Courage Igene on life after COVID-19

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Since its onset earlier this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has upended behavior across the globe. It has changed how we work, how we connect with one another, and how we operate within our communities. In truth, no facet of our lives—internal or external—has truly been left untouched by its vast and devastating impacts.

From the pandemic’s catastrophic dawn, Courage Igene, the acclaimed community leader and senior pastor of All Nations Church, has worked diligently to bring peace and assurance to American communities. Amidst this time of deep uncertainty, his teachings deliver guidance and comfort.

As the pandemic’s initial sting fades and our communities begin adjusting to life alongside the virus, Courage Igene encourages listeners to think critically and realistically regarding life post-COVID-19.  In the following article, he provides leadership and guidance regarding one of the world’s most pressing questions: what will life be like after the COVID-19 pandemic resolves?

The New Normal

Before allowing yourself to productively imagine our lives in a post-COVID landscape, you must first accept the single, poignant truth that our day-to-day existences may never be exactly as they previously were. Furthermore, we must realize that’s okay. Courage Igene urges communities to open heartedly accept the myriad of changes that will inevitably follow COVID’s resolve, embracing them with bold faith rather than fear.

This so-called “new normal” will be inevitably different. It will likely manifest with feelings of discomfort and uncertainty. But Courage Igene highlights that “new” doesn’t have to mean “negative.” As we move toward a post-COVID world, we must fully accept these changes, working actively to acknowledge them as opportunities rather than setbacks. With a rigorous gratitude practice, communities around the world will be able to harness this time of transformation and discomfort to catalyze positive change in their communities and individual lives.

Anticipate Less Physical Contact

In the midst of a deadly virus, loving gestures such as hugs and handshakes have become feared or even formally prohibited. If a successful vaccine emerged today, our collective reluctance toward physical contact would likely persist. In short, our fear of close contact will not dissipate overnight. In imagining our lives post-COVID, Courage Igene highlights the need to preemptively accept this reality.

Moving forward, we will likely adapt to conduct our social lives with significantly less contact. This new and distanced reality may feel somewhat cold and sterile at first. With time; however, we will adapt to it, learning how to better express feelings love, joy, and concern from a distance. Smiles, waves, and other contactless gestures will likely carry more social importance than ever before.

Community gatherings such as concerts, school events, and church services will consequentially look a little different than they did pre-COVID. If these new changes are met with ingenuity and an open heart, however, they will give way to innovation—we will collectively develop new ways to gather, interact, and build community.

Embracing Innovation

Periods of crisis historically breed innovation. As highlighted by Courage Igene, our societal landscape following COVID-19 will likely be fertile with technological advancement and cultural progress.

At the start of the pandemic, workplaces and community bodies were forced to embrace new and emerging virtual resources. As COVID-19’s threat subsides, we will continue to benefit—and even build upon—these new resources in order to improve our communities and our lives.

As always with the forecasted innovations of the future, exact implications are impossible to pinpoint. In general, these new and evolving resources will likely make community and workplace participation more widely accessible. For example, the pandemic has universalized the use of online platforms, streaming services, webcams, and other resources to allow community members to attend events and engage meaningfully from the comfort of their own homes. The increased availability of online classes, digital support groups, and streamed church services all serve as excellent illustrations. The elderly and those with limited mobility, for example, will continue to benefit from the increased availability of online resources as tools for social involvement.

In short, the world post-COVID will inevitably entail some uncomfortable adjustments, but as Courage Igene highlights, it will also include some benefits. One such blessing will be a boom in innovation and, consequentially, the opportunity for increased connection within global communities.

Increased Need for Fellowship and Community

Among its many implications, the current pandemic has exasperated financial hardship and increased individual isolation. Unfortunately, we must realistically anticipate that many individuals will exit the current situation with deep feelings of loneliness, helplessness, burnout, and depression. Moving forward into our lives post-COVID, our communities must prepare to step up and come together to meet our weakest and most vulnerable members where they are. As we return to our so-called “new normal,” it is imperative to check on your loved ones and reach out to those who are struggling in order to continually provide support and care.

Learning to Accept Uncertainty

No one can say for certain what the world will look like after COVID-19. Rather than forecast exactly what changes await us, Courage Igene recommends cultivating a mindset that accommodates uncertainty. Focus whole-heartedly on practicing flexibility, understanding and adaptivity. Embrace these new challenges—whatever they may be—as an opportunity to grow and learn. At the end of the day, the real question is not how your life will look or feel in a post-COVID world; rather, it is how we will innovatively and open-heartedly transition in order to best connect with our communities and meet their evolving needs.

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