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What lessons has this pandemic taught us during the past 12 months?

One year after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a global health crisis that in many ways paralyzed the planet, what lessons has this pandemic taught us? The answer is clear: many lessons. But how many of those lessons have we learned? The answer is also clear: none.

I have heard many times that there are two kinds of children with bad behavior: the badly educated and the “badly learned”. The badly educated children are those who, for whatever reason, did not receive a good socio-affective education from their parents or the adults in charge and could not or knew not how to adapt to society.

The “badly learned” children are those who were educated in the best possible way by their parents or the adults in charge and, even so, for whatever reason, they do not manage to adjust to an acceptable social life and, in fact, generally cause problems and pain for those close to them and even for strangers.

On a planetary level, we humans act like “badly learned” children: no matter how many good lessons we are taught, we never learn them. By now, we should have learned to be mature, responsible beings. 

The COVID-19 pandemic (one of the many pandemics that has plagued humanity for millennia) exposed the fragility and irrationality of our actions and our thoughts, always and only obsessed with the ephemeral, the superficial, and the inconsequential, regardless of the irreparable damage caused to the planet and others. 

So, any lesson we might have learned from the pandemic is long gone. In fact, I think we put more mental energy into not learning those lessons than fighting the pandemic.

The virus still continues, and the threat is still real. We have not yet stopped the pandemic, yet a whole way of thinking based on anti-science and anti-rationality has clearly gained new momentum. (By saying "anti-science" I am not suggesting for a moment that science should be deified or considered the final word. And true rationality surpasses mere syllogistic thinking).

The virus removed the veil of self-deception that we had imposed on ourselves believing that everything was fine and that everything was going to be fine. Or, if you prefer, the self-deception that mistakes new technologies for progress and useless and debt-creating purchases for happiness.

The days of not listening to human noise to listen to the messages of nature did not last long. It was considered unnatural to stay home and ask parents to help educate their children. Human lives took second place because, obviously, the important thing is to save the economy, that is, the same economy that caused the pandemic. 

All the lessons that we could have learned and could have led to a rebirth and transformation of humanity were quickly crushed by countless conspiracy theories and by a religious fundamentalism so uncompromising it hurts to think it is real.

Our foolish presence hurts the planet. Earth is in pain. But we still haven't learned it. We are bad learned adults. 

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