Sorry, I meant to say COVID-19. For some reason, now when I think about COVID-19, rolls of toilet paper image just pop up in my mind.
SARS (SARS-CoV) started in November 2002, when first infected humans were identified in Guangdong province of China. I was in Guangdong province of China at the time. In my memory, there was no panic, no stock market crashes, certainly no toilet paper hoarding wars in supermarkets. It just somehow came and gone within a short period of time, I mean that’s how I remembered. Now when I check on WHO website, SARS epidemic actually ended around July 2003. That was eight long months that I skipped. On the contrary, every day feels like a year for me now.
Two months ago, the world is a very different place for a lot of us. I was complaining about very different problems. It’s kind of ironic if we think about it. How “advance” and pretentious us humans are! Yet a tiny virus can suddenly force 1/5th of the world population to isolate at home; stock markets crashed like there will be no tomorrow. When faced with this unknown threat, we are so vulnerable. Thus we started to panic and some of us were trying to hold onto anything we know, like toilet paper.
I suddenly realized that there were so many things that I used to take for granted. Just a month ago, I could shop in Costco without worrying about anyone being too close to me; we could go to our favorite restaurant with a group of friends; I can enjoy laughing at my coworker’s lame jokes; my son could sweat out at hockey games and have sleepovers on the weekend. This pandemic is spiritually grounding to me. I had to meditate a lot throughout the day to ease my overbearing anxiety and fear. One thing for certain, among all the uncertainties, is that this too shall pass. We humans are a resilient bunch. We went through so many disasters to get where we are now today and we will get through this one too. It just that we need to remember what’s most important to us. The nature, including all animals on Earth, are not there for us to butcher as we wish; we are human but we are only human; freedom shouldn’t be taken for granted; money is really nothing when your lungs can’t work; love is always better than hate.
I had so much already; I still have a lot right now: health, family, love, fresh air, and even toilet paper. What about you? Hang in there my friend. This too shall pass. We just need to stay home for a bit longer.