What Weaknesses and Strengths About Our World Are Being Exposed by This Pandemic?

What Weaknesses and Strengths About Our World Are Being Exposed by This Pandemic?

For instance, what problems have you experienced or noticed among your family members, classmates, friends or community? What does your experience of the coronavirus crisis show you about what is lacking in our society?

But also consider the positive things you have observed: What has the past month or two shown you about strengths in the people you know or the institutions or organizations you count on?

Then, consider every aspect of our lives — food, shelter, art, entertainment, education, employment, economics, health care, politics and more — and think about what strengths and weaknesses you have observed or read about in those areas.

For instance, the links below examine numerous weaknesses in our global society that have been exposed by this pandemic:

However other pieces show us hope by illustrating strengths, opportunities or creative thinking:

Students, read one or several of these articles, then tell us:

  • What problems have affected you or someone you know personally? That is, what do you see among your own family, friends, classmates and neighbors that points to an issue our society needs to fix? Perhaps someone you know has lost his or her job or health insurance — or is still working but has to do so without adequate personal protective equipment. Maybe there are items you need and can’t buy, or classmates who can’t go online to do their work right now.

  • What evidence of our strengths — whether through personal, group or institutional generosity, resilience or creative thinking — have you experienced? For example, maybe your community has figured out ways to get food and supplies to elderly neighbors, or someone you know has set up a fund to help those in need, or your church or school has done something to reproduce in-person gatherings online in a way that has been comforting.

  • The pandemic has made many global, national and local societal problems worse. Which of these problems worry you most? What underlying issues, if any, did this crisis make you see more clearly?

  • In crises, there are often opportunities. What do you hope will come out of this that might begin to fix or address the issues in our society that worry you most?

Students 13 and older are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public.