OpinionOthers

Pandemic Diaries: Resilience and hope for tomorrow

By Jamie Etheridge

Yesterday I read an interesting article in Vox.com on flower resilience by author Brian Resnick. The article discusses research recently published in the scientific journal, New Phytologist on the ways flowers recover from injuries. Ecologists Scott Armbruster and Nathan Muchhala spent years collecting data from all over the world that examines how some flowers will reorient their petals after an injury to ensure they may be pollinated by bees.

I won’t go into the full study (read it here: https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2020/4/14/21208857/pandemic-plants-evolution-beauty) but it highlights the resilience of nature, the beautiful and wonderful ways in which flowers and plants come back from unexpected or unplanned injuries to thrive.

The moral is apt for today and Vox writer Resnick draws the parallels to the current pandemic and the need for resiliency in troubled times such as these. We are all facing an unprecedented global pandemic that could have lasting and lengthy implications for our financial future, our health and our societies as a whole. Drawing on our innate resiliency to get us through the present and coming challenges will be key to our survival and to a thriving future.

I would like to add, also, that along with resiliency, we also need a hope and a belief that our collective future can be better. If nothing else, this pandemic has illustrated in stark relief the foundational injustice and inequity of our economic, health and education systems. These systems have grown too predatory, too exploitative for the vast majority and as a result, despair and disengagement with these systems has also grown exponentially.

Bernard Beckett writes in his novel, Genesis that “human spirit is the ability to face the uncertainty of the future with curiosity and optimism. It is the belief that problems can be solved, differences resolved. It is a type of confidence. And it is fragile.”

To overcome this fragility, to build a future that is sustainable and can weather any storm, systems must provide hope for all. The pandemic will create an opportunity to rebuild communities and systems that are more inclusive, more fair and equitable for all.

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