By the end of 2019, a lot of people were eager to greet the year of 2020 when some big and important events would occur.
Brexit were about to happen. Some countries were about to have important elections. Sporting events — some of them are large-scaled like Euro 2020 and Tokyo Olympics 2020 — were about to take place in the first double digit year since 101 years.
Little did we know that we’d all taken by surprise by something that’s actually already emerging in the late 2019.
Welcoming the new year, we all feared of the threat and the hypothetical scenarios of the World War III out of US-Iran conflict, but come February nobody would’ve thought that a bigger and a more horrific threat already awaited.
Plans collapsed, events cancelled, and the public went to a massive dismay.
We were obviously not ready for that kind of situation, but it shouldn’t have been like that because we had it coming.
We Had It Coming
Yes! We had it coming. Land conversion, aggressive and irresponsible deforestation, wildlife trade, well, to put it briefly: Urbanization.
We obviously couldn’t stop this process from happening continuously and exponentially since we all keep reproducing.
So eventually we’re gonna have to reside in the places that are not supposed to be resided in which made zoonosis — infectious disease that is transmitted between species from animals to humans — possible.
But we could — and we must — make it less aggresive, be more responsible, and be more thoughtful of our mother nature.
“The biggest danger is not the virus itself. The really big problem is our own hatred, greed, and ignorance” -Yuval Noah Harari (Historian and Author).
The society we live in today was shaped by history.
There are also lessons provided by history regarding the outcome of irresponsible urbanization and about the ability of our mother nature to strike back through plague.
We could go as far as 5,000 years back when the first plague happened in the Neolithic farming populations which later caused massive human migration and furthered this urbanizing habit.
Then Leprosy in the Middle Ages, Spanish Flu which resulted 50 million deaths worldwide in early 1900s, H2N2 Pandemic (Asian Flu) in the 1950s, and the historic tragedy that took almost 60 percent of Europe’s population in the mid-1300s: The Black Death.
So no, it’s not the first time for us humans to experience something like today’s crisis. It may, however, be the worst crisis in our generation.
The lessons that I’m talking about could as well teach us about how we should never sit unprepared and about how we should always expect this kind of thing.
By understanding history, we arm ourselves with information that is pivotal in decision-making.
It is nonsense to be indecisive especially in times like these given the information that we possess.
Indecisiveness Is the Root of All Evil
Well, of course, it’s not necessarily evil.
But, we could argue that indecisiveness leads to unclarity, unclarity leads to confusion, confusion leads to chaos, and we could imagine evil things that might happen from a chaos situation.
We could never afford to be indecisive in this kind of situation, we must be able to decide and decide swiftly yet wisely for every decision has consequences and would also shape the future that we’re going to inhabit.
We could never afford to be indecisive especially when a lot of people are counting on us, a lot of people depend on us so much.
We have witnessed people went on rampage, fighting each other in supermarkets, robbing food and supplies, hoarding and panic buying.
We must acknowledge that those things were also products of confusion out of unclarity.
People were left confused by people up above — their government and policy-makers. No matter how much they’re trying to address and unravel this situation, most of them have never been able to come up with some concrete and resoluble actions whatsoever.
Some sinister ones even made use of this situation.
It’s as if they never really care about the fact that people — who depend on them and their decisions — are hurting and even suffering from the way they demonstrate their indecisiveness.
No, We’re Not In The Same Boat
We’re all hurt, but we’re hurt differently.
So no, we’re not in the same boat. We, however, are in the same storm.
For employees who are fighting their boredom from working at home, there are people who got laid-off who are struggling or even suffering.
For those who are surfing the internet at home and complaining about bad internet connection, there are spouses who are already lost their connections.
For family members who are forced to stay at home and stucked with their family, there are also those who are separated from their family even in the most important of times.
For people who have the luxury of staying at home and feel safe, there are people who are putting their lives on the line but still are underappreciated.
We are facing the same storm, though each and every one’s ability to survive it varies.
We must acknowledge this and stop saying that we’re all in the same boat altogether.
Instead, start doing something real even if it’s not big.
Start reaching out to those who are closest to us — our neighbor, family, and especially the elderly.
Reach out to some old friends to make sure that they’re doing well.
Start being less wasteful of food or any other resources.
Don’t stop donating our blood to prevent scarcity for people who depend their lives on donated blood.
Declare war on disinformation and conspiracy theories because it might cause people to stop seeking and listening to the truths.
And the most important thing, to take a good care of ourselves.
Advance, Human Race!
Microbes — as we are all aware — have this mechanism called mutation. This is how they survive, this is how they adapt, this is how they advance.
We all know the fact that SARS-CoV-2 has crazy resillience.
Its endurance and transmissibility are unexpected.
They have advanced.
Human race must find its own way to advance too. If we let microbes to keep advancing then maybe we’re gonna end up losing to them.
One form of advancement could very well be the change of our lifestyles, of our behaviors.
