Coronavirus Crisis or Opportunity?

Meag-gan O'Reilly, Ph.D.
8 min readMar 30, 2020

How to use Uncertainty to Better Ourselves

As a psychologist, the work I do holding and healing hundreds of human stories has taught me that there is a dual nature to many things in life. One of the most consistent pairings I have witnessed is the coexistence of crisis and opportunity. It is how we respond to an event that makes it what it becomes, either crisis or opportunity. I am choosing opportunity. I believe that under the headlines, the novel Coronavirus is cueing us to return to some universal truths and practices we have strayed from in the hustle that was our everyday life. Allow me to share these truths and practices with you.



In a culture that strives for fierce independence, individuals expend enormous amounts of cognitive and emotional energy attempting to attain the appearance of self-sufficiency. We are all groomed to desire not burdening anyone emotionally, not needing anyone financially, and above all else, having our shit together by ourselves. It’s almost as if we were preparing for everyone else to disappear one day and we would be ready. Well,…we are now seeing firsthand what the immediate and profound effect that social distance is triggering. Most people experienced an instant drop in well-being. We are being confronted with the truth of interdependence. Examine these two definitions side by side for a moment.

Independence-freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, of others.

Interdependence- mutually reliant on each other.

Whether it is economically, environmentally, socially, or emotionally, the pretense of independence is starkly over. We are, have been, and will always be mutually reliant on one another. Even the solution to our current state is a communal one. Flatting the COVID-19 curve will take the diligent participation of all of us. This is an opportunity to experience our inherent interdependence. We need our medical professionals to attend to the sick and our mental health clinicians to attend to the anxious. We need our government to financially and structurally support and aid our workers out of work.

Meag-gan O'Reilly, Ph.D.

CEO of Inherent Value Psychology INC.| Stanford Psychologist & Adjunct Faculty| DEI Consultant|