us that no country can handle this pandemic on its own; no army of health care workers can beat Covid-19 on its own. No individual can isolate on his own while the world would continue to spin. The entire world is in this together,  and we have to stand united and  strong or we will not stand at all. This is the Great Pandemic.


‘United’ has become an anachronism in the 21st Century in the Western World. An old-fashioned value of the Great War, and an outdated term of the modernised society that has been gradually replaced by individualism.

United has become an anachronism of the 21st Century. Yet, it is our only option.

The western world is falling apart. The president of one of the biggest countries uses short-sighted tweets rather than long-term analysis as a base to govern. The States were supposed to be United, but are going more and more their own way, averse for the national tweets.

The same happens in that other so-called ‘united’ kingdom, where referenda were held to stay together and even stay in the Union at the other side of the North Sea all together. While the once-United Kingdom is falling apart, the Union is falling apart as well.

Yet, while the western world is falling apart, the eastern world is binding more and coming together; forming allies while the western world is blowing up theirs.

Stand Together, Stand Strong

While the western world  falls apart, Covid-19 shows us once more history’s most important lesson: Stand together or stand not at all. The Great Pandemic echoes the wisdom of the Great War. Are we finally hearing it?

The rest is history, but wait a bit…

Why did a tiny country of Europe have so much power and confidence that it could command the entire world to come to the rescue? And why does that even matter for our Corona and post-Corona world? That will be for tomorrow.

This article is part of the series of Hope in Times of Corona. Read

  1. how this times of self-isolation should not mean loneliness,
  2. how you can contribute to this battle, 
  3. how gratitude lights up the dark,  
  4. how united we will stand strong
  5. on the most util strategy in awake of a crisis 
  6. how I got blown of my feet as well, but caught by many caring hands, 
  7. how being calm can get us through the storm.
  8. about Love in Times of Corona
  9. how to discover your own talents 
  10. why we need stories to hold on to 
  11. how you can be creative and innovative.
  12. how to spend your mot valuable assets in times of Corona.
  13. how to listen to the sound of silence. 
  14. How breate taking Corona really is.
  15. discover the other freedoms Corona has shown us, 
  16. about the new-born freedom Corona gave us.
  17. about another way to exceed your personal bubble.
  18. about the position of nature in this entire story
  19. about nature bouncing back
  20. about the crucial choice between resilience and resistance
  21. about the game to play
  22. about star gazing in dark times
  23. About looking for Meaning
  24. about what Easter and Corona have in Common
  25. About the Shark and the Turtle
  26. About the Irony of Distance
  27. Why to Hold on
  28. Fake News
  29. about The Big Unknown we live at
  30. about Feeling Alive
  31. about what the Birthday of my nephew learned me about life 
  32. About where we should go from here?
  33. About the Great War and the Great Pandemic, and we should not forget

Or wait until tomorrow, when I’ll shine another light on yet another positive corner of this dark times.

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