Like many of you, I am isolating and hearing stories from the front lines. For my own solace, I pen this not as an empirically trained and disciplined scientist but rather as a philosopher and idealist. Science at times takes a narrow view of the truth. When surreal occurrence cannot be rationally deduced, it helps to peek at the universe through a defocused lens. Some trust only science to explain the unknown. But even Einstein was aware: science is blinding without faith. Where the scientific road ends, I pick up the philosophical path to guide me toward understanding. When traveling via multiple avenues and viewing the horizon’s haze from various viewpoints, we gain a more complete understanding of the truth.
My logical deduction is that both Mother Nature and/or the gods are now acting with a plan. They have flung the wrathful COVID-19 upon us as a corrective force—a “Covid Corrector”—to guide us away from a catastrophic edge toward a benefitting middle way.
In the US in particular, we’ve had nearly three generations that have never felt the acute stress of a worldwide conflict. No major wars, economic depressions, or pandemics. The last 75 years has seen unprecedented wealth, reduction in poverty, and greater luxuries available to more people than ever before in the history of human existence. Other than the 2008 economic downturn, which by now seems like a blip on a screen, we have had a population with a lifestyle focused on themselves and their own pleasure, more so than the collective. Why sacrifice for the aggregate? This is by no means the fault of any one person or any generation; rather it is a natural swing by the Baby Boomers and the GenXers away from the austerity of their parents and grandparents. The Sock Hoppers of the 50s, the Hippies of the 60s, the Revolutionaries of the 70s, and the Yuppies of the 80s built the boats that ferried us into the third millennium where a more luxurious existence, albeit a bit inward-facing, could be found. But now are we in need of a correction—a Covid Correction—back toward the moderation that Confucious extolled, Hegel described, and Buddha advocated; A path that sets each up to better know their position in space as it relates to themselves and others, ultimately leading to prosperity for all of humanity.
For your consideration, the Covid Commandments:
- Respect Thy Elders and Thy Children: In a Covid Correction, screentime remains, but closer proximity to parents has also emerged. When high schoolers are not sleeping, eating, and are excessively stressing over AP classes, grades, and standardized tests, or when a majority of teenagers are on antianxiety medications, does a Covid Correction offer a supernatural reprieve?
- Respect Time: When a Generation X that has explosively expanded to a 24/7 professional world that doesn’t prioritize friends, family, or kids is now forced to set up virtually from home, could a Covid Corrector be in force?
- Respect Others: The Millennial generation, at times unfairly targeted and too often branded as the flag bearer for selfishness, is now coming into its own and likely will evolve greatly from the Covid Corrector. A Covid corrector is the rallying call for a generation hungering for a cause and primed to make a dent in the universe.
- Respect thy Sabbath: When Sunday evenings have been sacrificed to the manifest destiny of the institutions, could there be a Covid Correction bringing families back together?
- Respect thy Nature: Those who feel that global warming and climate change has been the world’s greatest existential concern have to wonder if the blue skies over polluted China and dolphins swimming in the clean canals of Venice are not a byproduct of the Covid Corrector? Perhaps a not so subtle message to reduce littering and taking for granted the gift of nature.
- Reduce Political Divisions: When a nation that has been more deeply divided politically than since the Civil War is now working in unison to serve its constituents, could a Covid Corrector be at play?
- Forge Harmony: When the largest and strongest military force in the world has redirected its military hospital ships back home for the greater good of the country, could a Covid Corrector be at work? The entire globe is now under assault from a common enemy. All nations share a mutually aligned interest to defeat Covid.
- Encourage Commerce : When a hard-working capitalistic US society is now forced to immediately diminish liabilities and excessive regulation and open up spigots, releasing trillions of dollars to all facets of society, could it be a Covid Corrector at play?
- Honor thy Holy Servants: When athletes and entertainers who were disproportionately idolized are now taking a back seat to health care workers, civil servants, police, and firefighters, could a Covid Corrector be at work?
- Honor thy Family and Neighbor: When puzzles, family time, and caring for one another are reestablishing their rightful roles in societal hierarchies, could a Covid Corrector be at work?
For more from Dr. Dayan, including additional insight on these “Covid Correctors,” read this article in expanded form at ModernAesthetics.com.
—STEVE DAYAN, MD
Co-Chief Medical Editor