We’ve learned that the world is infinitely more connected than it was in the early 1900’s, when the Spanish flu ravaged society. Some may argue that such connectedness has its pitfalls, but leaders and countries that better understand the interdependence of our geography can make our planet safer. And what would we have done in this crisis without the invention of the internet and the ability to communicate with each other through platforms like Zoom? Education and business have gone completely online — and even religion in many cases — an unheard-of reality just a few weeks ago. Probably even more surprising is that the world can survive without sports, at least in the short term.
Then there are all the ethical dilemmas that we are dealing with in our government, businesses, and even within our families. Medical decisions, like who gets a test, a mask, or even a ventilator, are gut-wrenching because they beg larger questions: who gets treatment, who doesn’t, resulting in who shall live, and who shall die? Businesses are forced to decide who goes to work, who doesn’t, who gets furloughed, and who remains. And what have we learned about family decisions? Did we quarantine when we should, did we isolate the sick, did we feed those who were hungry? These are all roads that we have not gone down in a long, long time. What will we do better the next time around? Because one thing is certain: there will be a next time.