US Founding Father John Dickinson might be very surprised to learn that, after almost three centuries, we have now come to contradict his famous words in “The Liberty Song,” which was written in 1768: “United we stand, divided we fall.”
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has shown us how fragile life is, bringing it almost completely to a halt overnight. We can only challenge this virus by staying apart and not uniting. Having said that, we should be united by staying apart — isolating from one another for at least a month in the hope that this will not offer this enemy the one thing it needs to spread, which is our bodies.
COVID-19 should teach us a lesson: It threatens people of all different faiths and none. It offers a message that should prevent us from looking at each other in a discriminatory and judgmental way. No matter the color of our skin, where we come from, and how rich or poor, educated or illiterate we are, it can bring us to our knees and take our life or the lives of our loved ones in the very same, cruel way.
No one gets to be treated better or worse and money can’t fight it, but our faith offers us hope.
I believe that evil has been using our weaknesses to poison our lives. Evil is poisoning us by dividing humanity and turning people against one another — creating borders, sectioning religions and creating wars. If we are to go back to our normal lives, they shouldn’t be the same as the ones we lived before COVID-19, but truly better ones.
Despite all the darkness, goodness is still there in humanity and it is showing its best in these challenging times.
COVID-19 has influenced all societies and showed off our true colors: Generous or stingy, caring or reckless, selfless or selfish, strong or weak. It has truly brought out the best and worst in people. For example, look at the army of volunteers who registered in the UK, with more than 750,000 people offering support for the NHS and their local communities. Look at major car manufacturers changing their production lines to build ventilators they could provide for free to the health care system to try to save lives. Look at the top chefs and famous restaurants cooking, on a daily basis, thousands of hot meals to feed patients and the most vulnerable. Look at hotels and various property owners offering their rooms to help the infected to self-isolate totally free of charge. Look at landlords not serving eviction letters to their tenants if they are unable to pay their rent.
This virus has given the Earth a break by vastly reducing our carbon dioxide emissions. Our planet is actually breathing for the first time in decades, renewing its natural resources, cooling down and giving us a clear sign of what our busy lives cost. We can clearly see from satellite imagery how damaging our industrial plants and means of transportation are. They have been literally destroying our atmosphere and, thus, destroying the lives of our children and future generations to come. COVID-19 is an environmental blessing in disguise and governments around the world should work together to lower their greenhouse gas emissions to an acceptable level, like we have seen over the past few weeks.
Despite all the darkness taking over our daily lives, the light is there, living between us. Goodness is still there in humanity and it is showing its best in these challenging times.
We need to go back to basics and surround ourselves with love and care instead of hate, envy and materialism. Our ancestors left us with many quotes reminding us to care for neighbors, friends, our family, the elderly and all God’s creatures, but we chose to ignore the good virtues and follow the bad ones. All we care about is how others perceive us — how to present a certain prestige whether we can afford it or not. We would bear huge pressure to create a shiny bubble that we hide inside, and consume our energies by maintaining its sparkle.
I would say COVID-19 is a proper alarm call for humanity to go back to its roots and become more human, more caring and more loving. I truly wonder if our generation can digest the lessons properly and make the changes needed for us to survive future challenges.
Let us be divided today so that we can stand united tomorrow.
- Anthony Azoury is a media consultant with 20 years of experience in in-flight media.