(Stock image)

COLUMN: The world is changing — in some ways for the better

At the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s likely some things will be different

The world is changing.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have closed their doors. Staff at grocery stores are wearing latex gloves and people passing each other on the streets are giving each other plenty of space.

It’s a far cry from a couple of weeks ago, when many of us viewed COVID-19 as a problem in other parts of the world, but not here.

Even a week ago, some of us thought this would be a minor disruption and after a couple of weeks of being housebound, life would go back to normal.

It’s different now.

The world is changing.

READ ALSO: Summerland continues to close its doors

READ ALSO: Summerland mayor provides daily messages during COVID-19 pandemic

None of us know how long the social distancing measures will remain in place.

None of us know when — not if — further restrictions will be added.

None of us know if life will ever return to the way it was before the pandemic hit.

This is not to say the social distancing and self-isolation will continue indefinitely, however at the same time, none of us know how long it will last.

At the end of this pandemic, it’s likely some things will be different.

The world is changing.

We have seen some of the worst behaviour as a result of this pandemic. And we have seen some of the best of humanity.

Some people have been hoarding meat, dry foods, cleaning supplies and toilet paper, resulting in temporary shortages at some stores.

Some have ignored the repeated pleas and directives to practice social distancing, and as a result, they have put many others at risk for the virus. For someone in poor health or with a compromised immune system, the virus could be deadly.

READ ALSO: Fine Canadians for ignoring COVID-19 orders or face consequences: doctor

READ ALSO: COVID-19 precautions ‘not optional,’ B.C.’s Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

What’s more, some have used this pandemic as an opportunity to develop new scams or to find ways to profit from a global crisis.

But at the same time, there are also many positive and inspiring changes happening as a result of this pandemic.

This time of social distancing and self-isolation is a rare opportunity to re-evaluate priorities and consider the things we value the most. It’s a time for reflection and contemplation.

This is a time when some will take comfort in faith during a tumultuous present and an uncertain future.

Later, when the present turmoil has subsided, the world will emerge changed.

After days, weeks or even months of social distancing, even the most introverted will have a new appreciation for a crowded room, a bustling street or a noisy festival.

After holding conversations at a distance, enjoying drinks or a dinner with friends will be an experience to be savoured and treasured.

After communicating by telephone, video chat or text messages, a face-to-face conversation will take on a new meaning.

After wondering if stores will have enough bread, meat, toilet paper or other supplies, and after seeing empty shelves at some stores, it will be difficult if not impossible to ever again take for granted a quick shopping trip.

After the time spent longing for human contact, it’s possible our conversations in the future will take on a better tone.

And after wondering if we would ever again see some family members or friends, each interaction will be something to treasure and cherish.

What happens next remains to be seen.

It’s up to us whether future generations will associate COVID-19 with hoarding and inconsiderate behaviour, or whether this pandemic will be seen as a time when we as a society learned to appreciate each other in a way we had not fully done before.

The world is changing. How it changes is in our hands.

John Arendt is the editor of the Summerland Review.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kelowna pauses Re-leaf Program after COVID-19 confirmed at local nursery

Tree deliveries are paused until further notice after outbreak confirmed March 31

UPDATE: 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

COVID-19: Non-profit 3D printing face shields for local hospital

‘The response has been completely overwhelming’

Outbreak of COVID-19 at West Kelowna agricultural business; 14 cases confirmed

75 workers are in isolation — 63 migrant workers and 12 local workers

Memorial Cup concert with Brett Kissel canceled amid COVID-19 concerns

Brett Kissel was scheduled to perform at Live on Lake in Kelowna on May 30

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

Community drums up support for North Okanagan hospital workers

Even health care workers and fellow first responders turned out to show love

South Okanagan first responders salute hospital workers

“You’re awesome” and “Thank you” say Penticton first responders, passing by emergency entrance

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

‘April Fools’ social media prank leads to criminal investigation in Osoyoos

Post claims individuals will be canvassing door to door seeking housing for seasonal workers

Stay inside vehicles on Interior ferry crossings to prevent spread of COVID-19: B.C. government

Glade, Kootenay and Arrow Lakes some of the ferry crossings in Interior

Grocery pickups and other supports available for Shuswap seniors living at home

BC 211 is another way to connect with Shuswap Better at Home program

Most Read