Lately I’ve been sitting with the thought that every person I have ever met, every stranger I have ever walked by, my childhood neighbors, my favorite living authors, the sandwich maker in Sicily, every one of you reading this email — every human on this planet has been affected or will be affected in some way by the coronavirus.
Never in my lifetime have I experienced something that has so quickly been experienced by everyone I know and don’t know at the same time.
The thought is profound. And in this instance deeply sad, with so many people’s lives upended, uncertain, and touched by fear and tragedy.
But this thought has also opened something inside of me.
It has reminded me of how deeply connected we all are, and how much our existence depends on one another.
One state or country cannot expect to stay safe while those outside their borders are still at risk. And in many cases, the food and essentials we depend on come from outside our communities, making us reliant on global supply chains for many of our needs.
On a local level, we see how much our health, safety and comfort depends on one another. We are indebted to the healthcare workers on the front-lines keeping people alive, and to the people at the local grocery store keeping necessities accessible.
We have created a world where everything from our economy to our health is deeply interconnected. It is impossible for one person, one family, or even one country to get through this alone. We can only get through this together.
It is strange and ironic that in a time marked by social-distancing, our interconnectedness has become even more clear.
I don’t know how these months will change us in the years to come. But I hope we can hold onto this understanding of our deep connection to one another and to the planet.
Normally it’s easy to only see our differences — different countries, different religions, different languages, different politics, different preferences. The coronavirus is blind to these differences.
The past few weeks have made it clearer than ever, we’re in this together, and we always have been.
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