Oliver Callan: Coronavirus shows that all along we worried about the wrong things

Our hope and salvation lie in dreams of new world that will emerge after Covid-19

The hammering of economies will reduce  emissions in a way not done by those who had the  power to do it before. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

The hammering of economies will reduce emissions in a way not done by those who had the power to do it before. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

This is no time to live in the moment. If we think about the now, our minds might become overwhelmed with the information and the realisation of two awful certainties. That many people will die due to coronavirus and that there will be a severe recession for those who live. The only uncertainties being the eventual death toll and the extent and duration of the economic fallout. So the “now” is out of the question. Our only salvation may be to dream of the new world that will emerge at the far end of this.

Every first will have a profound meaning, like a loved one’s hand wiping away your tears

We hear the World Health Organisation (WHO) epidemiologists; approximately 96-97 per cent of the infected will survive. When the world awakens to whatever passes for normal we will do so in grief, relief, a fair amount of survivor guilt and hope. There is beauty in even the most simple of experiences after this. It will feel like the first time we’ve ever done so many ordinary things we once took for granted . . . hugging someone, kissing them, shaking hands, grabbing a door handle without thinking, slinking into a swimming pool, shouldering into a rival on a football field, cheering scores next to someone in a crowd. Taking a bus, eating a meal in a restaurant, sipping a cup of coffee, grabbing a pint by its sleek neck, a sharing hand sliming into a vinegary bag of chips. An ice-cream cone handed from one human hand to the next and savoured without fear. A dance in a crowded bar. Every first will have a profound meaning, like a loved one’s hand wiping away your tears.

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