Since the wave of vaccinations has begun in the US, UK, and many other countries, people have received the news with a sense of relief accompanied by safety concerns and questions, according to recent polls conducted by public health institutions. One thing humanity can be sure of: The world will not return to the way it was before the virus. Even though the time is still too early to determine the nature and configuration of the world after the pandemic—the systems that will be rebuilt and how they will impact our lives—there is no doubt that a new line of thinking and behavior will dominate from now on.
“We have moved to a new stage in our human development. Therefore, our inner world will not be as it was yesterday. We will understand that we are not who we were before the outbreak of the coronavirus, that we lost our taste for meaningless stuff, for acquiring things only for the sake of having them, for working as slaves, earning and spending compulsively. We will feel that we are no longer attracted to the same pastimes and they will appear frivolous and unfulfilling.”
A year has passed since the coronavirus appeared on the scene. Like teenagers who suddenly mature and look at their childish toys with disdain, or like young people who seek to stabilize and settle down after waking up with a hangover after a late night of overindulgence, so, too, is humanity destined to go through a similar process of maturation and sobering up.
Reality has changed, and people have undergone a psychological change. What was, will no longer be. What has happened is so much bigger than us, it is hard to digest before the fact. But I predict that when the population is healthy again and feels everything is ready to open up again, to travel from place to place, to hug and to get closer without masks and distance separating us, we will discover that we have grown up.
We have moved to a new stage in our human development. Therefore, our inner world will not be as it was yesterday. We will understand that we are not who we were before the outbreak of the coronavirus, that we lost our taste for meaningless stuff, for acquiring things only for the sake of having them, for working as slaves, earning and spending compulsively. We will feel that we are no longer attracted to the same pastimes and they will appear frivolous and unfulfilling.
Our frenzied consumerism is one of the areas in which we have changed the most. We have realized that we do not need countless shopping malls, restaurants, or stadiums filled with players and fans. Our desires have changed drastically. There are those who will return to the routine and find that it no longer suits them, and there are those who will not want to leave their house at all and feel that it is better for them to work from home—not only for women, for whom this is usually a comfortable life setting, but for men alike.
Why is it so? Because living in the home, in the arms of the family, is a comfortable and good life, efficient and peaceful, free of traffic jams, waiting in lines and unnecessary pressures. So why dress up, spend hours in the car, and spend half a day in superficial posturing? It is better and cheaper to sit in your pajamas at home and make calls from the garden, or to work calmly on your laptop while sitting on the balcony. Working from home pays off in many unexpected ways.
It is a win-win situation for both employees and their employers. Business can be very efficiently run remotely, in addition to affording huge savings in office expenses. People also become more efficient when working from home, since with fewer distractions than in their traditional workplace it’s easier to focus on finishing their tasks instead of wasting time.
Once this benefit permeates all stratas of society, the relationship that the pandemic has established between us, the same social distance that has kept us from getting infected, will be better for us in the end. The habit of moving away from each other will become second nature, and it will also form the basis for the new future relationships that we have yet to forge between us.
It is currently too early to talk about advanced stages in the social relationships between us. The slowdown and cooling that come from nature are still growing on us and becoming comfortable for us. They dictate the spirit of the new period. If we peek further ahead, this situation will not satisfy us in the long run. A kind of lethargy and helplessness, darkness before light, must set in to open up a new space for spiritual connection with others to be revealed, a push for a new kind of human relationship. Only then will we be able to feel cured of the pandemic of divisiveness and will we attain a fulfilling life and healthy society.