Five Things I Have Learned During The Coronavirus Outbreak

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Greetings to my readers and I hope all of you are doing well and protecting yourselves and your families. I wish all of you the best during this trying time.

I learned during my military career to find the positives and the lessons that difficult times present to us. I learned that needless worries are amplified during episodes in our lives when there are plenty of real things to worry about in our faces. This outbreak is very real and it is creating a lot of real pain for a lot of people. However, I also learned during my military service that tough times never last, but tough people always do because tough people adapt and overcome.

It is during tough times that I do my best thinking. Thinking is the key to life. It is a time for reflection and introspection. My reflection and introspection led me to five things the Coronavirus outbreak and our collective reaction to it taught me…

1. Human beings are innately social creatures.

I don’t care if you fancy yourself an introvert or a “rugged individualist”, people still need and desire social contact. People move about their daily lives not just to see, but to be seen. Social distancing makes being social much more difficult and most people don’t like it.

2. We take the simplest things for granted and miss them deeply when those simple things are taken away.

I enjoy waking up early to hit the gym. I enjoy sitting down at my local bar and grill for a drink and nice lunch or dinner. To be unable to partake in these activities is a big hit to my psyche, my sense of well-being. While I have adjusted to it due to having to deal with similar situations in the army, such as deployments and field exercises, to say that I look forward to being able to go to the gym and my favorite bar and grill would be an understatement.

3. Fear makes fools out of people.

I often repeat the truism that fear is a great motivator. However, fear also makes fools out of people. This outbreak has succeeded in bringing the idiocy out of people. Panic buying toilet paper and groceries, selfishly hoarding hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies, and either taking the COVID-19 situation too seriously or not seriously enough goes to prove what Tommy Lee Jones’ character in the movie Men In Black said about people:

A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it.

4. You should rely upon your own ability to do research, think, and not overreact to what you hear and see in the media.

We human beings have this wondrous thing we call a brain for a reason. We have two eyes, two ears, and just one mouth for a reason. That reason is so that we can think for ourselves and look and listen before acting and running off at the mouth. Exercising logic requires exercising your mind (i.e. thinking).

There is a new Darwin Award winner (look it up) who ingested a cleaning solution called chloroquine phosphate (an ingredient in anti-malaria drugs) because President Donald Trump touted it as a treatment for COVID-19:

I sincerely hope this outbreak makes people appreciate science and education more because there is nothing more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

5. This is not the new normal.

I wrote a piece for this blog as to why I don’t like to use the word “normal”:

However, I have read and viewed quite a few internet pieces and videos that are saying our current posture of social distancing and teleworking is our “new normal”.

Going back to my first point in this post about humans being innately social creatures, I might add that we are also innately resilient and adaptable.

As a species, we have experienced larger and deadlier disease outbreaks than COVID-19 with far less technological advances at our disposal.

Needless fear is as unproductive as needless worry.

This too shall pass and nothing ever remains “normal” for very long, ergo, there is always a “new normal” right around the corner.

Change is the inevitable process of existence. The key is to adapt and overcome the challenges simply existing brings.

Remember, this too shall pass…

-The Rational Ram

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