RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!
Stay in your houses. Close your doors. Sanitise. Sanitise. Sanitise.
Failure to do so may kill you.
This feels like the message the world over. You don’t have to seek out the doom. You can have it delivered to your eyes and ears every minute of the day. There’s plenty of it around.
I remember going to the fair as a kid and one of the ‘rides’ wasn’t a ride at all. It was a huge, dark room. You’d shuffle in and stand on the black floor in front of a massive screen. Once everyone was in, the screen would fire up with an image of a rollercoaster car – completely occupying your field of vision so you felt as though you were actually on the rollercoaster. I made it to the end of the ‘ride’ but refused to repeat the experience because I felt so sick afterwards. Despite remaining on solid ground the entire time, I swayed about, lost my balance and experienced the jarring of reality against my perception.
This morning, after reading “Are we all becoming weirdos?” I thought about my own weird behaviours of late. I read the comments on the blog and realised I am not alone – it seems the answer to Troy Headrick’s question is “Yes! Quite a lot of us are becoming weirdos – and we don’t like it but we’re getting swept up in the mayhem!”
That got me thinking.
Are we creating one of those ‘larger than life’ realities I experienced at the fair? Have we bought into the illusion so fully that we’ve lost sight of the myriad of options available to us?
The following year I returned to the fair – this time with a group of friends. The group consisted of two couples and me. Being fifth wheel, I desperately wanted to be seen as cool and not be a hanger-on. Naturally, the dark room held great appeal for my companions so in we went. Of course, they weren’t looking at the screen much but since I had little choice, I let the lopsided, queasy feeling take me. In my misery, I cast my eyes to the floor and noticed someone sitting. Ingenious! I sat down and instantly felt a little better. I took deep breaths, paid attention to the floor beneath me and, every now and then, looked up at the screen. Our little gang went into that room many times that night and I gradually learned how to take control of my reality despite the distortion.
It feels to me like a similar opportunity exists for many of us right now. It feels as though we have lost sight of the elements within our control and we’re being thrown around by the illusion of powerlessness.
I absolutely accept that Coronavirus is a real and present danger and is not an illusion but the rhetoric surrounding it is one in which we have no choice but to run screaming from each other or hide ourselves behind masks and assume everyone we encounter has the capacity to kill us.
What if reality looked more like this…
We have daily programs offering tips on how to boost and strengthen your immune system – if the ideas are surprising enough, they could even feature on the news – for example, did you know that making tea out of the dandelions in your garden has massive medicinal effects? I think that’s newsworthy!
Every day, local radio stations would have a ‘spotlight on local business’ section and draw our attention to businesses whose product or service would help people feel connected, look after their health or look after each other despite the difficulties posed by social distancing. Perhaps this would draw our attention to things we didn’t even know existed and provide us with ‘top of mind’ opportunities to make a difference in our own lives and the lives of others.
When we turn our attention to the Coronavirus numbers and the closed cases, perhaps we could pay closer attention to the 96% of people who have recovered and see what we can learn from those people instead of focusing on the 4% death rate and panicking ourselves when we see quite how many people that equates to.
Let’s face it. The virus is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Our current focus divides us and pits us against each other. Perhaps now our goal should be to figure out how to ditch the “every man for himself” vibe and use this chance to reclaim our humanity and use the wonderful creativity and innovation we possess to come out of this thing feeling like part of something exceptional.