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What Corona Teaches us about Human Nature

If you want to see a picture perfect definition of bumper to bumper traffic, look no further than a weekday drive to downtown Montreal.

Montreal is a metropolis that is constantly bustling and productive, which is why on Wednesday, the total lack of cars came to me as a shock. People are in a state of anxiety and panic and there is travesty across the globe. We have prioritized our safety over our jobs. Universities are closed, and all academic duties seem to be excused and postponed. We look around and see people rushing in line at Costco an hour before it opens, just to get their hands on toilet paper – most of these individuals wearing a medical mask.

It’s easy to look at this mass panic and believe everyone only has their own backs. But this much is human nature, and is already known. What isn’t known or obvious, is the unification and interest in the human species we all seem to have.

In a flash, virtually every country has barred its borders and limited international affairs. There has been no backlash or offense taken between the countries, as all the leaders have understood the fear of the masses. Every country has taken up a variety of medical precautions, and its citizens are locked in a state of global awareness. When another country faces blows from Corona, everyone watches and learns, and then takes preventative measures at home. As groups, we are ensuring our own protection, and all groups are doing the same for themselves. No groups are feeling embittered, as it is understood that this is an intuitive strategy to prevent the virus. Some may see this as wholly selfish, but really it is indicative of an impressive collective understanding.

In the state of pandemic, it is true that humans are wired to look out for themselves first. Though perhaps flawed, this instinct has likely helped humanity withstand the test of time. However, it is endearing to know that in the face of universal challenges, we do not look at the US vs Corona, or China vs Corona, or Iran vs Corona, or Swahili vs Corona, instead, we look at the Human Race vs Corona – and everyone is on the same team.

At least, this is my impression. What are your thoughts? Is this post overly optimistic? Are people totally just out to protect themselves in spite of the well being of the larger community?

Thank you for reading, please consider making the most of your quarantine!