Coronavirus has forced borders to close and countries into lockdown, as more than 73,000 people have now been killed by the disease. The pandemic has forced many people to stay indoors, with the isolation increasing the likes of anxiety and depression.
However, one philosopher has revealed there are simple tricks to make one look at the current situation in a different light, which could relieve mental health issues.
Italian philosopher Silvia Panizza, a teaching fellow at the University of Dublin who is currently caught in the lockdown in Italy, has outlined the positives which could come of this dyer situation.
One way to think is that humanity is coming together in a global battle against the disease.
Ms Panizza wrote in an article for The Conversation: “One way to think about the pandemic is in terms of humanity coming together to fight a natural threat in the form of a virus. I find this thought both inspiring and absurd.
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“The reminder that we are all similarly vulnerable, similarly worried, and that we need concerted action across the globe to address this disease, brings some hope.”
While the thought of social distancing is intimidating for many, Ms Panizza argues it is the first time humans are being conscious of one another.
Even if that being aware consists of making sure you stay two metres from someone on the street, we are still forced to pay attention to each other.
The philosopher continued: “Our immediate problem, in lockdown, is avoiding contagion from another human.
“We are back in the narrowest of circles: me vs you. In rare outings, each person on your way becomes a threat.
“If they are careless and walk too close to you, you feel anger. Others are not friends when you fear for your health.
“Yet, thinking about how we used to ignore each other in the streets, this is at least a new form of awareness. We are forced to pay attention to each other.”
Another positive is that when the lockdowns are finally over, the globe may be more united, with us all having shared an experience and all having something in common.
This could lead to a more holistic approach across the planet, which in turn will lead to greater peace.
Ms Panizza said: “I hope isolation and lockdown can also be an opportunity for reflection and change.
“These thoughts about who we are as individuals and as parts of a large, wonderful web of life are my two cents.
“On the packages from China to Italy containing protective masks, they wrote: ‘We are waves of the same sea, leaves of the same tree, flowers of the same garden.’
“These words were written by the Roman philosopher Seneca.
In another context, it would sound sentimental. Now we can take it at face value.
“If that is what we are – if we can think of ourselves that way — what follows from it? If the lockdown helps us to think about the answer, we may have gained something from it.”
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