Large-scale changes

One cannot effectively speak about the time spent in quarantine without reflecting upon the social movement that gained traction within its context.

April 9, 2021


Sarabeth Wester

Aside from individual changes, this pandemic changed the world. In all likelihood, it will continue to do so. Original artwork by Sarabeth Wester

If the summer of 2020 was defined by the pandemic, it was certainly also defined by the BLM movement that it coexisted with. This was a coincidence, right? Maybe not. According to research conducted by Maneesh Arora for the Washington Post, the pandemic fueled protests by worsening people’s financial situations.

Arora found that when people are down on their luck, they are more likely to feel compassion for and provide assistance to oppressed groups. It seems that Coronavirus heightened people’s empathy for their fellow man, perhaps because of the fact that everyone in the world has suffered through this shared experience.

When yet another unarmed Black person was killed, it was as if the country collectively stood up and said, “not again.” We’d been through too much together. As people masked up and went out into the streets, from small and large towns alike, they shared an understanding that they would not tolerate any more senseless deaths.

Given the history of racial injustice in this country, and the long struggle for civil rights, it’s compelling that one of the main catalysts for the growth of the BLM movement was actually a global pandemic.

With that said, the biggest changes that come out of this pandemic may be still to come. When the Spanish Influenza finally abetted, America entered the dynamic era of the roaring twenties, and was forever changed. Only time will tell what the future holds for America when it comes through on the other side of Coronavirus, but history tells us that something big could be on the horizon.

Covid-19 brought profound hardships and tragic loss. But it also spurred some real, positive advances. With a whole year between now and that fateful day in March when everything changed, hindsight is twenty-twenty (or perhaps more accurately, 2020).

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