Many people are talking about what they have ‘learned’ under Covid and that’s great. It’s good to hear people talk about appreciation of others, realisations about isolation, struggles with sameness, boredom and challenges in resilience. It’s fantastic to see appreciation for service professions like teachers, social workers, nurses, community workers and doctors. It’s equally as encouraging to hear language of support, understanding, empathy, helping and togetherness even though there is so much physical separation. Even more amazing that it takes a crisis to learn these lessons. These are the by-products of the Covid lesson.
Sometimes the things we have learned are not new lessons at all but rather re-affirmations of what we should know all along – that people matter. Why is it that we need a crisis to re-affirm that we have forgotten about people and fallen hook line and sinker into the love of objects? Why does it take a shock to shake us back into the reality that life is about persons, ethical living and community? Why does it take a small virus to reaffirm for us our fallibility and powerlessness in the face of forces beyond our control?
One of the lessons we should have learned from Covid is the power of trade-offs and by-products. How silly does the ideology of zero look when zero beliefs have to be dumped in the bin and new practices one thought not possible, have to be adopted under the ideology of harm mitigation? When it’s life and death we make trade-offs in a heart beat. We stand before the schoolmaster Covid and move where he takes us. We dump those silly words of zero and watch health professionals march into harm daily because of the greater good, community, helping and care.
If Covid teaches you anything it should have taught you how dumb zero is.