Coughing became criminal, sneezing suspicious. It was the beginning of Corona. In the beginning of the unknown, racism peaked, and the monstrous-me spiked. When civilisation ends up in a storm, humanity seems to be one of the first things to be dropped off board.
Human of Humanity
Humanity does not solely refer to humans biologically speaking. Humanity refers to the characteristics and qualities that make us human; such as being able to love, and feel empathy, to be compassionate, and understanding; be creative, and rational; show mercy, and kindness, show gratitude and respect, solidarity, and collaboration.
When we are confronted with a crisis, humanity seems to be at the brick line. It seems to be either dropped off board, or to be explored and expended.
As Corona has illuminated many cracks in our system, so has it unveiled the fragility of humanity.
José Saramago wrote it already in his book Blindness, in 1995, when humans are facing a crisis, they might lose human dignity and humanity; they might get stripped off of any layer of civilisation. Long story short: when a mysterious disease hit the allegoric city in Blind, all people but a few lost their sight, turning them into inhuman creatures.
It wasn’t different at the beginning in Times of Corona. People started stockpiling groceries, even fighting over the scarce becoming objects; while there was no reason to stockpile at all. Other people started kicking out tourists and pointing at them on the streets, for them being the carriers of the disease. It did not matter that these tourists where expats living there for many years or decades. This racism hit Chinese people in the first place, but expended to all kind of ‘alien’ people all over the world.
‘Own people first’ became the slogan, when countries closed borders and people closed their hearts, wrapped up by fear and despair.
Medical supply chains from one country to another one in need dried-up, countries and hospitals with less means were crying desperate for help; while health care workers had to put their lives at risk to save others, since they had not enough means either.
Some people even abused the virus as a weapon, threatening cops to spit on them, if they would arrest them. Domestic violence increased. A rock hit a car because the backpacker was considered a monstrous creature spreading the virus.
Our fragile layer of civilisation can be washed off easily when we feel treat.
Explored and Expanded
Yet, in Time of Corona, we were desperate in need for solidarity and collaboration, kindness and empathy, love and support, understanding and compassion, creativity and rationality, gratitude and respect, mercy and empathy. In one word: we needed those specific qualities of humanity to get us through this. In times of Corona, we could only stand together, or we would not stand at all.
Luckily this was understood by some leaders, by some people, and some individuals. While at some level humanity was kicked off board, at other levels it was taken on board, expanded and explored.
Volunteers went to hospital to assist the health care staff in need; while others stitched mouth masks when supplies dried-up. Elderly were taken more care of, while children were educated at home. People at risk received groceries from others, while people used their creativity to bridge the social isolation. Doctors costs in Australia dropped, while government support jumped.
These acts of kindness, creativity, empathy, solidarity, compassion, mercy, and love where the glue we needed to hold our societies together; to hold ourselves together. They made us hold on and go on.
Today, when the curve has flattened and reversed in some countries, but is still rising in other countries, we need these qualities more than ever. We need to keep reaching one another a hand, show solidarity and empathy.
We have shown how empathic and compassionate we can be. We have shown how much love, understanding, creativity and kindness is in us; and as well how fragile these qualities are.
We don’t choose which crisis comes our way, which challenges life throws at us, but we can choose to keep our humanity, and which qualities we will use to cope with it.
This article is part of the series of Hope in Times of Corona. Read
- How this too shall pass
- how this times of self-isolation should not mean loneliness,
- how you can contribute to this battle,
- how gratitude lights up the dark,
- how united we will stand strong
- on the most util strategy in awake of a crisis
- how I got blown of my feet as well, but caught by many caring hands,
- how being calm can get us through the storm.
- about Love in Times of Corona
- how to discover your own talents
- why we need stories to hold on to
- how you can be creative and innovative.
- how to spend your mot valuable assets in times of Corona.
- how to listen to the sound of silence.
- How breath taking Corona really is.
- discover the other freedoms Corona has shown us,
- about the new-born freedom Corona gave us.
- about another way to exceed your personal bubble.
- about the position of nature in this entire story
- about nature bouncing back
- about the crucial choice between resilience and resistance
- about the game to play
- about star gazing in dark times
- About looking for Meaning
- About how Music Connects
- about what Easter and Corona have in Common
- About the Shark and the Turtle
- About the Irony of Distance
- Why to Hold on
- Fake News
- about The Big Unknown we live at
- about Feeling Alive
- About turning obstacles into opportunities
- about what the Birthday of my nephew learned me about life
- About where we should go from here?
- About coping with incertitude
- About the Great War and the Great Pandemic, and we should not forget
- about history’s most important message, echoed by corona
- How one country could rule them all
- About how to prevent the next Green Pandemic
- about how we are experiencing a new episode of our history books
- about when the poppy flowers
- about what’s in a number
- masks off, how a friend in need is a friend indeed
- What’s Next. after we flattened the curve?
- how will our personal story look like in a post-corona world?
- why we should never let a good crisis go too waste.
- How Spring can happen in Autumn
- How to unlock the lockdown
- Why education matters
- How we can give meaning to the meaningless deaths. (rethink health care)
- The remarkable marketability of health, or not?
- the remarkable rewards of health
- The queeste for global health care
- Health Heroes
- Pains and Gains
- Solidarity 3.0
- Work-Life Balance
- Home sweet home
- Real Connections
- Leadership 3.0
- gratitude 3.0
- Respect 3.0
Or wait until tomorrow, when I’ll shine another light on yet another positive corner of this dark times.