A Message of Hope: Achieving “Covidya”

Avidya is a Buddhist concept that describes a kind of ignorance that stems from an inability to see the nature of reality. The word “vidya” is the root of our word “video” and comes from ancient Sanskrit meaning “to see” — hence avidya is “not seeing the reality of things.” I believe that it’s possible that COVID-19 may have a surprisingly beneficial side effect, to bring humanity into a state of “covidya” — the capacity to more clearly see the reality of things… together.

Lesson 1: See Reality Clearly; Trust the Science

Simply put, everyone needs to trust the science, act rationally, and work toward a common goal, such as the collective effort to “flatten the curve” of the epidemic so more people will survive COVID-19. No more gaslighting this pandemic; a new age of science is now beginning. Remember, the Black Death of Middle Ages eventually led to the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution.

Lesson 2: Problems Are Actually Opportunities

Actually, I believe that this pandemic is also a remarkable opportunity for innovators. Over the last couple of weeks, I simply can’t stop having ideas about products and services that could flourish during the pandemic. It’s a rare opportunity for entrepreneurs to test their mettle and step up to the challenge.

Lesson 3: Now Is the Time to Lean in and Lead

As cities and countries “lockdown” to contain the virus and slow its spread, a remarkable period of isolation is being presented to us. Some of us will spend this time playing video games and watching porn. Others will prefer to watch Fox News peddle racist conspiracy theories about the origins of the virus. And more than a few will get lonely and depressed during their sequestration.

Moses Ma is the managing partner of FutureLab Ventures, a venture studio, think thank, and innovation consultancy that works with global companies.