What Happens After Covid 19?

Many of us are finding more time for contemplation these days. There are many people wondering what happens after Covid 19. How will this change our communities?

The Happy Community Project™ was developed to strengthen our communities in a time of disruption. Here we are and I have been one of those wondering how our communities will come out of this.

I have been watching how people behave during this time of intense change. I have noticed is there are three general behaviors: altruism, selfishness and wariness.

We are hearing about many incidents of neighbours looking out for each other and many incidents of people reaching out to strangers. For example, there is the truck stop owner who is being supported by her community to provide free meals to truckers. There is the person who reached out to a stranger to give her comfort when she had just been told she has a terminal illness.

There are thousands of wonderful stories of generosity and compassion like this. Will we want our community citizens to bring forward a strong sense of caring for others after the crisis is over?

We also heard stories of people rushing to the store to clear the shelves for their own personal needs with little regard that others might also need toilet paper and canned beans. Even more disturbing are the stories of people lining up at gun stores in the USA and Alberta. Their statements are disturbing; they say that they intend to protect their toilet paper with a gun – a behavior that is the extreme opposite of generosity and compassion. Will we want to go farther down the path of selfish interest before others after Covid 19 has passed?

And then there is our common experience of going to the grocery store. Many people enter the store with wariness, fear and mistrust of those sharing the same space. This is both great and concerning. It is great to see people take the health instructions seriously, respect others and keep our six feet distance. But we also have been building up the idea of stranger danger for many decades now. Today, every person can represent a potential threat. Are we going to move farther down this path of mistrust of each other after the pandemic is over?

Will we go even deeper into our own isolated corners or will we come out with a new appreciation for each other? There will those who have found a way to take advantage of this crisis. They will want to be the ones who use their influence and resources to shape our society and communities going forward. They are already here on the news and social media. We get to choose who are real leaders are. They can only lead if we allow them to lead us.

We have an opportunity to take time to contemplate about what kind of future we want. No matter what the self-appointed leaders try to design for us, it will be our collective intentions that will determine our future. We get to choose as a collective.

What do you want to emerge out of this experience? What kind of community do you want to live in? It’s up to us to decide our own future.

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