The first time I heard about the new virus outbreaking in China, my reaction was concern at first, about what it could become, and at the same time skeptical, thinking it would never impact my everyday life. The fact is, I believe nobody could actually predict the magnitude of the impact this would have on all over the world.
The timeline shows China treated cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in December, as the days passed by, a new virus was identified and they were monitoring to prevent the outbreak. On January 11th, the Chinese government confirmed the first death, a 61-year-old man from Wuhan. And at the end of that month, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global health emergency, having already registered 213 deaths only in China.
I was 19 years old when the last pandemic had been declared in the world, the novel H1N1 influenza virus (also known as “Swine Flu”), and when I look back, I have many memories, but the pandemic state is not on top of mind and I wondered why. There is an eleven years difference between the two pandemics I experienced since I am alive, and the effects are enormous. In 2009, smartphones were still arising, Apple was launching iPhone 3GS, Youtube had only 4 years old, Instagram didn’t exist and Facebook had a different meaning and less effective impact in the world. No memes, no gifs, no fake news concept, and a teenage mindset made the 2009 pandemic for me to be, sadly, forgettable.
The Age of Corona, as most of us will remember this time, is unrelatable to 2009. We are living an era surrounded by a tsunami of information, miss information, fake news, memes, and real-time social media anxiety. Despite all the bad things I described, plus everything else everyone already knows and feels, technology also made us feel connected through this difficult moment. How can we be stronger even separated? The answer is, by online connection.
To feel connected is to have empathy for something or someone. This world crisis state caused by a pandemic has shown us we are more vulnerable than we expected to be and globally linked. One thing happens in China, but everyone should be aware there will be consequences for all. Is there a universe message for us? I don’t know if I’m this type of person who seeks for natural answers. On the other hand, I do believe there is a universal message to take from this.
"When everyone was locked down, we started genuinely communicating to feel united again."
Everyone is on the same boat and it’s fine to show vulnerability. I can’t say what comes next, but I guarantee that besides the awful economic crisis ahead of us, we will have a very positive take from this too: human learning.
Since Trump election in 2016, we are experiencing a very right separatist movement happening around the world, Brexit, France election, Brazil’s election, etc. We are living in a world where people want to create walls to separate people again. And at the same time, the coronavirus manifest is that Glocal is the new global, it’s about community, “think globally, act locally”. It is also an opportunity for every person on the planet to stop, breathe, rethink, and act together to move forward once again. Therefore, what I take from this, is that this pandemic crisis made us relearn that we need each other in order to survive. Nobody is alone.