Imagine 2021

We got lemons. Let's make some lemonade

How can we learn from COVID-19 and make the world a better place than we had before it happened?

Face mask by MaZa Sewing.  See more at Etsy.  All images are copyright.

Here’s a little project for optimistic realists. I am lightening my (tiny) load by thinking about ways that COVID-19 might, in the long run, change the world for the better. Not to trivialise the great suffering many will continue to feel for a long time, but maybe it helps keep us sane by thinking positively; and even better, maybe by actively thinking positively we can actually prepare ourselves and start work in whatever way to enact positive change whenever it’s possible to do so.

Herewith a little repository of hopeful opinions and ideas, to which you are welcome to contribute. Do so using the form below or just go and read the Thoughts page.

We will never go back to normal.  Normal never was.  Our pre-corona existence was not normal other than we normalised greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding, hate and lack.  We should not long to return, my friends.  We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment.  One that fits all of humanity and nature.
Sonya Renee Taylor

I am calling this project Imagine 2021. 2021 is likely to be a huge year, when we emerge from our induced cultural coma (thanks in part to our sacrifices and co-operation) and start rebuilding our lives, our economy and our culture. I also notice that 2021 is the 50th anniversary of the release of John Lennon’s iconoclastic song. However, other than being inspired by the song’s vision and occasionally purloining a snippet of lyric, this project really doesn’t have anything directly to do with Lennon or his song.

Like Lennon, let’s be dreamers. When our dreams are in place, we can then be doers.

How might a post-COVID-19 world be better than the pre-COVID-19 one?

A few of sample thoughts are below.  Go to Thoughts for a longer list and some links to further reading.

* Let’s start with an easy one: we will be willing to invest in measures to prevent the next pandemic, as researchers have told us to do since SARS, and have warned us will always be a risk into the future.

* We may demand that governments provide meaningful health and financial safety nets. During the crisis, they have poured money into measures that decent safety nets may have at least partially made unnecessary. The trouble is they never budgeted for these measures, so ultimately and unavoidably, citizens will pay for them. It will be interesting to see if countries who came into the crisis with good safety nets will emerge relatively stronger.

* Our use of videoconferencing through the crisis may have us think twice about the need for air travel. Air travel is one of the most difficult challenges in the struggle against climate pollution.

Share your thoughts

Of course I will vet your suggestion first.  The rules are below.  *Re email: I wasn't able to make the email field non-required.  I promise I will not share your email at all with anyone.
Name E-mail Your thoughts? Submit

Contact me directly

Rules and promises

I would love to hear your thoughts, with, of course, a few caveats.

I am a pretty tolerant person, but I won't automatically post any suggestion.  If I think it's discriminates against anyone who doesn't deserve it or pushes an agenda of hate, fear, suspicion or conspiracy, I'll reject it.  All published submissions will be credited to whatever name you submit.  I will not share your details anywhere.

About me

I'm just some guy, but it's only fair that I describe myself so you know how harmless I am!

My name is Gordon Harvey.

Do I have an agenda at all?  I say everyone does. However, my agenda is only vaguely framed, and not so fixed that I would automatically prejudge the agenda, stated or implied, of anyone who cares to contribute.

I am of the view that Science (with its partner Critical Thinking), however imperfect, is the best way we have of becoming better informed and hopefully wiser.

I am completely (and, in a mild way, actively) non-religious - in fact a non-believer in the supernatural in any form. However, given that I can’t definitively prove the non-existence of the supernatural, I try to respect others’ beliefs, so long as they do no harm to other people or the planet.

I am of the view that the planet is not humanity’s plaything and other living things have an inherent right to exist that overrides our interests in them; but that as its dominant species, we have an obligation to care for this, our only home.

I think the whole left/right political dichotomy has outlived its usefulness. I think the future is best served by freeing ourselves from worn-out arguments about your side versus mine and looking into new models for managing the planet.

I am not aligned with political organisations of any sort beyond supporting activist groups such as GetUp! and various environmental organisations.

I make no claim to great knowledge or insider experience of politics, social science, medicine or anything else relevant.

For those who might seek to find evidence for it, I am without doubt a hypocrite, as is probably everybody who stands up for principles of any kind.

I am a musician and music educator living in Melbourne, Australia with a beautiful little family. Have a listen to some of my and my friends’ work at our label.  You can learn a bit about me by looking at my Facebook.