With the developments in science and technology, we went too far. We decided to dominate every other species in the world. We started moving towards the moon and then mars. But, did we really go this far that the mother earth decided to revolt on her terms? A small strand of protein that isn’t even living called the Coronavirus is slowly bringing humanity on its knees. Around the world, there are more than 3 million people infected by the virus, more than 200,000 have died, and there is no relief in sight even soon.
What is more frightening is the fact that these numbers do not show the complete picture. A lot of countries have been accused of under-reporting, while a lot of others do not have the resources to conduct enough tests to assess the whole situation. Throw in the latest news of coronavirus mutating, and we have the perfect recipe for a disease that has the potential to rupture the politics, destroy the economy, create a war-like situation, and cost us a few decades of hard work.
The powerful countries of the world are busy blaming China for the pandemic. They say that the virus is one of their biowarfare tactics to dominate the world. The president of the United States termed it a ‘Chinese virus.’ The country is even ordering a probe into the possibility of it, in fact, being a bioweapon. This topic is still up for debates, but we aren’t taking sides. However, the fact that COVID-19 has taught humanity about how quickly mankind can go extinct puts a lot of things in perspective.
The virus reminded us of how vulnerable we are in front of nature, to begin with. We may boast of building monuments, producing energy, and defying gravity. But, all of it can be destroyed in less than a minute. The pandemic is a reminder that we need to respect the natural resources around us. We have been exploiting fossil fuels for decades. It is happening to the most prized possessions of the humans, but the day the cars stopped running, the crude oil future prices fell below 0. Although temporary, incidents like this are a reminder of the fact that the idea of economy is somewhat flawed. If we cannot stay together, we are on our way to an end game.
But is it just the concept of money that is vague? NO!
Even the concept of class and popularity and power is flawed. Coronavirus infected the Prime Minister of UK – Boris Johnson, the Prince of UK – Prince Charles, Hollywood Star – Tom Hanks and Business Tycoon – James Dolan. These are just a few names out of an extensive list of influential people of the world who have fallen victims to the Coronavirus. Why wasn’t their power or money able to protect them? Because the Coronavirus is a leveler that does not discriminate. It is apathetic to who you are, or what you do, or where do you live. It does not have emotions, or greed, and hunger if you may, for the money or power. For the virus, we are all equal, which is precisely opposite to the concept of society that we have built.
This brings me to yet another fault that we have developed in ourselves over the years. We love freedom. We don’t need our governments to tell us when to go home, when to come out, how to live, what to eat, where to go, where not to go and whatnot. We are our own leaders, and we cannot stand someone bossing us around. I get it. But, this ideology, that the ‘freedom is being snatched‘ when the governments impose lockdown is crazy. At the moment, almost every major country is under some degree of lockdown. Some states have imposed strict rules, while others are still trying to figure out how to convince their people to stay indoors. Either way, people are going against the government orders in every part of the world just because their massive ego doesn’t want to play by the rules.
So, if everything is so flawed, why are we still following the norms? Maybe because we are too lazy to find out a better way. Or perhaps because we are too afraid to implement a new way. It took us centuries to reach where we are today. We cannot afford to spend another few hundred years experimenting, refining, and developing models. Or can we? But, even if we do, who is going to make sure that we do not end up in the same situation where we are today?
Coronavirus has not acted as a great leveler for everyone; it does amplify inequalities, injustices, and insecurities within the society, and this needs to be fixed. The rich have debt-free housing, enough savings to keep them afloat during these unprecedented times. They have the privilege to isolate themselves and get into Work From Home mode. Not much has changed for them.
On the other hand, the poor or the low paid workers – foreign workers, nurses, shopkeepers, are much more exposed to this pandemic and are burning through their savings faster than a wildfire. They end up spending more than their limited income on their necessities and leaving them in complete lurch. Therefore the myth that Coronavirus is a Great Life Leveler needs to be debunked.
But the question is, would the renovated version of the society ensure that people do not lose their jobs if another COVID-19 like problem arises? We are humans, after all, we are consumed by greed, and powered by a thirst to control others. By the time COVID-19 ends, a lot would have changed. Social distancing and lockdowns would have made every one of us hungry for human connection. Would we still be discriminating based on religion, sex, caste, class, and ethnicity before connecting with a fellow human being? Or would we get humbler and kinder towards others? While I ask these questions to you, I hope for a more modest world; than place my money on greed.
As per Natalie Dean, a biostatistician at the University of Florida, says,
Normal is not on the horizon yet.