The Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020 has been devastating on so many levels. It is impossible to measure its negative impact. Our collective hearts go out to those people around the world who have lost loved ones as a result of this horrible unfolding event.
I realized that those who are in the middle of mourning and struggle may have a hard time receiving this message. It is intended to be a message of hope and encouragement during a difficult time. I pray that it is not misunderstood as a message of insensitivity or naïveté.
I have heard it said that within every tragedy is an equal and opposite seed of opportunity. As I look over the horizon at our collective future; I cannot help but conclude that there are hidden blessings even in this tragedy.
Coronavirus pandemic a Blessing In Disguise
First, the 2020 coronavirus pandemic could have been much worse in many ways. The potential devastation of an infectious outbreak lies in two key factors. The first is the disease’s method and ability to spread. Historically, we have seen infectious diseases spread through physical contact, water, food, and air. Infections that are spread through the air tend to spread faster and more broadly than others. This has been the case for the coronavirus which explains for its global impact.
The second factor influencing the impact of an outbreak is the infection’s ability to cause death on those who become infected. For example, viruses like Ebola have historically resulted in much higher death rates than the coronavirus. According to the World Health Organization, the 2018 Ebola outbreak in West Africa resulted in death rates ranging from 25 to 90 percent of those infected. Before that outbreak subsided approximately 50 percent of those infected had died.
Although the coronavirus is highly contagious its death rates have hovered in the low single digits. A true nightmare scenario might have involved a virus or antibiotic-resistant bacteria as contagious as the coronavirus and as lethal as the Ebola virus. I cannot imagine how, in 2020 with such limited preparation, the world would have responded to such a blow. We have seen healthcare systems nearly collapse under the weight of coronavirus infections. How would communities, governments, and economic systems have behaved with a pandemic 25 to 50 times more deadly?
Coronavirus As A Pandemic Fire Drill
When we consider what could have happened, I think it is reasonable to count our blessings. In fact, I think it is practical to see the 2020 coronavirus pandemic as somewhat of a “pandemic fire drill”. As a result of this experience, we have become more equipped to address future mass outbreaks. To say that this is been a wake-up call for both leaders and the general public is probably an understatement. The important thing going forward is to use this experience as an opportunity to become better prepared. As mentioned, in the article (how we got sucker-punched) a global pandemic had been predicted for at least a decade before the coronavirus. Unfortunately, we live the threat that a natural mutation could produce a virus far more deadly than the coronavirus. And even worse the world could be exposed to such a virus intentionally through bioterrorism. The 2020 coronavirus pandemic has provided a costly wake-up call.
Thank God for Loving People
Another thing to be grateful for during this enormous challenge is the loving-kindness we see amongst friends, family, neighbors, political leaders, and business leaders. Some people believe that difficult circumstances can mold good character. Although this may be true; I am inclined to believe that difficult circumstances more likely reveal good character. Throughout this coronavirus pandemic, we have seen many wonderful people rise to the occasion to serve others. This obviously includes the host of service providers who continue to put themselves at risk to help the rest of us. I am talking about everyone from hospital workers to grocery store staff to the police other civil servants. What I have seen on the part of people gives me confidence and hope of a more wonderful future – one not threatened by fear for our health and safety.
What Do You Think?
Do you feel that most people have behaved admirably during the pandemic?