All you need to do is to look at the daily news in order to hear mention of “flattening the curve”. But what does that mean? It simply means that using preventive measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, or COVID 19, reduces the number of new cases as well as the number of hospitalizations and deaths.

coronavirus woman putting a mask on covid19 2020It’s been clear from data collected in many states that lockdown measures, which mean staying home at all times except for the most essential errands, keep the number of new cases under control and that when these measures are discontinued too early, the number of cases begins to rise once again.

We’re all inconvenienced by the COVID 19 pandemic lockdown and some of us are much more than merely inconvenienced. For some, there’s the loss of a paycheck or even the threat of losing a livelihood or business.

So, how can we use the pandemic lockdown in a constructive way? From looking back in history, we know that even though there may be a second wave of the virus, no one particular pandemic has lasted forever. That means that the time we will spend in lockdown will eventually come to an end.

empty shelves at supermarket coiv19 2020It also means that we may be easing back into a reopening of society, but not the same society we knew before. With the issues of climate change, a corrupted rainforest, and laboratory experimentation with various pathogenic organisms, we know that this can and probably will happen again. How can we use this to create positive change?

A Unique Opportunity

The COVID 19 pandemic has created a unique opportunity to look closely at the weaknesses in the world order. The lockdown and the drastic decrease in the use of air travel and cars for transportation as well as the temporary closure of some industries have reduced the production of greenhouse gases that jeopardize air quality.

Many have seen the NASA satellite photos showing rare clear air in China after four weeks of lockdown. As a result of this, we are now able to collect meaningful data that supports constructive change in environmental planning.

The U.S. healthcare system is also now under more scrutiny due to the pandemic. We’re taking a closer look at areas that are underserved, like rural America and the inner cities.

People are asking questions about health care spending and prioritization and the large sums of money that are spent on healthcare bureaucracy. Other industries are creating useful innovations as well. For example, education is happening online and patients are benefiting from telemedicine sessions.

Restaurants are focusing on delivery and carry-out options, and companies are eliminating unproductive meetings that result in little benefit and allowing employees to work more autonomously from home.

The COVID 19 pandemic also gives us a chance to be more human. The coronavirus is a new thing, and it doesn’t care about national borders or corporate schedules.

It doesn’t care about the bottom lines of insurance companies or about someone’s gender or the color of their skin. It’s just a small chain of RNA encased in a layer of fat, and all it cares about is finding a host to use for self-replication.

The coronavirus demands only one thing of humanity: to put our plans and our egos aside and deal cooperatively with one another and with the planet on which we live. If we can succeed at that, it may decide to let our species survive.