The last couple of days have been a mess on every single level. Lives have been changed to a degree where we are projecting cultural and social-economical impacts that will put a milestone mark in the history of humankind. One word will be spoken in the future to bring back flashbacks of the most recent dark times in the world: #CoronaVirus, a.k.a COVID-19.
It started with a rumor of a disease spreading in China, which has now turned into a worldwide pandemic of a virus with no mercy, affecting all social classes, all religious denominations, all human race, with no discrimination.
According to Wikipedia: The outbreak was identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, declared to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020, and recognized as a pandemic on 11 March 2020.
Indeed, we've been hit and hit hard by a microscopical force that has generated a world panic and revealed how fragile and weak humanity is in front of an invisible endgame enemy.
We've predicted catastrophic calamities before, but most of the time, our envisioned enemies have been mega-sized and palpable entities: a nuclear bomb, out of space asteroid, a mega solar flare, and even an alien invasion. We forgot to look closer to current existing problems that we already face every now and then: a virus break.
One may argue that we have always thought about humankind using viruses as a world endgamer (i.e. biological warfare), but even this approach always puts the source of the problem to be humankind themselves generating purposefully a product to end the world. But this one is not intentional as some rumors may make it sound; no, the Chinese did not intentionally nor unintentionally spread this virus, nor did they biologically engineered it in an underground lab. Clearly, you can debunk this theory by just noticing the amount of Chinese that have been affected by the same virus.
This is clearly a problem, a global issue that has hit us all unprepared and unveiled the weakness into our egocentric so-called "highly advanced technological society." We might have indirectly played the part in its uprising and spread, but surely we cannot claim credit for its devastating nature. Talking about opening pandora's box.
Link to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) world map: https://google.com/covid19-map/?hl=en
The pandemic has caused stock market crashes worldwide and an unprecedented rise in the unemployment rate in the United States, leaving more than 6.6 million people jobless (still rising, projected to hit 30% or above unemployment rate).
At the same time, because of COVID-19, countries have shut down their borders and putting their citizens into quarantine in order to slow down the pandemic. Mass congregations have been suspended, forcing schools, sporting events, and churches to close their doors for an unlimited time.
With the number of deaths escalating daily, the world has been captured into a state of hopelessness, with a raising fear that this could be it; the end of the world as we know it. But, is this truly it? The End of the World?
A matter of perspective.
No, this is not the end of the world, rest at peace. The world will continue to exist, and the human race will again survive another "close encounter." Our only default is the fact that we do not live long enough to understand the cycle of existence in the universe. We are nothing but a glimpse of a moment when you compare our lifespan against our home, our planet, our solar system, our galaxy, our universe, and its other billions neighbor cluster universes.
We just don't live long enough to understand this major universal life cycle principle: there is nothing new under the "sun". What we are living today has similarly been experienced before, but just not during our human lifetime, nor our planetarium existence cycle. It will always feel like it is the end of the world when we experience something that our close life centuries have not experienced before. Hence, a matter of perspective.
Recent Deadliest natural disasters since 1900, excluding epidemics and famines (just to name a few):
- The 1920 Haiyuan earthquake - with an estimated 273,400 deaths.
- The 1931 China floods saw an estimated 4 billion deaths.
- 1970 Bhoda cyclone - with more than 500 thousand deaths.
- The 2010 Haiti earthquake with 316 thousand deaths.
Looking into the recent century pandemic in the world before COVID-19:
- The HIV/AIDS pandemic, which was first identified in 1976, and still existing, with a death toll of 36 million.
- The FLU pandemic of 1968, which was also referred to as "the Hong Kong Flu" with a death toll of 1 million.
- The Asian Flu (1956 to 1958), which originated from China and capped a death toll of 2 million.
- The Cholera pandemic (1910-1911) with a death toll of more than 800 thousand.
- The Black Death (1346 - 1353) caused by the Bubonic Plague and claimed between 75 to 200 million lives.
It's safe to say that each one of these instances cited above felt like the end of the world. Yet, the human race survived and continued to its life cycle, which brought us to today, with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not underestimating the impact of the current pandemic, nor its afflictions to our lives, but just sharing a glimpse of hope that like before our time and our ancestors' time, we too shall overcome this dark period and life will continue to exist until the next catastrophe.
What To Do Now?
As we are passing through this hardship moment, let us not stay focus on the worse thing that can happen, as fed to us from the media. Instead, let's focus on what we need to do to get out of the situation and prevent another similar pandemic.
Our social cultures will be forever changed because of COVID-19; we may no longer shake hands or conglomerate into major crowd events, but we will surely generate new ways of interacting. Say hello to Hologram technologies and distance learning via video conferencing servicing like zoom and facetime.
Finally, keep in mind that the best thing that comes out of catastrophe events is a new way of approaching life. You can call it "Evolution" of the [Hu]man nature.