I think back to a few weeks ago when we stood in crowded train cars, inches from strangers.
We rode packed elevators, sat at our desks, on top of our coworkers in a crowded bullpen. After work we would meet up with friends for happy hour at bars packed with people like sardines in a can. We enjoyed gatherings with friends, seeing concerts or a game or the newest movie. We traveled, whether it was a car ride across the city or a plane ride across the world.
The world we will know after this crisis will be far different from the one we knew before. The threat of contagion impacts our mental health in detrimental ways. We become anxious, close minded, and more judgmental. Problems that existed before will be exacerbated such as addiction, domestic abuse, poverty, and inequality gaps. Our economy is taking one of the worst hits it has seen.
However, we could also see improvements like a new kind of patriotism as the country comes together regardless of partisan values. The environment will see benefits as greenhouse gas emissions decrease, air quality improves, and rivers and bays clear up. The digital world is thriving, speeding up the fourth industrial revolution. Internet connectivity and cloud technology have advanced quicker than it normally ever would. Cynicism and skepticism toward technology has dissipated as people are more reliant on it. We will value the people in essential positions like healthcare workers, operators of public transportation, employees at grocery stores. We will have a new appreciation for the natural world and being outdoors.
It's difficult to see past the loss and challenges we experience today, but it's important to also focus on the positive changes we may see tomorrow!