Its been, needless to say, a breathtaking week of developments throughout the world. The “Corona Virus”, otherwise known by its technical name “COVID-19”, has absorbed just about all the thinking air in communities and societies throughout the world.
It is a concern for everyone, with the world now almost on a universal focus on what is happening day-to-day. From the spread of the virus in communities to how it’s affecting our economies, this virus is poised to make wholesale changes to our communities faster than a politician putting forward a bill to change a societal norm.
As the news has developed, and the concern grown, I have been forcing myself to “think the bigger picture”. I know, hard to do when the news comes on and talks about a stock market that has dipped or gained 2,000 points in one session. Its also hard when the only thing on the TV that is not a re-run is talking about the virus.
But I think with the initial shock “to the system” during the last week now through the system, and a night’s sleep on top of that, it may be a good time to start framing some of the issues that are emerging.
First, lets define “framing”: Framing selects certain aspects of an issue and makes them more prominent in order to elicit certain interpretations and evaluations of the issue.
In other words, putting things into perspective.
Now the fact is, not all of what is happening can be put into neat perspectives. Reason being is that this virus and the news behind it is “alive”. It means the situation is fluid and subject to radical changes. And that is the first item I would like to put into perspective – that this is still an issue that is developing. So, the desire for quick answers and a neat resolution is not in the cards right now.
Second is the fact that this situation is as much a mental issue as much as it is a physical health issue. With the way this “episode” is developing, there are a lot of naturally sure-footed people that are all of the sudden not sure which way is “up”. The overwhelming amount of news, information, and the speculation behind all of it, is really putting a strain on even the most even-keeled of people.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recognizes this. Recently they came out with a web page addressing this mental strain. Once I read it, I was relieved that what we may feel as mental strain can be addressed. I would suggest you take a look at the site for yourself, even if your still feeling “okay”.
Third has to do with how others are framing the whole issue. While I am more than happy to jump into the fray with my other political pundit friends and link all of the COVID-19 issues up to the political, I am sorry, I just don’t have it in me. Right now, there are real people suffering in this world over this damn virus. The fact that we are still boiling down the issue into a political argument is not only shallow, but downright disrespectful to the gravity of the situation.
As mentioned by Tim Pool, a prolific podcaster, he said that we in America should be so lucky that we have the luxury, still, to have discussions of this issue on a political level, at this time. Needless to say many people the world over have way bigger issues to contend with than having a political debate over the spread of a virus.
My counter-argument to having that discussion is that we as a society need to focus on just keeping our communities alive and well during this time. This virus is going to make an impact, maybe an impact for the ages, on people throughout this world. It might be that this virus not only takes people away from us, damages those who live through it, but also could radically change the perspective that our communities have in supporting one another.
And that is a much larger task, a more worthy task in my opinion, than trying to put a political score on this episode. We’ll have the luxury to talk and judge on a political level after we get through this – hopefully together.