I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
– Edward E Hale
American author and historian
1822 – 1909
So often we feel as if there is nothing we can do to make a difference in the world. We read about what is happening all around us but fail to understand how we fit into the ‘big picture’ and how we can have a positive impact on our environment.
This sense of futility and disempowerment has permeated much of the world, leading to a self-centred individualism and a ‘bugger my neighbour’ attitude in many cultures and countries.
But fate, in the form of COVID-19, is giving us a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to make a positive difference in literally hundreds of people’s lives in a strangely counter-intuitive way: by staying away from them.
Science tells us that, on average, a coronavirus-positive individual infects a minimum of two other people. Because it takes about five days before the symptoms show, someone with the virus can transmit it to someone else before they even suspect they may have it and get tested.
A simple calculation will, therefore, tell you that within about two weeks, one person will end up infecting at least 14 other people and within a month, this figure will increase to over a hundred.
Despite these daunting projections and just when it feels as if the world is crashing down around us while we stand helplessly by, there is a possibility that never before in our history have we had the power to do so much.
There is no way to sugar-coat it. The next weeks and perhaps months are going to be tough, demanding that we step up to the plate and pull up our socks. We have no other choice. Surrendering is simply not an option.
So, this is our chance to #flattenthecurve and show that we are the masters of our own destiny. Let us use the power of one in its most constructive way as we join together in an act of social solidarity … by keeping our distance.