The Black Death wiped out hundreds of millions of people. 

“And yet, despite the horror it caused, the plague turned out to be a catalyst for social and economic change that was so profound that far from marking the death of Europe, it served as it’s making.”

-Peter Frankopan in The Silk Roads
  • Fewer workers led to increased wages and the development of new and more efficient farming technology.
  • New industries were born and the poor now had disposable income.
  • Churches lost influence in society which led to new ideas and the Renaissance emerged.
  • Women entered the workforce and married later in life.

The 1918 Influenza Pandemic 

  • Socialized medicine was born in countries like Russia, Germany, France, and the UK.
  • Health ministries were revamped.
  • We recognized the need for health coordination between international countries and the World Health Organization was formed.

We’re now living a crisis we’ve only read about in books. 

How can we make this crisis too good to waste?

  • What is your staff trying right now that you don’t want to lose or forget when we go back to ‘normal’ school? 
  • What creative ways has your staff approached instruction and assessment that never would have happened unless we were forced to teach at home and online? 
  • Who rises to the occasion and who decides to sit on the sidelines?
  • Are all your personnel necessary? Are any redundant or are there glaring holes that need to be filled?

And one political point … 

Nobody chose this pandemic or to be unemployed right now. Some will suffer much more than others because of the inequity in the USA. 

Living abroad has given me a first-hand look at a social safety net. It works. 

This crisis has magnified what is broken and where the opportunities for better are. 

It makes sense that everyone has access to quality healthcare all the time and a subsidized income when they are down on their luck. 

A civilized society provides a fundamentally good life for all.  It’s kind of like grace; no one deserves it, yet there it is.

That is a society I want to be a member of and yes, we can afford it.

I’d gladly chip in more in taxes to pay for that system because philosophically I believe that everyone’s life is of equal value. Most faith traditions seem to say that too.

Saying it is one thing. Doing it is quite another.

The gist: let’s emerge from this crisis better. Going back to business-as-usual is a step backward and disrespects all the lives lost. 

How can we emerge better as individuals, as schools, and as a society? I’d really love to know. Email me your thoughts.

(shout out to my friend Amy who inspired this post ❤️)

PS … Spanish Flu and Chinese Virus are both inaccurate and racist.

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