Coronavirus and the World As You Know It

Yesterday I went to a gorgeous, clean, brightly-lit, colorful, fully-stocked grocery store. I found just what I wanted (free range eggs were even on sale!), brought it to an express aisle, chatted with a smiling and friendly cashier, and went on my way.

I dropped the old “how are you doing today?” with the cashier and got back the simple but wise “We’re here, aren’t we?” I added “We aren’t sick yet.”

It’s a strange thing, knowing about the oncoming coronavirus. I realize it will infect a great many people. And I realize that it may make things like convenient grocery runs a thing of the past. I realize this bright beautiful place of commerce and civilization may be emptied, or may be shut down.

This made me appreciate the trip that much more. It’s true what they say about not knowing what you have until you lose it. And we have the unique opportunity to know that we are going to lose things beforehand – so we can enjoy what we have while we have it.

The world as we know it may be about to end – at least for a little while. Going to parks, going to movies, going to classes, going to the gym – some of these are already bad ideas (given viral spreading), and others just won’t be possible for a while. Some businesses and institutions will close down – some for a while and some forever. Some practices will change (no more handshakes?) Some people will die.

We should be preparing for that. But we should also take this time to enjoy the miracles of life all around us. If we don’t realize now that we have abundance, we’ll realize when it comes crashing down. And hopefully then we’ll be wiser in building it back up.

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James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, intellectual explorer, and perpetual apprentice. He opted out of college to join the Praxis startup apprenticeship program and currently manages marketing and communications at bitcoin payment technology company BitPay. He writes daily at

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