One of the downsides of globalisation is that a local epidemic can soon envelop the entire world and can fast turn into a pandemic going out of control, bringing in its wake, death and misery. Thanks to air travel and an inter-connected world, millions of people keep criss-crossing continents and abet the spread of the pandemic.
We have seen a few pandemics earlier SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) virus and the H1N1 pandemic. But Covid 19 has proved to be more deadly in that it has invaded our local communities and poses a threat to every individual inhabiting the planet. That is the scary part! Humanity is battling an existential threat!
The impact of the earlier viruses were more pronounced in only certain pockets of the world and hence many parts of the world were oblivious to it, not even aware of its incidence and impact.
The reason this pandemic spread so rapidly and caused so many fatalities is because of various reasons, foremost being, countries woke up to the reality a bit late in the day and banned air travel, suspicion and not sharing information, tardy response of certain governments, bungling by a few, inadequate health infrastructure, density of population, lack of personal protection equipment and inadequate testing have all contributed to the fiasco. In short, humanity has been caught on the back foot. The blighted response in many countries is testimony to that fact.
“Life is not going to be the same again. Social distancing will be there for a long time. People will continue to pour dollops of sanitisers and rub their hands, clean door knobs and surfaces”
Theories are rife that it is not a natural virus which emanated from the wet markets of Wuhan but a virus let loose by design. Nothing has been proved conclusively. Whatever the theory, it has caused immense destruction. Not only in terms of the toll of human lives but it also has flattened economies and brought normal life to a virtual standstill. The world will take some time before it can get back on its feet.
Life is not going to be the same again. Social distancing will be there for a long time. People will continue to pour dollops of sanitisers and rub their hands, clean door knobs and surfaces. They will also get used to wearing masks. Earlier it was only during Halloween but now it will be an everyday feature. Team sports will take some time before they can resume. We have to contend with empty stadiums and virtual meetings at workplaces, get used to working from homes and with children around us. Students will have to reckon with the possibility of home schooling or have Zoom meetings with their class or even if schools resume, learn to sit apart.
Shaking hands and bear hugs will be a thing of the past. The Indian namaste will become ubiquitous and the new norm. It is going to a revolutionary change in terms of societal norms (or is going to be an evolutionary one!)
“We have been leading lives or conducting our businesses as though we are the only species! There has to be a paradigm shift in the way we think”
The world order also will change in the post pandemic era. Nations will endeavour to be become self-reliant and not to be unduly dependent on the global supply chain, spread across geographies. The countries of the world will be aligned along different axes!
This is a zoonotic virus. Usually they find animals as carriers. But as animal habitats disappear because of man’s predatory lifestyle, the virus has no choice but to ride piggy back on the humans. It is an early warning sign given by nature. We have to learn to live harmoniously with other species in the eco system. We are co-inhabiting the earth and are sharing the space with other species. Each species has a role to play. We have been leading lives or conducting our businesses as though we are the only species! There has to be a paradigm shift in the way we think, which has to be more inclusive cognisant of the eternal reality.
Humanity said global warming was a myth and the figment of somebody’s fertile imagination and went about debunking the “myth”.
Hope, we do not condescendingly dismiss this pandemic induced reality also, and bring about a conscious change in the way we think and live.