If you had the option, would you choose to undo COVID-19? Would you choose to stop COVID in its tracks after that fateful day in November 2019 when the first case popped up in China’s Hubei Province? Erase the past year with its 1.3+ million deaths, 67 million cases worldwide, and countless others affected by the virus?
This past year has been one of loss and collective sorrow, but also of tremendous personal growth. The collective trauma of COVID-19, like other mass tragedies, has begotten incredible change in many aspects of society from the Black Lives Matter movement to increased awareness around climate justice to individual character growth. Historians ask that we don’t ask what would happen if a certain event didn’t occur but it’s simply impossible not to ponder what our world would look like without COVID-19. The pandemic seems to have been the driving force behind the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, as well as the incredible technological advancements that we have been forced to create and utilize in this era of social distancing. Pfizer-BioNTech produced a vaccine for COVID-19 in record time and dozens of new software programs have been developed for remote working.
With all of the social and technological advancements over the past year it seems impossible to fathom a world without COVID-19; we owe our growth to this pandemic. Despite all of the evidence in favor of keeping COVID-19, and letting the sequence of events proceed as normal, I cannot seem to value personal and societal growth over 1.3 million (and counting) deaths. If given the option, I feel obligated to get rid of COVID-19 and would have faith that all of the change, for the good or bad, would happen organically.