EDITION: June - August 2022

Looking at Life After Covid

By Jerry Brownstein
There can be no question that since March of 2020 we have been going through a major crisis. The worldwide efforts to slow the spread of Covid-19 have had devastating effects on our health, livelihood, lifestyle, and perhaps most of all, our freedoms. Albert Einstein once said: “In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.” He believed that when our way of life is drastically disrupted, it opens the possibility to do things that were previously thought to be impossible. But that is a double-edged sword, because such an opportunity can be used either positively or negatively. Which way will we turn? No one has a crystal ball, but here are some possible scenarios of what life could look like in the wake of Covid.

One possibility can be called “Almost Old Normal”. This would basically be a return to the way life was before March 2020, but with two changes that would continue to impact our lives. The first is that the problem of income inequality has gotten worse during Covid. Regular working people and small businesses have suffered, while big corporations and the richest individuals have added trillions to their wealth. Another difference from ‘old normal’ is that the Covid restrictions created what Edward Snowden calls “The Architecture of Oppression”. What he means is that getting us accustomed to a system of restrictions on our lives, has set the stage for more intrusive measures that can erode our freedoms. 

This could lead to a post-Covid world similar to what is proposed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) - an organization of the world’s wealthiest individuals and corporations that meets in Davos, Switzerland every year. Klaus Schwab is the founder of the WEF and he has said, “The pandemic represents an opportunity to reflect, re-imagine and reset our world.” This sounds noble on its face, but it sings a very different tune when the details of the plan are revealed. They call it “The Great Reset”, and it envisions a world where the so-called “elite” will use technology to control every aspect of our lives through pervasive surveillance, faceless artificial intelligence, digital currencies, etc.. Our basic rights would be suppressed in ways that were unthinkable before Covid, and new restrictions would be constantly added... all for “the good of society”. 

But that kind of Orwellian future does not have to be our fate. Instead of allowing a “Great Reset”, we can use this crisis to advance the evolution of our society through a “Great Awakening”. For the past 100 years we have relied on science and technology to solve all of our problems. Unfortunately, this has given us a materialistic society with massive economic inequality that abuses the environment and consumes too many resources. On top of that, the Covid restrictions have shown us that our rights and freedoms are mere privileges that can be taken away from us in a heartbeat. It is time for us to wake up and use this crisis as the opportunity to make the changes that will set us on the path to a brighter future... a future grounded in justice and freedom. So where do we begin?

It took humanity thousands of years to evolve the civilizations that have given us our basic freedoms, but now we are in danger of losing them. Before Covid it was unthinkable that we could be forced to stay in our homes, carry special papers, etc., etc.. Yet during the past two years restrictions like these have become commonplace. If we are to move forward to a better world then it is imperative that we are more vigilant in protecting our precious freedoms, because once they are relinquished it is extremely difficult to get them back. 

Our experience with Covid has also shown us that we need to truly ‘follow the science’ in any future health emergency. Our focus must be on protecting those who are at high risk of severe disease and death – people with weak immune systems due to age and/or existing infirmities. Healthy people who are at minimal risk should be allowed to lead their normal lives. In addition, we must stop entrusting decisions about our health to companies that profit from our sickness. Despite rhetoric that “we are all in this together”, the pharmaceutical industry has made excessive profits from the Covid vaccines. A just society would not allow that kind of greed to take precedence over the common good.

The vast majority of people want to live in a world that is free and fair, yet we have passively allowed our civilization to drift away from that ideal. The lessons learned during Covid can help us to see more clearly the changes that we need to make. The time has come for us to let go of the current worldview based on fear, greed and limitation, and replace it with a new way of being that is grounded in love, abundance and freedom. But we can only make that happen if we put aside our differences and stand together. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “We are tied together in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one, affects all.” This crisis has given us the opportunity to come together and create the more beautiful world that our hearts know is possible. Are we up to the task?