June 20, 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been running havoc for the last four months and the entire world is at a standstill perhaps for the first time in the 21st century. Almost all the countries in the world have seen infections without any discrimination for rich or poor. The virus has infected people of all walks of life from powerful world leaders, wealthy businessmen, and theatre and sports personalities to the common person, again without any bias.
If the current restrictions have put us in turmoil for our daily life, then the long drawn effects of this disease already have world and business leaders shivering. The stock markets are performing badly and economic outlook points towards another recession close to one that rocked the world in 2008. Some sectors like travel and tourism have suffered the most and disruptions to manufacturing in some parts of the world may leave store shelves empty for a while.
Why are we seeing such turmoil? What should we make of all these things? How can we bring a sense of normalcy and calm back to our lives?
We are living in a complicated world. The fact that the coronavirus has moved so efficiently between countries shows the lack of unity in the global village we call our modern world. Because of this lack of unity between nations we start blaming each other when a crisis like this occurs. And just as the coronavirus sweeps from country to country, it is starting to serve as a kind of lens of truth. Many world leaders’ obliviousness showed their complete lack of ability to put ego aside in a time of extreme crisis. Stories of people blaming other countries and people of certain sections for the spread of the virus and spraying innocent people with disinfectant reveals the underlying racist and ignorant attitudes of some members of society.
For years we may have hoped for Superman or Wonder woman to save us from oppression and tyranny. But in the end, just as it was a virus that saw off the all-powerful conquering aliens in HG Wells ‘The War of the Worlds’, it might be a virus that shows the world the truth.
The kind of world HG Wells envisioned being run by aliens
(Photo: Photo by History in HD on Unsplash)
And there is a lot of truth to be revealed. One percent of the rich and powerful are holding more than fifty percent of the world wealth when eight hundred million people go hungry to bed every night! There is clearly enough money, resources, food, shelter, and clothing in the world for everyone on Earth to be happy, well-fed, and free from tyranny and yet we continue to see famine and war in the world!
For the sake of chasing ‘exponential growth’, the world has continued to carry out mining, oil exploration and wildlife trade even when there are severe consequences of environmental pollution, global warming and transfer of deadly viruses to humans.
We do not learn our lessons. Eighteen years back the origin of the SARS virus was traced to wildlife trading and consumption, but we continued to trade wildlife and today we have a deadly coronavirus that is disrupting the entire world! We were warned decades ago of global warning and yet we are yet to switch over from oil exploration! Electrical technology was invented decades before oil invention, but quick dividends in wealth and political power ceased the development of the electrical technology to the back burner! Even now we move at a snail’s pace to replace the oil exploration by the electrical technology because money and wealth are more important for us than living a healthy, peaceful and prosperous life. Then there is environment pollution in every city of the world where 4.6 million people die every year from causes directly attributable to air pollution but still we overcrowd the cities without developing the rural areas economy and we continue to mine coal and other minerals when there is abundance of solar power and other sustainable energies!
When will this selfishness end?
Even when we are warned to mend our devastating activities on this great planet, we continue to do the same in the name of the economy and political power! And every time we go against the balance of nature carrying forward our own ways, nature reminds us that is not the way! But we reverse back for a little while when there is a great calamity, even then we only think of correcting the wrong paths until the epidemic lasts, like it happened during the SARS outbreak! Or every now and then when we face severe air pollution we undertake some corrective measures like reducing the vehicles on the streets or plastic use, but never go to the kill to end the disastrous activities once for all that are greatly affecting this great planet and its occupants!
Yet there is hope.
We can together bring the current turmoil to end by helping each other. First of all, let us remain calm and strictly follow the health authorities’ advice on hygiene and quarantine along with cooperating and appreciating frontline healthcare workers. Secondly, let us pray for those undergoing treatment in quarantine and for those families who have lost their loved ones to have strength and courage to face their most difficult time. Let us remember not to discriminate anyone who has been infected with the virus or any section of the society to limit the spread of another virus of hatred. Thirdly, let us not stock pile any daily use items and if we have excess stock of anything how about offering it to our neighbors or charity organizationsthose help daily wage and migrant workers. Fourthly, let us be selfless, do all we can to help improve the morale of those around us by inspiring everyone with positive news and curbing any rumours! Let us make sure we are spreading actual facts not sensationalism.
If we want long term normalcy in our world, we should start formulating the concrete strategies to end all kinds of disastrous activities we are currently undertaking! Starting with ending wild animal trade and consumption, we should switch over from oil drilling and coal and other mining! There are many alternative ways to develop a robust economy and new political systems! Some of these will be listed in future blog posts.
Let us support all those political parties and leaders and activists and organizations that support righteous paths! And let us support our friends, neighbours, and our greater communities! Together we can make a difference!
Now it is the right time for us to come together to bring this world to normalcy for the sake of permanent peace and prosperity!
Let us take this opportunity to join together, foster new unity, and implement change!