Things are scary now. ”Outbreak is trending.” Toilet paper’s not. We’ll get through this, but we won’t be the same people.
A lot of people are dying, and a lot more will die from this one little disease that as of March 20th – the first day of spring – has killed more than 11,000 people worldwide.
Every place has their own coefficient of exponential infection growth, but it’s time to dust off your quadratics because every Bell Curve has got a point of inflection. What I’m trying to say is the casualties of this pandemic will slow, stabilize, and ultimately recede.
Two years ago, on this blog I shared my nerdlove for Strauss & Howe’s Generation Theory. But it looks like we are in a bad place together today. Now might be a good time to remember what’s coming (If Strauss & Howe’s theory has any predictive power).
I’ll save the long version for here, but the short version is that around every 80 years there is a major societal disaster which forces us to grow for the next “Turning.” Strauss and Howe call this period a period of Crisis and the last one was during the score of years including WWI and WWII. The time before that was the Civil War.
Strauss and How also used the theory to predict that somewhere near 2025 (give or take a few years) this Crisis period will peak. At that time we would face a threat to our society which would force us to pool our resources and work together. We would choose the values that would guide the next turning and herald in our next “High.”
Now I’m not saying that this virus is equivalent to the great wars of the modern era in terms of social upheaval. But is it so far-fetched to imagine that we are learning some good wholesome values during this crisis like cooperation, taking care of our neighbors, or maybe paying attention to which facts are facts and which facts are “alternative facts?” Could this crisis be that Crisis? I dare not prophesize
But I can hope.
So in the event that it is, I wanted to remind you that today is March 20 – the first day of spring – our own inflection point. For the first time out my window I couldn’t see a stubborn, gray pile of snow anywhere. It’s warm enough to bike along the River Parkway comfortably (keep out there, you can still keep 6 feet between you on wheels). We will be watching the most beautiful weather soon from our socially distanced windows.
We will get through this, and we will be a stronger family for it. It will be brutally hard, and it will require the best of us to get through it. Many won’t. The rest of us will be a little leaner, a little paler, a little crazier with Cabin Fever. But we will be so happy to wrap our arms around our loved ones on that day.
Today is the first day of spring and summer is coming. I hope to see you then and shake your hand.
The inflection point is coming - maybe this spring.