And the world came together…

March 31, 2020
together but apart

This moment, where COVID-19 threatens our lives and our livelihoods, is filled with uncertainty, anticipation and fear. But it is also made up of something else. It is laced with connection, compassion, and altruism.

We are meeting this moment with an outpouring of care and concern for the greater good. We are reaching past ourselves and toward our collective wellbeing. What we share feels so much bigger than our differences right now.

Perhaps this feeling of kinship is something we have been yearning for for a while now but couldn’t quite name. With the pace and priorities of society, perhaps we haven’t let our longing for deep connection catch up to us, our deepest desire to belong to a big human story.

But we’ve felt it sometimes. In moments of tragedy we naturally reach for each other. We comfort each other. Through sharing the experience our individual burden and sorrow feels more tolerable. In triumph too we reach for each other. When our feelings of awe and joy are too big to contain, they bubble over to be shared and amplified with others.

We are reaching for each other now, in this long pause of uncertainty. As COVID-19 requires that we keep our distance, we are touching each other how we can and with the tools we have. The internet is feeling so generous these days. I’ve had offers of audio care packages, co-watching parties, video happy hours, webinar and learning opportunities, virtual dance parties, online group meditations, coworking accountability circles, and 1-minute eye gazing. And all for free. 

I’ve even paused my quarrel with social media. I had been dismayed by how social media has made us competitive and insecure but, in this moment, our social media use seems generous and gentler. I’ve seen the shifts from attention-seeking to connection-seeking. From social comparison to compassion. From popularity to solidarity. From stories of consumption to stories of sharing and cooperation. Social media is helping us mobilize to support those on the front-lines of fighting the pandemic, our small businesses, and the virus-stricken.

The long-term impacts of COVID-19 are impossible to predict but we will be changed. Our interconnectedness is now undeniable. I hope we are learning a new and better way of being, and that when the virus has run its course, we remember our interdependence and the power of our individual choices to protect and uplift others. I hope we will be wiser, nimbler and more resilient. I hope we remain quick to innovate and collaborate, and that we continue to use our tech platforms in a spirit of generosity. I hope we look out for each other in tragedy and triumph, and all of the regular moments in between. 

— Amy Giddon

Quote from Jennifer Wagner