We are currently living through one of the most significant periods of uncertainty in our lifetime.
Not even halfway through 2020, our daily lives and routines have come to a halt as we shift into social isolation and distancing to contain the COVID-19 virus.
Over 2,000 cases have been reported in Canada thus far with over 400,000 cases reported worldwide.
Our highly-connected and globalized world may have been a catalyst for the spread of the virus, but it also may be what keeps us sane while we sort through this pandemic.
As humans, we are very adaptive — we have found innovative ways to achieve balance, stay connected with each other and continue to support our local economy during this time.
This crisis has, in its own way, shaken up our daily lives to wake us up to our own fragility. People have a newfound appreciation and respect for public human health. Although we may never know if our own social distancing practices have had a direct impact on the life of someone else, this is how we choose to contribute to public health.
It is the same as getting vaccinated — we may never know if being vaccinated directly saves someone close to us from getting sick, but we do it anyway because we are contributing to herd immunity and creating healthier and safer communities.
By staying home, we are looking out for those around us. We are in solidarity with each other. We can feel a sense of connection in knowing we are in this together and we are doing what is best for the betterment of public health.
COVID-19 has found a way to unite people as we are all powering through this crisis on a global scale.
Social media currently plays an important role in allowing us to keep in touch with family and friends while we remain at a physical distance.
There have been online support groups popping up in Canada, amassing hundreds of members quickly. Members have offered support in the form of deliveries of supplies to those in need as well as advice and emotional support during this time.
Local artists and businesses have taken to the internet to keep people together through online groups, online classes and even online music shows.
Winnipeg dance studio Drop In Dance has ceased all in-studio classes until further notice but is hosting online dance classes with pay-what-you-can donations from $5 to $20 to keep the local dance community alive.
Local hair salons have also been offering delivery of hair care products to keep revenue coming in and connect with their clients since many salons have closed during the pandemic.
Musicians have taken to social media to connect with fans and host online shows in order to spread their art during this time. Among many, musician Ashley MacIsaac from Cape Breton, N.S., is planning to host an online music festival April 1 with low-cost — or free — tickets.
The COVID-19 pandemic has invoked an immediate and decisive global response. But this immediate response to an urgent threat is what’s needed for another existential threat — climate change. In the same way that it has for COVID-19, the world must band together to initiate change and do what is best despite any inconveniences.
COVID-19 has had the advantage of being an almost instant crisis, with a clear and detrimental effect on every population it encounters. Climate change is different because its effect on the would cannot be immediately seen in the same way.
But it is a crisis that necessitates the type of response COVID-19 has received, or else the world may end up longing for the days when the largest issue it faced was a global pandemic.
The people of the world need to understand that, in both cases, everyone is in this together, and the more we act responsibly now the sooner we can all really be together again.