The Coronavirus Opportunity: An open-letter to a stranger

Dear Stranger,

I don’t know you. I don’t know your family, your friends, where you live, or how you love. I don’t know what sports teams you root for, or who you voted for in the last election. I only know this — the crisis that is upon our world right now presents all of us with the chance of a lifetime. It is an opportunity we should not miss.

The coronavirus does not see color. It doesn’t see class. It doesn’t respect status or fame. It doesn’t speak a language. It doesn’t care what you do or where you live. It only sees us as humans (and admittedly as hosts). The virus doesn’t see any of us as these things. Because it sees us only as human beings, it is actually wiser than us all.

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We are a species that rocketed to the top of the food chain with unprecedented speed, and yet despite our power we are still in constant fear. When humans use our differences as a unifying force, we gain strength. If we choose to see divisions we become susceptible and weak. But make no mistake about it, this is a choice.

This virus is affecting all of us in different ways, but it is affecting all of us. If we can comprehend the disruptive power of the virus for what it is: an opportunity to overcome our apparent differences and work together to defeat it, our species will come out of this crisis stronger than before. If we don’t, and if we miss this opportunity and act as individuals or independent tribes, then we are truly lost.

How can you help come together:

Listen to trusted advice (like the WHO) and practice social distancing. This may not be to save your life. It may be to save someone else’s. If you are not yet convinced of the value of this approach, watch this simulation (scroll down in the article) created by the Washington Post.

Connect with others. Reach out to someone via phone or Zoom who you haven’t spoken to (or have been feuding with) to tell them you love them.

Express gratitude. Especially to the people who are stepping up and performing vital services like sanitation, mail, or others who are doing their regular jobs that are allowing us to stay safe during this time.

Lend a virtual hand. Help out a stranger in need or donate to the organizations that are doing this work like a local food bank, the Red Cross, or Save the Children.

I know I don’t know you, but I am deeply thankful that you are in this fight with me.

Let us use this opportunity to join together and rise.


Dr. Ben Michaelis

Written by

Keynote Speaker, Clinical Psychologist in #NYC, Author of YOUR NEXT BIG THING, Focused Action, Authenticity, Wellness & Purpose;

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