Life with COVID: we all want answers. I’ve been working on finding the right questions.
Everyone talks about what they’re learning from life under COVID. We all swear we will never forget these lessons. But like an urgent dream that we vow to remember, and forget the second we wake, we will surely forget our COVID lessons the moment we can. So:
What are we learning now that we will forget when this is over?
What is it about our post-COVID lives that will seduce us, hypnotize us, and make us forget this?
In our pre-Virus lives, most of us experienced various forms of unnecessary emotional powerlessness —peer pressure, the need to prove ourselves lovable or adequate, others’ demands that we felt obliged to meet, a belief that competition of many kinds is inevitable.
What are we learning now about actual powerlessness, and actual choices? And what will make us forget this post-Virus?
What am I learning about myself that I don’t like? What am I learning about my pre-Virus parenting by watching how my children react to the demands of their current lives? Will I wrestle with this troubling knowledge post-Virus, or just forget it?
We are now so hungry for personal contact. How did we so casually devalue it pre-Virus? How did our precious goals and treasured institutions push us to devalue it? How can we possibly resist this pressure in constructing our post-Virus lives–or will we just devalue personal contact again when we think we must?
What do I want everyone else to learn from this experience? Why am I not fully committed to learning this myself?
How will I feel if, after the deprivation, the anxiety, the struggle to stay hopeful, the sacrifices, and the glimpses of self that dismay me…how will I feel post-Virus if I learn nothing from this?