People all around the globe are currently directly, or indirectly, affected by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The Levant News publishes voices from a wide variety of people with different backgrounds. After stories from the Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Italy today Erwin Sanders writes from Rotterdam.
In 1988 Michael Jackson released the song Man in the Mirror. The King of Pop reflects on the world and things that need to change: “if you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change”. Striking lyrics that could not make more sense today.
I understand the lyrics now better than ever before. It is the man in the mirror that has to make the change to make the world a better place. For weeks we are stuck in this horrific and unprecedented global coronacrisis. Like a bad dream that does not seem to end.
Most of the people think they are social beings and care about each other, while in the end they only care about themselves. Draconic measures were taken everywhere in the world. Social distancing is the new credo and it will probably be one of the most frequent used words in 2020.
In the Netherlands we are now entering the so-called 1,5-meter society, stamped 'the new normal' by our government. But why such rigorous measures? Is it selfishness and a self-centered approach? Is it because people do not want to get infected themselves? Or is it that they do not want to infect the others if they unknowingly carry the coronavirus?
The world is changing
It was only a few weeks ago when streets, cafes and restaurants were filled. We were all excited about the upcoming summer; counting the days for a summer full of crowded festivals and terraces. Covid-19 ruined that for us all.
An enormous amount of people remain stuck at home. They are unable to blow steam off at work: they got stuck at home 24/7 with their loved ones. What happens if you lock people up at home? What happens if people get bored and frustrated? We start correcting each other and minding each other’s business.
Out of anxiety, neighbors are bothering each other. People calling the police if they see someone doing something, they think they should not do. Like calling the police because a neighbor has guests over or forgot to wear their gloves while throwing the garbage away.
Society is losing its mind. It is starting to get insane. Are all that those silly conflicts necessary or is this new life so boring we search to have something to do? Hopefully this is not the new society and things will be normal again as before this virus.
Luckily, I also see a lot of good things happening. Health workers finally get the appreciation they deserve. They are now even called lifesavers. They do their utmost best to save the lives of the infected, even if there is an enormous chance that they get infected themselves.
This is why it is extremely important that we keep supplying those people with the appropriate equipment and lifesaving gear like medical face masks. Suddenly they became popular with the mainstream audience to prevent spreading of the disease. In many of European countries, face masks are now mandatory. Will it help? Why not make sure that the people that really need them to get them first?
More and more countries obligate the use of face masks as a measure, those masks will run out of stock in no-time. The Dutch government claims that if we make them mandatory, healthcare workers someday have to work without them.
By looking in the mirror there is a chance to change the world in a positive way. Keep others at the same level as you are is important. So, let’s not grab all the food from our grocery stores so the elderly people do not have any chance of buying it anymore. Hard work has been done to keep the stock available. How about asking your elderly neighbor if you can go to the store for him instead? How about that solidarity?
If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and... exactly. Solidarity means thinking about others. Think about the elderly, the people in need, and our heroic healthcare workers: who work around the clock to save lives. I am sure they need those face masks more than we do!
Erwin Sanders is a positive young Dutch man. He is concerned with what is happening in the world, but he refuses to participate in the corona hysteria. He likes to stay optimistic instead.