Guest opinion: Will we emerge from the pandemic better than before?

As a people, we have faced world wars, the Great Depression, social upheaval, and an array of national and community problems, which all have generally been understood as opposing forces to combat. These threats have not been invisible nor faceless. Similarly, the current pandemic is a silent and deadly killer that moves freely between conversations and human socialization.

Humans don’t change easily. We enjoy familiar people and familiar surroundings, and we are accustomed to the modern-day trappings of life. We possess the freedoms of our society and the gift of choosing our life path.

Our reality was changed in a handful of days! A commanding force came calling and changed us forever. We realized our bodies are fragile, and we live in a worldwide community. Our standard way of life moved 180 degrees. Things we thought would never happen did. Work, school, and social behaviors changed. The common thread of isolation and quarantine are standard forms of behavior now. We have a new normal.

With that said, a new normal is not always bad, just different. In a few weeks, a vaccine will begin to be distributed. Nations and scientists are operating together for the common good. Working together for the common good should be the standard and default all the time. Has a global crisis opened our eyes and hearts to a better way of communicating and cooperating?

It is our choice. Will we still look out for our neighbors?  Will we share our food and time? Be socially considerate of others? We should learn from this experience, especially as the unwanted visitor or force will come again — it may have a different name and pose different challenges. Let’s be ready with knowledge, compassion, and lessons learned.

Senator Mayne, a Democrat, represents District 5 in the Utah Senate covering parts of West Valley, Kearns and Taylorsville.