Call me naive. I thought we existed in a big world.
I viewed Earth, our home, as huge, and the people on the other side of the world seemed very very far away.
Literally, Earth is over 24,000 miles around the equator. There are 196.9 million square miles in our world. Over 7.5 billion people live here.
It would take me 16 hours and 40 minutes on an airplane going 575 miles per hour without stopping to get to China.
In my mind, it's been as if my world in central Florida is spinning completely separately and apart from the other side of the world. Like we are in two different Earths.
While I go about my daily business of coffee and breakfast and 8 hours in school, followed by afternoon cup of tea and golf and dance and books and bedtime, they walk their steps in their places in their routines. They are invisible, on the other side of the world. And, it seems, there is nothing to connect us. To me, only my little central Florida world exists.
Quite selfish and futile thinking, I realize.
This pandemic we find ourselves in has refined my view of this world we live in. This Earth that all 7.5 billion of us call home is finite. We are all quite connected. Literally, germs that spread in close contact from person to person have moved from a person across the world to almost every town, city, and crevice within months.
We all share in this crisis, together. Chinese and Italians and Indians and Americans and Germans and Puerto Ricans are all affected by the same thing. We're in the trenches, working hard to stop an enemy. All 7.5 billion are unified right now this very moment. Those people 12,000 miles away are having the same thoughts, same conversations, same worries. We, together, are hoping the same hopes.
I suddenly feel very connected. The Chinese who, yesterday, seemed a world away, now feel like my neighbors.
We, who so easily identify and recognize so many differences in each other, might can learn from this pandemic. Maybe, just maybe, we can use this shared experience to recognize our humanity and our connection. Instead of focusing on all of the things we disagree on, maybe we can just agree on the one thing that really matters: We are all human.
Wouldn't it be great if , through this, we can just agree to disagree? If we could focus on the fact that we are all neighbors, living in a finite world, hoping the same hopes?
Then, maybe this will make the pandemic truly a mark in history. Let's make this pandemic the moment our world became closer, all 7.5 billion of us.
Evidently, 196.9 million square miles is quite small, afterall.