EDITOR'S NOTE

Our second chance

Posted

The last time there was a worldwide shift in day-to-day life was World War II. The current health pandemic will be our next major influence. 

I can only hope the Kardashian aesthetic so many people gravitated toward will disappear forever, making a change for the better. The self-centered aspirational gap that preceded the pandemic found men and women comparing themselves not only to celebrities, but friends who might be out at a better party/restaurant/vacation. 

With little correlation between what we wanted and what we needed, there was an unrealistic belief - fueled by social media - that a mega house, perfect body and Instagrammable vacations were worthy aspirations. 

And then suddenly, the hamster wheel we’d been running on was removed as we experienced not only a deadly health crisis, but massive economic, social, and political upheaval. 

As a white female, I can learn a lot about racism from the pandemic. The fear and uncertainty I am feeling is not unlike what African-Amercians, Latinos, Asian-Americans and the LGBTQ+ community must feel all the time.

I've quaked with indignation over sexism. And I've experienced what's its like to go outside and fear for my life. That's how racism must feel every day.

The slow return to life after this crisis is our chance to reset our priorities. We have no choice, we must adjust our thinking. Although that life doesn’t look like the present nightmare, it doesn’t have to look like the past either. 

It's time to have a different conversation about the impact of COVID-19.  We might presently be immersed in our isolated hardship, crying into our homemade face mask, but once the pandemic passes and the protests end, what's the future we envision? 

Only when this is all over will we know whether the pressure to regain our pre-coronavirus freedom overshadows the pressing need to balance the shameful inequities in this country. 

Let's not let go of the opportunity to get it right this time.