This will be our war story — “Coronavirus vs Mankind.“ We will tell it to our children and grandchildren as our parents told us about World War II, the Shoah, the Great Depression, and the War of Independence. Our future experiences will be measured against the difficulties we will endure in the coming weeks and months. We will all have less, and ultimately we will appreciate what we do have, that much more.
This is the fist time that the entire world has been at risk from the same enemy. No rockets or bombs can do the damage of this virus. It makes all hatred and warmongering quite irrelevant and absurd. This is the shock that all humanity needed, to realize just how precious and tenuous life actually is. Hopefully it will result in an understanding of what is actually of value and worthy of pursuing. Wasting energy on hatred and destruction of others is beyond insanity.
At the end of this very real crisis, all civilized beings will need to reassess the direction we have allowed mankind to pursue, coveting profit in obscene amounts…with very little, if any accountability from the corporations filling their coffers. The bigger the industry, the less the accountability…the more the “tail wags the dog” and deals are done in the back halls of government to support the bottom line. McDonalds, as an example… has controlled much of farm production in the United States. It has controlled laws meant to protect workers by hiring part-time employees just under the legal cut-off point for benefits. Now that no one is allowed to go into a McDonalds, the playing field has been levelled.
One must smile at the hysteria of the British Beer industry- now that people are not allowed to go to pubs. How will the industry survive this horrid time? The government must prop them up. They are asking for billions of dollars in support. Can this actually be at the top of anyone’s “to-do” list?
What may become clear when the dust has settled, will be that governing requires much more than laws about where we throw our plastic bottles and newspapers…but requires real leadership which will guarantee the survival of our well-ordered societies and our people. That kind of leadership has been lacking everywhere. Perhaps because of the short terms of elected power, leaders have been unwilling to take decisions which will bring them unfavorable polling numbers. But then, long term governments can become lazy and complacent as well. It seems that the financial wizards who advise Presidents and Prime ministers must consider a mandatory fund to be established by every business, large and small- which can be put aside as part of one’s overhead… to cushion the unexpected blows which can occur. Leaders in government must start thinking creatively …out of the box, if a virus can bring down the world’s economic health so quickly.
For many of us, life has had its moments of Camelot… living in freedom, health, and security has been taken for granted by us all. Those not caught in war zones have been able to indulge themselves in the belief that they are saving the planet for the generations to come, with little attention to the immediate dangers lurking in the here and now.
The airline and leisure industry has made it possible for this virus to spread with unprecedented speed. Fifty years ago, an illness in Wuhan China would have never left China. The Chinese were not travelling and there was little wealth. Now the entire planet is connected but where are those to address the risks of this new reality? No point in blaming one nation or another… we are all at fault. How is it that with the great minds which exist in the world, that no one has addressed limiting the ability for disease to travel across borders and to engulf the entire world? Well, there was one person who saw the writing on the wall. Bill Gates in 2015 spoke about the potential for disease or germ warfare to destroy the world, and how ill prepared we all were to protect ourselves. Check out his TED talk to hear the speech to which no government bothered to listen . To quote Mr. Gates “Time is not on our side.” We have the great minds to guide us. Someone needs to hear them.
It is unconscionable that the travel industry was not forced to develop an air filtering system which would protect passengers from breathing the germs of others in a confined space. There is apparently one airliner which has developed such a filter to protect their employees, but nowhere else has it become mandatory. This is the mode thru which the virus has leaped across oceans and borders. It needs to be implemented in all confined spaces…trains…busses.. hotels…event venues…clubs… restaurants…bars… cinemas, theaters, auditoriums, places of worship, and schools. Of course this will cut into the profits of the companies forced to install such equipment, but these are survival efforts which may simply require that we pay more for a meal, a drink, a hotel room or to attend an event.
Essentially the world has lacked true leadership. We often elect people with no vision, who do not have advisors of astute perspicacity. Philosophers and great thinkers are rarely electable, but quite average politicians can surround themselves with the best and the brightest advisors. If they have the wisdom to listen to their consul, we can prepare properly for the future.
The days ahead will spawn memories of kindness, support, community, solidarity, strength and pain. We will share them with the generations to come and hope that they will not have similar experiences of their own.
We are embarking on a period of crisis throughout the world. It may indeed be of biblical proportions. It certainly is impacting us all beyond our previous imagination. Perhaps our time in confinement will give us all a chance to rethink priorities…for ourselves…and for our beloved countries.