I have always thought that we live in a sliver of time in a very narrow belt of hospitality, and now as we sequester ourselves, that zone got even smaller.
As individuals we have a lot of moving parts that can malfunction. The tiniest rogue cell can destroy us. Now I realize that the same is true of us as a species.
The advantage of all of us sheltering in place is that it puts the world on pause. I now have an abundance of time at home, as do most of you. And like Fagin in the movie Oliver I am “Reviewing the Situation,” albeit more optimistically.
Life is a kaleidoscope.
Whatever plagued us last month now pales in comparison to the problems associated with this pandemic. And there is an unprecedented communal consciousness in the air and throughout the world as we realize that we are all in this together. The impact of isolation and loneliness are eased by the internet as we find new and creative ways to reach out to each other. I find that I am hearing from old friends and even casual acquaintances, long forgotten until now.
Mother Nature has hit the reset button for us—
perhaps this is the planet’s way of sending a wakeup call to warn us that she didn’t like the way we were treating her and her other occupants with whom we share this time and place.
It may have been more than a coincidence that this Coronavirus began in a live food market, where a wide variety of wild and domestic animals were sold, brutally slaughtered, and consumed.
Leonardo da Vinci said “The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men.” Humans have poisoned the planet and have inflicted great cruelty on each other and on other species. Maybe nature is simply fighting back?
Interestingly the canals in Venice, Italy, are now clear enough to see fish and a large influx of waterfowl have returned. There are numerous reports of the influx of wildlife in deserted cities. The Coronavirus shutdowns in China and Italy have greatly reduced deadly pollution and are likely to save the lives of countess of people and animals— with similar environmental improvements in many other locales throughout the world. In addition, food, water, and even toilet paper have become precious commodities that we are unlikely to waste.
Our very social and economic fabric may also be due for some retooling.
Former Democratic candidate Andrew Yang had proposed a $1000 government payment to every citizen. That seemed rather radical at the time. Now even Republican members of Congress are advocating that and more. One thing about a pandemic, it knows no geographic or political boundaries. It is an equal opportunity infector, and does not care whether it strikes a Democrat or a Republican. Hard working people of every persuasion are suddenly unemployed, economically devastated, and without adequate health insurance at a time when it is most needed. Overnight the world as we knew it has turned inside-out upside-down and backwards.
Life will never be the same.
A tsunami of change is coming. California and other states are finally scrambling to find real and perhaps permanent solutions to homelessness. Suddenly ideas such as universal health care and leveling of income inequality do not seem so revolutionary. With new generations replacing the old, I am certain that unfettered capitalism and unchecked greed will go the way of the dinosaurs— unless we go first.
Many survived the Holocaust and flourished, living long and joyful lives. We should be able to handle Covid-19 and come back into the light. We may even be able to hug each other again. And think about the possibilities if we do survive and arise— our tiny planet floating in the vastness of space could become a kinder gentler place.
By bernie shine
Bernie Shine a retired attorney and a master magician. Although law was his profession, magic has been his lifelong passion, both as a performer and as a creator of many original magic effects. In addition, he is collector and dealer of vintage memorabilia, as well as a renowned expert and world-class collector of 1930s Disneyana. He is also an accomplished writer who has who has penned articles for the HuffPost, Leonard Maltin’s Movie Crazy, Highlight Hollywood, and has been a contributor to numerous books, publications, and periodicals
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