First and foremost, I’ll state the obvious — the coronavirus is horrible. The number of lives lost and/or negatively impacted by this global pandemic has been unfathomable, but the goal of this article isn’t to state the obvious.
Since I’ve been quarantined in my apartment on the outskirts of Madrid for the last few weeks, I’ve had plenty of time to think and reflect. We all have.
Some of the most random thoughts have been running around in my head.
I’m a firm believer that bad things can happen for you as well as to you. It’s all a matter of perspective. Yes, tragedy in itself is inherently negative, but there’s a lesson and an opportunity in everything if you look hard enough.
A popular notion floating around the internet these days is that we humans are the actual virus. Wildlife is proliferating on a scale hitherto unseen in our lifetime, waterways have cleared up, and air pollution has decreased at a rate beyond anything we could’ve ever hoped for.
In a roundabout way, Greta Thunberg won. We now have undeniable evidence that the environmental damage to our planet can be reversed, and that’s something that can no longer be ignored. Ironically, because of our inaction, we’ve managed to temporarily turn back the doomsday clock.
But what if all of this environmental progress doesn’t have to be temporary?
Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures
“Necessity is the mother of all invention”
– Albert Einstein
It’s a sentiment that rings truer than ever these days. The creatives, techies, and innovators of our society are rising to the top right now. While D Nice had the internet dancing with his Instagram live parties, techies like me were rapidly converting academies and other capable businesses to an online model. Personally, I’ve been working around the clock over the last couple of weeks to get things up and running for my language academy, but that’s beside the point.
Unbeknownst to us, mother nature has provided us with a blueprint in which everyone who survives this pandemic can win. But this will only work if we’re openminded enough to think outside of the box.
I believe that we should quarantine from now on. And before you say that I’ve lost my mind, hear me out.
Look at the Bright Side
We would have to be fools to completely ignore the positive impact that this quarantine has had on the planet. So why not find a suitable and comfortable way to implement something similar going forward?
Governments and businesses could plan for it, and eventually, all of the kinks would be ironed out. What I’m proposing is that we take 2-4 weeks per year and quarantine. It could be something easy like two weeks in the middle of the year and/or two weeks in the end.
To stem boredom, companies could develop quarantine vacations and experiences. Businesses could plan for it and work it into employee contracts. Governments could incentivize their citizens to participate with a financial stipend similar to what the United States government is doing to bail out its citizens right now.
We could eliminate or minimize factory emissions and the use of vehicles, planes, and other major contributors to our pollution problem over a two-week span. Each country could decide the time of year in which they’d like to quarantine, and its citizens could have the option of participating in the first session or the second session.
It would instantly create a new sector of the tourism industry and help lift the global economy. We could create a billion-dollar industry while simultaneously saving the planet.
We Can All Win
I like to look at both sides of an argument, and this is no different.
The potential environmental and financial boon of a planned quarantine would be unprecedented, but we still need to look at it from a human rights perspective.
In times of chaos, it’s common for people to willfully surrender their rights in exchange for the illusion of safety or progress. It’s been happening in America ever since 9/11. With each passing crisis, we’ve handed away more and more of our precious constitutional freedoms, and that’s something that requires our attention as a people going forward.
I completely understand that the current quarantine is being forcefully imposed upon us because people are dying. I get that there are simpletons out there who value money and fun over the lives of their fellow citizens, so they’re going out and potentially catching and spreading the virus anyway. I’m talking about in the future.
That’s why I believe that we should quarantine in the future, but it shouldn’t be this martial law-esque version that we’re currently seeing enacted across the globe. People should be free to participate of their own volition, and I trust that they would.
I believe that if you make it enticing enough, even the money-grubbing dregs of society wouldn’t be able to fabricate a good enough reason to oppose the idea.
Literally, everyone could win.
Our kids would have a future, the planet would get 2-4 weeks to cleanse itself every year, economies would get a boost, and we could finally start making headway with our pollution problem.
I’m sure that it wouldn’t be as easy as I’ve made it out to be, but it at least warrants attention. With all of the money that those high-priced economists, lawyers, and politicians are making, figuring this out should be a piece of cake.
I understand that the coronavirus is no laughing matter, and it seems like the world has finally started to take it seriously. We should focus on our present-day survival, but we should also keep an eye on the future.
We’re currently learning a valuable lesson as a species. We are being afforded an opportunity that we never thought we’d get. If we don’t pay attention, all of this suffering will have been for nothing.
You know, those who don’t learn from the past…
A Jaded ‘80s Baby