The Tunnel




My son—and I presume your children as well—is an expert on computers. 


Doesn’t matter if it’s a desktop computer or a laptop or an iPad or a smartphone. If it’s not working right, if it’s locking up, if it’s giving error messages, my son knows how to fix it.


“Just reboot that bitch,” he will say and unplug the device.


“Give it a few minutes,” he will then say knowingly.


And 9 times out of 10, when you plug the device back in, the problem is gone.

That’s what we are doing now. All around the world. As the coronavirus rages.


We have unplugged our lives for a while. 


We are rebooting.


We are waiting.


Because we will come out of this. We always do. Nothing can stop us. 


Not two World Wars. Not terrorist attacks. Not tsunamis or earthquakes or hurricanes. Not Y2K. Not smallpox or cholera or malaria or polio or scarlet fever or HIV/AIDS. Not viruses or flus, from swine to bird to SARS to Ebola. Not civil wars. Not economic depressions. 


We do need, though, to learn from history so that we don’t repeat it. In an interview from five years ago Bill Gates said that for a mere one billion dollars a year (which all countries on the planet could chip in on) we could put into place a monitoring system that could locate and stamp out all epidemics before they became pandemics. So, perhaps we should look into that now, because there is certainly going to be a next time.


For now, it’s good to remember there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Sure, the journey through the tunnel may suck, and every day the world is feeling the suffering and loss of life of those being attacked by this latest global malady. But we will eventually get through the tunnel and we will look back on how we spent our time in there.


Did we stop worrying about politics and the elections? Did we stop worrying about petty First World problems that don’t really matter? Did we talk with—and really listen to—our loved ones? Did we finally realize that there aren’t races or religions or colors or countries, but just people, like us? Did we reassess our lives and come up with a new list of priorities? Did we look out the window at the beauty and wonder of nature? Did we finally give ourselves some me-time? 


In other words, to quote my son, did we take this opportunity to reboot this bitch called life? 


If the answer is yes, then there is at least one positive that will come out of this horrendous situation we are in now. And that's a good thing.


See you on the other side of the tunnel.

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