What I’m Learning From This Coronavirus Crisis So Far

My anxiety has been sky high for days, behind this Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis that we find ourselves in. I’ve been reading the news, and getting more and more scared of what’s happening and what could come. So I understand anyone who is feeling the weight of the world right now. I feel you. You’re not alone.

* this post is a transcript of this video

Hopefully in this time, we learn to be kinder to each other and learn to be more generous. I hope we learn that we need to give each other a bit more grace. If there’s anything good that can come out of this madness, this crazy year of people dying that we didn’t expect, freaking Coronavirus, the insane Cheeto Satan that’s in the white house, I am hoping that the good that comes from it is that we really understand that everybody’s pain is our business. Because it can really become our pain very quickly.

I’m hoping it lets us realize that if one of us is suffering deeply, or a group of people are suffering deeply, we also suffer as a result. I think if there’s nothing the coronavirus is teaching us, it’s that we can’t just say something is somebody else’s problem. It becomes our problem very quickly. You can’t just be like, “Oh, that house is burning? Well, that ain’t got nothing to do with me.” Because the fire can come to your house very quickly. We have to understand that the quicker we can put out their fire, then it doesn’t become our fire. Let me repeat: the quicker we can put out their fire, it will not become ours.

But instead, we’re like, “That’s their fire. It ain’t got nothing to do with me.” The world is interconnected and everything is close. There is a ripple effect, a butterfly effect, a domino effect on everything, and what we’re seeing right now is that. And I think Americans especially, because American exceptionalism, are very individualistic. We’re like, “Well, that’s not us, so that’s not going to reach us.” It reaches us. It actually reaches us. It has reached us right now.

We have to start learning when things go bad elsewhere, everything is a plane ride away, and it can reach us very quickly. This ain’t 1738 where you gotta take a horse and a buggy. One plane ride and you are already somewhere else. Whatever problem you had there, you bring it here. So I need us to understand that acutely in a real way. Even if you want to be selfish, you can be selfish with the knowledge that we are all connected. If I’m going to be selfish because I need something for myself, I also have to think, “Okay, if I need this thing for myself, if that person can’t get it, how easy would it be for me to get it?” It won’t be easy.

Everybody’s problem is our problem too. When we see people being discriminated upon and we keep quiet, and think it has nothing to do with us, we’re off base. You don’t think you’re next? I extrapolate situations to how it can come and affect me very quickly. I know that if something bad happens to someone else, it can happen to me too. I’m constantly thinking about that.

Xenophobia needs to stop and I want us to be better. I think these situations call for us to be the best versions of ourselves. These crises moments call for us to elevate whoever we were, change, grow, mature, evolve. If we do not do it, we’re going to keep getting the same expensive and heartwrenching lessons. We need to ask ourselves what we should be learning from all this.

I’m learning that:

  1. We’re not as prepared as we thought we were.
  2. People don’t have community responsibility.
  3. The world is super connected. Nothing is far away. There are no threats we should feel safe from.
  4. We’re too individualistic.
  5.  How little we value lives that are not ours, or connected to us, or people we love.

People are being thinking they will be okay if they catch the Coronavirus.  Ok, but will your mom be okay? Will your elderly uncle be okay? So, I don’t understand how people are getting comfort from being like, “Well, young people are fine. Young people who are healthy.” I am healthy and I am fine. However, what about everybody else I touch?

Basically, all of our underskirt is showing. America’s underskirt is showing left and right. How little we care about other people, and how selfish we truly are blows my mind. How inconsiderate we are. All of it has shown up in this crisis, and I feel like it’s a moment of reckoning for all of us and for this country. It’s a moment of reckoning for us as a community, as humankind.

reckoning ayanna pressley

I feel like Earth is just tired of our shit. It’s like, “Listen, you hoes ain’t being right to me, so I’m just going to have to shake you off me. It’s either you or me, and I’ma always choose me.” Mother Nature will always choose her first. She’ll be like, “Listen, these people are not about to go kill me. Let me work on them first.” So, maybe it’s a moment of reckoning for us, too. Because you know what happens now that we all have to be in the house? We have less carbon footprint! We’re actually destroying the world less because we have to stay in the house. We’re not using diesel fuel like crazy. We’re not throwing away constant plastic.

China. In a month of China’s citizens being quarantined, the smog that’s over their country cleared. They took a video from space of how different China was in December to what it was like in late January after everybody was forced to be in the house. We are killing the Earth, and Earth is like, “I will get rid of you very quickly, and I’ll be okay. I will recover. I don’t know about you,” and I don’t even blame it.

Maybe we can do better.

Do Better Tracee

While I’m even here, if you drink bottled water at home, this is to you. I used to drink bottled water because I was bougie about not trusting tap water. I need you to consider stopping. Use a Brita filter. I use a Brita filter. It’s cheaper than anything else. It’s cheaper than constantly buying these bottles. It is way more good for the world. And the water is just as good. I am taste specific and I promise you I’m not sending you off. I am very specific about the stuff that I consumed.

I’ve been drinking Brita water for a year and a half and I’m fine. Consider now also thinking about how what you can be doing to reduce your carbon footprint. I feel so bad every time I order a package from Amazon, and it’s like I order lip balm and three other things, and they send it in a giant box. They coulda used a paper envelope and that would have sufficed.

Anywho, I’m literally trying to figure out how I can make sure that I stop being so trash to the world. I’m trying to figure out how to create less trash. I’m trying to recycle. I fail, of course, often because it’s really hard to be nice to this Earth because bureaucracy and capitalism make it really hard. But try what you can. Do what you can. Anything that you do that is less wasteful as it was before is helpful. So, I’m not saying become some no garbage creating unicorn. I’m saying think about the moments where you can minimize waste, and do those things.

I think we are in a moment of reckoning. I think we have to fix our behavior. And it’s necessary. We have to do it because we’ve been trifling. We have been taken advantage of Mother Earth, and she’s sick of our shit.

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1 Comment

  1. Sara
    March 18, 2020 at 10:52 pm

    Even here in the silicon valley where the tap water is delicious and drinkable, people buy all the stuff in bottles. They take their bottled water and sprinkle chemical flavor powder in it so they can stand to drink water. Very strange to me. People are very self-absorbed in general – and willfully ignorant. My friend is SO MAD that her mother’s 90th bday party got canceled. Girlfriend was still going to have it – with 50 some odd people all hugging and kissing on grandma.

    When I asked her if she was worried about Covid killing Mom, she said “she’s 90 yrs old – she’s ready to go” Well shit. Why don’t we just cough on all the old folks and get it over with then?

    Another friend is aghast because a teacher put preferred pronouns in their email signature. She could NOT wrap her mind around the need to do that and posted asking people if that was normal to do.

    I’m exhausted. I am working from home trying to feel like there’s nothing to stress about as long as I just stay here for as long as I can. At least it’s been raining, so I’m not having a hard time with it just yet, but I. am. exhausted. I got my normal shopping in before all the TP disappeared. I’m just hoping there’s some to be had in a month or two when I’m ready to buy more.

    I was prepared to use all my sick time during my work’s closure. Somehow, they’re paying us all during the closure. Somehow, the stroke patient we help with his shopping and other needs will also be paid during his work’s closure – even though he’s got a minimum-wage job.

    I’m trying to focus on what we have to be thankful for – and being of the sincere hope that I won’t regret not buying an extra pack of anything.