The Butterfly Effect of Coronavirus

From Chaos to a new order of things? How to make the best out of the situation.

If you told me on New Year’s Eve, when toasting to 2020 start, that we would have had such an astonishing beginning of the new roaring twenties, I would have probably asked for another glass of bubbles...... Just in case or just to keep the good mood.

Just few months ago a small tiny virus called Covid19 took its first steps into a human host. And that, few weeks later, started causing thousands of casualties and a massive increasing number of diagnosed cases in almost any country in the world.

Would you ever imagined that from a very tiny nanostructure initial jump out of its comfort zone, a global outbreak would have exploded few months later.

That very initial nanostructure jump into a human host had the effect to cause a pandemic, as it has been recently declared by WHO, that in a eye’s blink could literally lockdown entire countries, shut down the hospitality and travel industry, closed down museums, cancelled the vast majority of intercontinental flights, major fairs, music concerts, sport championships, and managed to disrupt finance and break into stock exchange.

It also induced millions of people to self-quarantine indoor for months, urging them to stop hugging, touching, to keep social distances and avoid unnecessary physical contacts.

In these past weeks we’ve been overwhelmed by web and social media massive coverage about Covid19 causes, effects, measures and consequences, daily updates, official medical statements, government instructing bulletins, researchers analysis, up to the redundant interpretations by everyone who has a social account.

We will not add to any of this. We’d like to share some thoughts to inspire and stimulate our journey towards awe and happiness, a support through these tough times to make the best out of self-quarantine, travel ban, social distancing days.

In this article we introduce the principles of the Theory of Chaos, widely known as the Butterfly Effect, an idea that is more commonly used in chaos theory.

Chaos: when the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future.

In chaos theory "the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state". Or simply said, it shows that:

A small change can make much bigger changes happen; one small incident can have a big impact in the future.

A metaphor for this behaviour is that "the flapping of a butterfly's wings somewhere can cause a hurricane on the other side of the world".

Paraphrasing, a tiny nanostructure jump out of its comfy zone can cause a global (corona) virus outbreak.

While this may not generally be the case, it's a good example of the butterfly effect, the idea that tiny changes in complex systems can cause huge effects.

We can’t predict whether this is the peak of the storm created by the tiny virus wings flapping or whether there’s something more waiting at the horizon, one thing we can surely say today.

We were urged to stop. The entire world was urged to stop and put on hold whatever program, daily habits, priorities, at any level.

Leaders agendas changed. Businesses and entire industries disrupted, stopped, some new emerged. People relations changed. Roles reversed and priorities changed. Geopolitics started shaping differently.

World has proven not to be ready for such an outbreak.

Some might feel lost, some might feel scared, some others might see this moment as the start of the end of the world, others would see this as an opportunity for something new.

Whatever the reaction, time is our ally right now.

The entire world is going through this experience, just as each and one of us.

Let’s all pause and think, as we belong to a one sole human community.

Maybe, we just needed a tiny virus to show it to us all.

Maybe Mother Nature, again came to rescue us.

Unquestionably this new butterfly's wings flapping has shaken our consciousness and changed our souls forever. Nothing will ever be the same.

What a great opportunity for the world and for us all to review our priorities, to consider the implications and consequences of our actions, to refocus on what’s really essential or even irrelevant to our lives.

Now that our personal and business agendas have changed, travel plans are postponed, now that we are forced to self-quarantine to reinforce the spread containment, we have plenty of time to think, learn, explore and dream of the day we rise again….

Let’s use this time wisely. Do not miss the opportunity.

Some more on The Chaos Theory:

Chaos theory is a branch of mathematics focusing on the study of chaos. It is an interdisciplinary theory stating that, within the apparent randomness of chaotic complex systems, there are underlying patterns, interconnectedness, constant feedback loops, repetition, self-similarity, fractals, and self-organization.

MIT meteorologist Edward Lorenz was an early pioneer of the Chaos Theory and butterfly effect. His interest in chaos came about accidentally through his work on weather prediction in 1960's. Lorenz discovered the effect when he observed that runs of his weather model with initial condition data that was rounded in a seemingly inconsequential manner would fail to reproduce the results of runs with the unrounded initial condition data.

Lorenz coined the term "butterfly effect", when discovering that tiny, butterfly-scale changes to the starting point of his computer weather models resulted in anything from sunny skies to violent storms, with no way to predict in advance what the outcome might be.

The term is derived from the metaphorical example of the details of a tornado (the exact time of formation, the exact path taken) being influenced by minor perturbations such as the flapping of the wings of a distant butterfly several weeks earlier. A very small change in initial conditions had created a significantly different outcome.

Chaotic behaviour exists in many natural systems, including fluid flow, heartbeat irregularities, weather and climate. It also occurs spontaneously in some systems with artificial components, such as the stock market and road traffic.

Chaos theory has applications in a variety of disciplines, including meteorology, anthropology, sociology, physics, environmental science, computer science, engineering, economics, biology, ecology, and philosophy.

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