Lim: The way forward

Melanie T. Lim
·3 min read

THE best advice I’ve received during this pandemic remains the same—act like everyone has the virus. Rather than a license to party, it’s actually a caveat to continue to be on guard.

Act like you have the virus and do all you can to protect others from yourself. Act like every person you meet has the virus and do all you can to protect yourself from them.

But it still hasn’t sunk in for everyone—those who believe that one day, it will finally be over. I don’t want to sound grim but I do want to keep it real. It’s time to wake up from this deep denial. Our former lives are not coming back.

It’s like a former flame you fervently hope will, one day, return. You know the possibility is nil. And yet, you cling to the flicker of hope that burns. Still. But to live in the past is futile.

When you lose the love you think you cannot live without, it feels like the end of the world. And yet, after picking up the pieces of your shattered heart, you somehow manage to find a way forward.

There is light at the end of the tunnel but when we emerge to that light, it will be to see a whole, new world—a world much different from the one we left behind. There is life after this pandemic but it will be a changed life.

Some businesses will die but others will thrive. There will be new ways to manage employees, to market goods and services, to practice professions, to accomplish tasks and targets. There will be new ways to communicate, to learn, to shop, to earn, to connect, to be entertained.

We will need to acquire new skills to navigate through this new world—a world that will see a resurgence of age-old values but also a renaissance of scientific and entrepreneurial breakthroughs.

Next to public health and safety, the world will focus on food security. Supply chains will change. Instead of focusing only on global, we will now think regional and nurture local. Logistics will grow even larger.

The only way forward is to accept the changes and challenges of the future. And while change will be painful, as in the aftermath of every heartbreaking loss in life, when the dust clears, we will be given the opportunity to be brave, wise and remarkable.

Perhaps, we will finally put health and wellness before money and productivity. Perhaps, we will finally realize we cannot sacrifice the environment to advance the economy. Perhaps, we will finally see that progress is not just about financial stability but also justice, freedom, peace, compassion and equality.

It is the end—yes, of a life we have embraced, perhaps, for too long. It is time to let it go. The life we once had is gone forever but we can look to the future and boldly hope that what’s coming may actually be better. This is the only way forward.