(Stock image)

(Stock image)

COLUMN: The world is changing — in some ways for the better

At the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s likely some things will be different

The world is changing.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have closed their doors. Staff at grocery stores are wearing latex gloves and people passing each other on the streets are giving each other plenty of space.

It’s a far cry from a couple of weeks ago, when many of us viewed COVID-19 as a problem in other parts of the world, but not here.

Even a week ago, some of us thought this would be a minor disruption and after a couple of weeks of being housebound, life would go back to normal.

It’s different now.

The world is changing.

READ ALSO: Summerland continues to close its doors

READ ALSO: Summerland mayor provides daily messages during COVID-19 pandemic

None of us know how long the social distancing measures will remain in place.

None of us know when — not if — further restrictions will be added.

None of us know if life will ever return to the way it was before the pandemic hit.

This is not to say the social distancing and self-isolation will continue indefinitely, however at the same time, none of us know how long it will last.

At the end of this pandemic, it’s likely some things will be different.

The world is changing.

We have seen some of the worst behaviour as a result of this pandemic. And we have seen some of the best of humanity.

Some people have been hoarding meat, dry foods, cleaning supplies and toilet paper, resulting in temporary shortages at some stores.

Some have ignored the repeated pleas and directives to practice social distancing, and as a result, they have put many others at risk for the virus. For someone in poor health or with a compromised immune system, the virus could be deadly.

READ ALSO: Fine Canadians for ignoring COVID-19 orders or face consequences: doctor

READ ALSO: COVID-19 precautions ‘not optional,’ B.C.’s Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

What’s more, some have used this pandemic as an opportunity to develop new scams or to find ways to profit from a global crisis.

But at the same time, there are also many positive and inspiring changes happening as a result of this pandemic.

This time of social distancing and self-isolation is a rare opportunity to re-evaluate priorities and consider the things we value the most. It’s a time for reflection and contemplation.

This is a time when some will take comfort in faith during a tumultuous present and an uncertain future.

Later, when the present turmoil has subsided, the world will emerge changed.

After days, weeks or even months of social distancing, even the most introverted will have a new appreciation for a crowded room, a bustling street or a noisy festival.

After holding conversations at a distance, enjoying drinks or a dinner with friends will be an experience to be savoured and treasured.

After communicating by telephone, video chat or text messages, a face-to-face conversation will take on a new meaning.

After wondering if stores will have enough bread, meat, toilet paper or other supplies, and after seeing empty shelves at some stores, it will be difficult if not impossible to ever again take for granted a quick shopping trip.

After the time spent longing for human contact, it’s possible our conversations in the future will take on a better tone.

And after wondering if we would ever again see some family members or friends, each interaction will be something to treasure and cherish.

What happens next remains to be seen.

It’s up to us whether future generations will associate COVID-19 with hoarding and inconsiderate behaviour, or whether this pandemic will be seen as a time when we as a society learned to appreciate each other in a way we had not fully done before.

The world is changing. How it changes is in our hands.

John Arendt is the editor of the Summerland Review.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Canadian Mental Health Association Shuswap Revelstoke’s homeless outreach coordinator Carly Shipmaker and practicum student Sarena Bryden take a turn on Thursday, May 6 on the stationary bike. They were cycling under the blue sun canopy outside the CMHA thrift shop to promote Mental Health Week and to prepare for this year’s Ride Don’t Hide event in June. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Getting the wheels turning for Salmon Arm’s Ride Don’t Hide event

Canadian Mental Health Association awareness and fundraising campaign to run throughout June

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is an independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C.’s 1st vaccine-induced blood clot case detected in Interior Health

Interior Health also recorded 52 new cases of COVID-19

Interior Health provided updated data breaking down the vaccine administration totals in communities throughout the region on Monday, May 3, 2021. (File photo)
Nearly 40% of Shuswap adults vaccinated

More than 12,000 people in the Salmon Arm health area received their first COVID-19 vaccine

Ian Syme gets ready to swing the bat during skills training and picture day for Salmon Arm Minor Baseball 6U players at the Hillcrest Elementary field on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Young Salmon Arm ballplayers in training

Salmon Arm Minor Baseball Association seeking sponsorships for batting cage

The monthly totals from Jan.1, 2020 to April 30, 2021 show COVID-19 cases for most Local Health Areas in the North Okanagan-Shuswap, other than Vernon’s with the largest population, staying well below 400. (BC Centre for Disease Control image)
16 months in, COVID cases in North Okanagan-Shuswap areas stay under 1,000

Vernon, with the largest population, hovers under 900 cases since January 2020

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

The Primary Urgent Care Centre on Martin Street officially opened on March 31, 2021. (Brennan Phillips)
Okanagan-Similkameen Regional Hospital District reverses funding decision on care centre

Approval now granted to fund $1 million for Urgent and Primary Care Centre in Penticton

Motorists breaking travel rules can be fined $230 for failing to follow instructions or $575 if the reason for travel violates the essential travel health order, at this Highway 3 check area near Manning Park. Photo RCMP
RCMP begin checking drivers on BC highways

Four check points are set up Thursday May 6 around the province

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
New temporary outdoor shelter in Kelowna opens

The new area on Richter Street and Weddell Place replaces the Baillie Avenue site

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Most Read