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March 13, 2020

What the Coronavirus Teaches us about Being Human: 5 Lessons from a Pandemic.

The virus that originated in Wuhan, China, is now in more than 80 countries.

The outbreak is growing bigger by the day. People are dying, and the entire world is in a state of fear.

We’ve watched pandemics in movies and series, but experiencing one in real life is ugly.

In my country, Lebanon, seven new confirmed cases of coronavirus were reported today. We now have a total of around 70 people infected, with two stated deaths. This is not a movie; this is our lives now. We’re wearing masks, stocking up on supplies, and isolating ourselves.

Be it a regular day on the beach or an apocalypse, I’m the kind of person who tries to find some meaning in everything. For me, there are no accidents. There is, however, synchronicity. Whatever happens, there is something greater in it for us to see.

Some of you might wonder what this idea has to do with coronavirus. And could I be crazy enough to think there is actually some good coming from a deadly virus?

A virus outbreak is horrible. People dying from it is bad. And the way it’s spread from one person to another is worse. But I’m convinced that there might be some good lessons for us in store. It’s in these particular times that we look for a ray of light.

It’s our way to keep going.

Survival isn’t only physical—it’s mental and spiritual.

Here’s how the coronavirus might help us in the future:

Slow down.

We all lead busy lives and we all do a million things at the same time. It feels as if we’re anxiously running after something and we’re afraid not to catch up. Well, the coronavirus has surely, massively slapped us all in the face. With most countries on lockdown and everything closing, we’ve had no other choice but to slow down.

This is the most important thing we fail to do on a daily basis: slowing down. Be present, do one thing at a time, breathe, take a walk, give yourself a break. No one’s rushing us; we’re only rushing ourselves.

Spend some alone time.

Most of us can’t stand to be alone. Perhaps it’s boredom or the dread of confronting our own thoughts. Whatever it is, we constantly spend time with people and leave no room for some alone time. Here comes the coronavirus that has obviously pushed all of us to self-isolate in one way or another.

While you might think it’s terrible, I think it’s a great time to get to know ourselves better. Explore new hobbies, meditate, learn to entertain yourself, do something alone you’ve never done. Once we’re in contact with the world again, we’ll see that our relationships with others have deepened thanks to our solitude.

Be healthy.

Making money matters, but it’s not everything. Improving our physical appearance matters, but it’s not everything. Our health, however, matters and is surely everything. The coronavirus has definitely put this into perspective.

The only evident protection against this virus for now—at least for the younger generation—is a strong immune system. Though we have given it little attention before, now is the time to make our health a priority. Exercise, eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, avoid chicken or meat. Be it now or later, let’s not underestimate the power of a healthy body.

Appreciate others.

With our jobs, daily responsibilities, and personal problems, it’s sometimes difficult to appreciate the ones around us. Coronavirus has made clear that it’s not impossible. Never before have we felt so terrified of transmitting a deadly virus to our families and friends.

It’s about time to understand the nature of impermanence and stop taking our close ones for granted. Take care of yourself so you can take care of your family. Most importantly, spread awareness to everyone—especially the elderly with a lack of knowledge on the coronavirus matter.

We’re just specks of dust.

Oftentimes, to know who we are or where we stand, we need something bigger than us to make us understand. If there is one thing that the coronavirus has made us see, it’s the annihilation of our egos in the face of adversity. Arrogance, greed, boasting, control…they all disappear when our existence is threatened.

That said, let’s learn to be more compassionate and kinder. Simplicity, humility, and love are all that matter.

As we have seen with the coronavirus, everything and everyone is connected. What we thought has only emerged in China is now a global pandemic.

Consequently, connect each other with kindness and love.

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Elyane Youssef  |  Contribution: 123,765

author: Elyane Youssef

Image: Nenad Stojkovic / Flickr

Editor: Kelsey Michal