If there’s one good thing to come from our confrontation with the new coronavirus it’s that we’re going to learn a lot about science, ourselves and society.

John Balentine, a former managing editor for the Lakes Region Weekly, lives in Windham.

Some forced to work from home and take care of their kids 24-7 will probably go nuts from the isolation. Some accustomed to staying in and crosswording and jigsawing their days away will hardly notice a change. We’ll all learn much about medicine and health care as it relates to viruses.

Hard-charging, Type-A personalities will probably learn a few lessons in being still. Laid back types may find themselves overwhelmed with worry. It may be the wakeup call some needed to chart a better course. Suffering, or the prospect of it, has a way of making us better people.

Turning to lessons we’ve already learned, who would have thought toilet paper would be such a hit? Store shelves are stripped bare of the stuff. As the traditional hedges gold and silver surprisingly sank in price as the market tumbled last week, who would have guessed papier hygiénique (for all you of French Canadian descent) would be the safe-haven investment?

Speaking of stuff sinking in value, Bernie Sanders’ brand of socialism doesn’t hold up in times like these. The government can print money to pay for college, but they can’t make the products we need. Only capitalism can provide the products (such as toilet paper) and cost-effectively deliver the services we need to survive.

This fact was demonstrated last Friday afternoon as President Trump held a press conference in the Rose Garden with disease experts and heads of large corporations such as Google, Walgreens and Walmart helping the government fight the virus. The public-private partnership will be historic and will succeed because capitalist forces are propelling it.

Another false narrative this coronavirus may destroy forever is the old lie emanating from climate change proponents that the earth is our friend and that we need to save it. The fact is the world is not our ally. Many times, in fact, it’s our enemy and is trying to kill us.

Many realists already knew this, but armchair environmentalists, city slickers and those clamoring for population control who have no connection to the natural world can be forgiven their ignorance regarding how the real world works. The Earth is not our friend, as alleged, and it doesn’t need saving. We’re the ones who need to be saved.

For eons, the dirty, disease-ravaged Earth has killed off humans and other species by a number of perversely creative ways, including floods, volcanoes, asteroids, twisters, hurricanes, tsunamis and disease. COVID-19 is just the latest of Mother Nature’s diabolical methods of destruction.

But while it’s true that nature can be our common enemy and must be subdued in times like these, our fellow man is not our enemy. That may be hard to believe when you’re wondering if that gas pump handle or door knob is virally contaminated, but remember the biblical lesson of the leper:

While everyone back in Jesus’ day was afraid to get close to a leper for fear they would catch the disease, Jesus had no fear and touched and healed him. When people are in need, as some in our lives may be in the coming weeks and months, remember they need our help and we need to provide it no matter the consequences.

Just wash your hands after doing so, and maybe use a little hand sanitizer, too. Unlike Jesus, we’re not immortal.

Comments are not available on this story.