Earlier this week I listened to a webinar by the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine on the impact of the coronavirus and how to protect ourselves. Dr. Randy Horwitz, the Center’s medical director and expert on immunology and molecular biology explained how the coronavirus (protein molecule) attaches to cells in the respiratory system, invades host cells and “instructs” them to replicate.
What struck me the most about his presentation was when he explained between 700 and 1,000 coronavirus molecules could fit on the diameter of one hair. This infinitesimal molecule is bringing our lives to a screeching halt and shutting down our planet; we are living in one big global pause.
I have been thinking about what this great pause might lead to. Will we relate to each other differently? Will we have a new appreciation for things we might have taken for granted? We will come to appreciate a new pace where we see each other and connect in more meaningful ways? How will we re-define work? Will we come to appreciate what is really important in our lives? Will we see the bright blue sky and hear the birds singing?
What if we re-imagined ourselves as positive viruses where kindness is contagious. Neuroscience tells us that when we do an act of kindness or see an act of kindness serotonin which regulates anxiety and happiness is released in our brains. This enables us to connect with others instead of being fearful, shutting down and separating from each other.
What if we imagined ourselves as positive viruses (molecules) in interconnected systems? Perhaps the virus is showing us how even the smallest molecule can have a disproportionate impact on systems just as we can. We can shift the paradigm and see ourselves as powerful, resilient and resourceful in new and positive ways.
With each interaction we impact our relationships, families, communities and country. We are part of interconnected systems and quite literally we hold each other’s destiny in our hands. We are being given an opportunity to re-create the world we want. We can “go viral” as a positive contagion.