Coronavirus Didn’t Teach Me Anything

And I don’t understand how it taught you either

Photo by Pille-Riin Priske on Unsplash

In the first weeks of the lockdown, everyone was scared. Our lives had changed abruptly, the future was uncertain and nobody knew how any of this would turn out.

Just a few weeks later, some people started claiming they were learning precious life lessons because of the pandemic. Suddenly, not seeing a light at the end of the tunnel had made them find enlightenment in their own lives.

“Now, I value family time”

“I learned to live in the moment”

“I realized I don’t need to eat out every week to be happy”

Hm.

Good for you.

Did you really need a pandemic to learn that?


The question these people should be asking themselves is: why haven’t they learned it before? What was so terribly wrong in their lives that it took the whole world to be upside down for them to understand such basic truths about human existence?

Why couldn’t they see the beauty around them before? Why didn’t they treasure the moments shared with others? Why didn’t they appreciate the little things that they started missing when the lockdown took them away?

They are grateful now? It’s not that they shouldn’t be. But I suspect many of us had a lot more reasons to be grateful before this whole thing started. So isn’t it ironic that they didn’t find gratefulness in their hearts before but now they do?


I heard this sentence often in the past few months:

“We were happy but we didn’t know it”

Well, I knew it. And I’m not better than anyone, a lot of people knew it.

I was happy because I understood that life is about human connection, about appreciating the beauty of everything that surrounds us, about experiencing, about feeling at one with the world.

And guess what? Many of those things are limited now. We can still connect with others but from afar. We can still see the world, but only the immediate surroundings of our homes. We can still experience but that means taking risks and endangering others.

I am a little less happy now, and I know it. I ache for the return of the world in its fullness. It was a beautiful world. We were happy there without knowing, right? Let’s be happy in it again once this is over.

Even those who learned something during the pandemic can not claim that the world is better now. We must keep the distance from those we love, millions of people are sick, thousands are dying or losing loved ones, countless people lost their jobs and are facing hardship. There are a few good things about all this, but they do not outweigh the negatives, not even close.

What I hope for everybody who reached illumination during the pandemic is that they keep it once the virus is gone. Don’t unlearn as fast as you learned. If you do, you will be missing out on the greatest learning of all.

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