David Amerland

Adapt. Overcome.

Loneliness and isolation create a unique problem for the human animal. One that strikes at the very heart of a prime directive in our operating system: socialize.

Just like Japanese grass eels forget what humans look like and change their behavior, so is our own behavior subject to the external environmental pressures imposed upon us by this global pandemic.

Every threat that tries us triggers adaptation responses in our thinking and forces us to change our behavior. Zoonotic viruses, for example, could be stopped from attacking us if we stopped the trade in wild animals. It will have an impact on our social life and its structure in ways that, right now, are hard to foresee.

In adapting to a threat of this magnitude, we need to take into account the possibility of its recurrence which means that even consumer behavior (which is actually driven by consumer sentiment) will change. Kelly McConigal talks about how by changing our perception we can change the way we see our reality and deal with stress-inducing situations differently.

Adapting to the threat posed by the covid-19 virus means we will be forced to re-examine some of our ideas and values. We shall have to internalize it, making it part of our narrative in ways that will reflect our identity curation efforts.

Values determine effort which determines attention. Attention changes what’s important to us which then changes what we choose to give priority to. What we give priority to determines the directions we choose to take first which then create our actions. We shall have to better understand, articulate and stick to our own prime directives. Our own operating systems, in order to make better sense of the world.

Cities themselves; the fabric and structures of our communal societal ideas will have to change. Evidently this isn’t new. Disease, in the past, has always shaped them by threatening our survival. Travel will be affected. Digital marketing will change through greater adoption of virtual and augmented reality options which, until now, had seemed to be expensive options.

The new reality will not just be porous. It will be fully integrated into digital, remote tools because remoteness will be our new norm.

Living in the new world that will slowly emerge from this pandemic will take time, patience and perseverance. It will be challenging, rewarding, thrilling and frustrating in equal measures. At the same time it will usher change the likes of which we’ve never seen and ask us to be more resilient than ever before.

It takes a village to raise a child. In truth it will take all of us to help out each other here.

I know that you’ve got coffee. And have lots of sweets. All that remains then is for me to say, have an awesome Sunday, wherever you are.

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