Keeping our distances, avoiding physical touches, sanitizing our hands and wearing mask religiously, keeping our surroundings clean and hygienic, getting enough sunlight, maintaining our vitamin intake, tracking body temperature, working from home, online shopping, etc.
Those things could very well be our mechanism of advancement.
“The Corona Virus is sent to remind us of the important lessons that we seem to have forgotten and it is up to us if we will learn them or not” -Bill Gates (Co-founder of Microsoft and Philathropist).
Another form of advancement that we must consider involves technology, for it has the ability to leverage our lifestyle.
We must get along with it. It helps us connect, it provides us records, it simplifies processes. Those things and million other things that are made possible with technology.
It might also critical in times of crisis like today. Like I said earlier, one of the most pivotal things that needs to be considered in times like these is decision-making.
Technology has the ability to help us decide swiftly and accurately since it can help us by providing data, information, and even analysis.
How Do We Plan For the Future
Like I said earlier, we should always expect these kind of things. This crisis, this pandemia.
We also have witnessed how hurtful it is towards our lives, our economy, our politics, and furthermore it’s globally.
“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles” -Sun Tzu (Chinese Philosopher and Military Strategist).
Global threats require global collaborations.
It is as much as fighting a world war, except we all share common enemy. We must find common strength to fight it and it lies in our solidarity and interdependance.
We should be able to make information more accessible in times like these for information that’s discovered in the morning in one side of the world might help the other side of the world to fight before the nightfall. The evaluation of one country’s tactical plan might help the other countries on developing their own.
We need a strong plan regarding supply chain. We understand that supply is one of the determining factors of a nation’s survival. We mustn’t let each nation to survive on its own and to fulfill its needs alone.
Each country’s ability to repress the impact varies because each country’s medical capacity is not the same in terms of its personnel and its facility. Countries who are less affected by crisis should always be prepared to send backup to countries who are heavily affected. It is should be planned for every country to freely send their medical backups for the ones who are hurt the most and don’t have the capacity to fight.
This plan, this international co-operation, this collaboration is of the utmost importance because this kind of crisis is most likely going to repeat in the future. In short, we need an effective response system and a strong reserves.
Also, in the future, we’re gonna have to prepare to put an appropriate amount of faith in science.
Science culture would not only help us understand but it would also help us anticipate correspondingly.
Science liberates and empowers society.
Crisis and Its Necessities
It could be seen as sinister to say something too positive about this crisis — for the great loss and massive amount of victims.
It is, however, inevitably paradoxical since it could still give us lessons and benefits for a better future.
“Successful resolution of the pandemic crisis may motivate us to deal with bigger issues that we have until now balked at confronting” -Jared Diamond (Historian and Author).
It takes both storm and sunshine to create bright rainbow.
Though it is bitter but sometimes hardship is necessary.
And we have witnessed,
Big corporations started to give back more to society despite the struggles.
Fathers spent more times with their children despite the challenges at work.
Mothers developed home businesses and found new hobbies despite their routines.
Students thrive with online classes.
Teachers found new and innovative ways of teaching.
Those are demonstrations. Of how rainbows created out of the necessity of bad things and good reactions.
Those things should always make us remember.
That we cannot let ourselves only go as far as the world allows us to be.
That whatever circumstances that we’re in, no matter how hard the situation that we are facing, we should never let those things define who we are.
Whenever life pushes us to our limits, we’re just gonna have to push those limits.
About the Most Important Thing
We all have fallen to the loop of our daily routines.
We have allowed our habit to dull our sense and duty as a part of community.
The feeling of powerfulness as if we’re able to do just everything.
They have made us forget of what truly holds meaning in our lives, of the most important thing: our belonging as brothers and sisters.
This crisis has shown us our true colors. It has toppled the image that we arduously sustain.
“The current pandemic has highlighted our interdependence: we are all connected to each other, for better or for worse. Therefore, to emerge from this crisis better than before, we have to do so together; together, not alone. Together. Not alone, because it cannot be done. Either it is done together, or it is not done. We must do it together, all of us, in solidarity” -Pope Francis (The 266th Pope).
Our wealth, our jobs, our titles, our ego that we desperately feed, the things that we are prideful of, as it turned out, they don’t matter that much.
Because at the end of the day, what we have is each other.
Here Comes the Sun, du-du-du-du!
The smiles returning to the faces and the ice is slowly melting. Here comes the sun!
Like a piece from one of the most popular songs in history by our beloved artist The Beatles, we should be ready of hoping for some rays of the sun to the world any time now.
Human race is special. We are exceptional creatures.
Because we could share connection not only from our need or instinct.
We could share connections from the things we believe in, the principles we hold true, the codes we solemnly conduct, and the stories we’re told.
Of course, human race will rise.
Humans will thrive.
We will indeed go far.
But only by sticking together, walking forward side by side, can we walk the farthest the distance, can we do more, can we achieve higher.
And in the end, the records will still show.
Whether we stand on the right side of history or not, but more importantly whether we take a stand or not.