Chances are, if you are a human on the planet Earth, youve recently spent the last four to six weeks (or more) in some type of quarantine self-imposed, government-mandated or a combination of both. Unless, of course, youre a health care worker, essential employee or have other extenuating circumstances that meant you couldnt safely lock yourself away at home while figuring out what household textile to use as makeshift toilet paper or whether to binge Tiger King or Love Is Blind first.
So why has the entire world come to a collective halt? Because we have no immunity to the novel coronavirus COVID-19, a highly contagious and what seems to be highly deadly (to certain people) respiratory illness that has overwhelmed hospitals across the world, infecting more than 3.5 million people and killing more than 248,000 globally from January to May, according to Johns Hopkins University. Theres no real treatment (no, you cannot inject yourself with disinfectant or beams of light) and no vaccine, although scientists, medical professionals, researchers and Bill Gates are scrambling to find both.
In the meantime, social distancing has been a stop-gap measure to help contain the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve, everyones favorite phrase for using isolation to decrease the amount of humans infected with the virus to avoid inundating the health care system and killing everyone.
So, yes, we did acquire a new viral vocabulary during quarantine, but what else have we learned in the midst of this global pause? And what meaningful lessons about empathy, resilience and our shared humanity will we take with us as we move forward masked and hand-sanitized into the future? Other than to be a better person and never take restaurants for granted again...