This article appeared in the April 06, 2020 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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The choices that will shape a post-coronavirus world

Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff/File
A zebra peers out of the bush in Lion Sands Game Reserve in South Africa. Could the pandemic lead to a rethink in how humans interact with other species?
Clayton Collins
Director, editorial innovation

Medical science stays focused on the curve-flattening it maintains is needed to keep the coronavirus from running rampant before it can be crushed. 

Where might we focus next, while we act prudently in our present? By many accounts, on the choices that will shape the world when we’ve all come through this, however long that takes

In facing those choices, writes Yuval Noah Hariri in the Financial Times, “we should ask ourselves not only how to overcome the immediate threat, but also what kind of world we will inhabit once the storm passes.” Might we work our way to a better normal?

Some smart, hopeful takes: More stillness could nudge us to less frenzied lives, perhaps even in places where extreme overwork has been ritualized. To accept that “calamity is a great teacher” and to adopt behaviors that soften generational lines, and borders. 

Global imperatives may more likely be seen as demanding global collaboration. We might be better able to listen to the Earth and its other inhabitants. 

“We perfected systems for making an ‘us’ and an ‘other,’ writes Krista Tippett in Orion, and “we made of the natural world an ‘other.’ Now ... we are grasping new forms of agency. ... [F]or all our awakening to the power of digital technologies to divide and isolate us,” she writes, “this too is true: our technologies have given us the tools ... to begin to think and act as a species.

“We are strange creatures, hope reminds me: again and again we are made by what would break us.”

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This article appeared in the April 06, 2020 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 04/06 edition
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