Bad times and adversity can become periods of reflection and innovation, argues Alan Lightman, a writer and physicist at MIT. Think, for instance, of all the new ways people used their time of domestic self-isolation as an opportunity to catch up on reading, learn a language or simply to connect with others, including their family. In other areas such as work and telemedicine, the pandemic has been both a catalyst and a testing ground.
Yet beyond this, the virus has also been a time to pause and reflect on our condition at both a personal and a social level. Have we been going too fast? Have we been putting our time only to commercial or goal-oriented uses?