I learned the rocket man has dismounted from his missile, and the golden giant Goliath has laid down his weapons. The walls on WallStreet are crumbling into dust. Things are falling apart pretty fast, and the centre can no longer hold. Yes, Covid-19 is scary stuff! But is this new normal scary for everyone?
Does the mother of the starving kids in Yemen who chooses which child to feed and which one to bury have the same fear? What of the diabetes patients in Iran who couldn’t get insulin shots because of a stupid sanction? How about the kids passing through metal detectors to go to school every day? What of the homeless and the rest of the wretched people who have no running water, a health centre, electricity, or a mobile phone to call the emergency numbers?
In 2020, we still have many women around the world who die because there is no doctor to perform CS in the case of complicated deliveries. Many more die because their ectopic pregnancies could not be detected. Thousands die every day of starvation in a world where obesity is a crisis in some places. Buildings are getting bigger and taller, and yet more people are becoming homeless. Our global economy allows free movement of goods and profits but not labour. We send people fleeing wars, deprivation, and hunger away or put them in detention camps. Whether a country gets banned or not depends on how Trump wakes out of bed.
We have created enemies out of thin air to justify an increase in military spending and imperialism. 2020 started with a lot of tough talk and reckless actions, which led to the murdering of 176 innocent people to prove nuclear might. Countries like Saudi are stockpiling weapons when their neighbours are starving. Now, we have a feeble diminutive enemy terrorizing everyone. Yet, our nuclear capability is worthless. Interestingly, not all enemies bear the name Ahmed or Abdul? Coronavirus has no regard for nationality, religion, visas or security checks. It visits the houses of presidents, ministers, and kings with impunity.
The Chinese were met with the same reaction that Africans got when Ebola broke out. Instead of helping China, journalists went undercover to wet markets to find justifications for their plight. They conveniently forgot that with a global economy comes global viruses. Things would have been much worse if this catastrophe had erupted in any other country. It has become evident now that no nation could have done what the Chinese did. Before now, many powerful nations thought a global health system wasn’t necessary. Many leaders of shithole countries saw no need to fix their health systems. Now we are all trapped in this quagmire where a diplomatic passport will not avail anyone. Yes, the situation is scary for all of us except we are accustomed to early deaths. Wretched people are not immune to the virus but they will take consolation this time knowing they are not alone in this.
If it has to take a pandemic for people to realize that the only world worth building is one in which we all do well, then maybe Covid-19 is not bad after all. If it has to take a virus for authoritarian regimes to realize that political prisoners are not a danger to society, then coronavirus is a mixed blessing. If it has to take coronavirus for powerful nations to take their boots off the necks of weaker ones, then coronavirus might just be the saviour we have been praying for. Does it have to take a virus for people to realize that profits and cheap labour should not be the only factors to consider when relocating a factory? Does it have to take a pandemic for us to realize that maybe we should focus more on preserving and making life better on earth first before trying to force life to exist on other planets? Does it have to take coronavirus for people to know that compartmentalization is bad for everyone? Well if yes, then coronavirus is not entirely bad.
For those who think it is their burden to impose their way of life on others, the world would be grateful if you take this burden to fight corona virus and keep us alive. For those who are changing DNA sequences to change the colour of pupils and hair, now is time to become a hero. Sadly, so many have to die, many have to suffer, many have to lose their investments, and we all have to take a hit from this crisis one way or another. However, if we carefully observe, this could also be a turning point for us to wake up if we make it out alive. For some of us, our yams cannot be planted online. We don’t talk about capacity because there is no health system in the first place. Sanitizer is a strange word, running water is a heavenly dream. But there is no giving up. Science is advanced today than it has ever been, and the world is more connected. Above all, humans are more resilient than any virus. So, yes there is hope and Covid-19 will not win. Stay safe!