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Virtue-Lessons of the Covid-19 Pandemic

Posted by Stephen Crilly on 6 November, 2020 at 15:50

A difficult challenge in a person’s life will test their virtues. A difficult global challenge will test the virtues of the world’s people, particularly those in leadership. The Covid-19 pandemic has tested virtues individually and globally.

In the 44 Virtues book, the first virtue listed is Health-mindedness. An individual learns from a serious illness that having good health is a top priority. During a pandemic, the world as a whole recognizes that same priority at a deep level, in a unified way. The second virtue listed is Cleanliness, one that became ingrained worldwide. We learned the value of practicing Moderation, such as traveling less, to protect our health.

These are only the first three virtues listed. In pondering the full list of virtues, you can easily see how each one expressed itself, either in your own life, in the lives of people you know, and from news stories concerning people you do not know. The following is only a sampling of virtues to consider, taken in the order listed in the 44 Virtues book. One could certainly expand on how each of these and other virtues apply during the pandemic.

We showed Gratitude for the Service of medical staff and first responders.

We required Honesty in addressing the risks of the pandemic.

Timeliness was vital in controlling the spread of the virus.

Practicing Self-discipline was essential to protect oneself and others.

Those in challenging financial circumstances showed Determination and Courage to make ends meet. Many learned lessons of Humility.

When schools were closed, the importance of maintaining Learning was on all parents’ minds. Experts and the general public were keenly aware of Learning more about the virus and ways to prevent its spread.

Pandemics are preventable, but Foresight in preparing and implementing plans and procedures is essential.

Many people showed great Creativity in addressing challenges, such as making masks during the initial shortages and doing more with less. Creativity is an essential element of humor, and when humor is appropriately expressed, it can relieve the stress of challenging circumstances. 

Wisdom, Mindfulness to details, and Responsibility on the part of global leaders were essential.

Despite fear, Peacefulness, Patience and Flexibility were the norm.

As a planet, we were in Unity in the desire to control the virus. Countless opportunities arose for individuals to express Love, Kindness and Compassion.

For many, the pandemic tested the limits of their Spirituality and their Trust in others. At the time of this writing (November 2020), the pandemic continues, but a vaccine appears to be on the horizon. There is an overall sense of Optimism for a return to more normal lives.

Contemplating each of the 44 virtues reveals that they all presented countless examples of how so many people practiced them, to one degree or another, during these challenging times. The importance of having a global society practicing virtues in a balanced way applies to pandemic preparedness and also to solving all problems facing the planet. The final virtue listed, Joyfulness, a goal common to everyone, will be the result of achieving that virtue balance.


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