COVID-19 lessons: Be humble, respect nature, save humanity
Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been wreaking havoc across the world. Actually, COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China, in December 2019. Recently, the virus has seized the entire world in its grip. Even the mightiest rulers of the world with the largest army and most powerful nuclear weapons are unable to combat COVID-19 effectively. US President Donald Trump is acting as if the US is mightier than the virus. But the consequence is there in display.
At the time of writing, there are 4.53M confirmed cases and 307K confirmed deaths. The epicenter is being shifted from China to Italy, Spain, to the US to Russia to India. People are feeling as if they were animals in the zoo or a cage as their freedom is restricted within home isolation.
Children, elderly people, manual workers and the homeless are suffering a lot at the moment. Children and the elderly have low immunity and there is high chance of this virus destroying the whole respiratory system. Workers cannot go to work and it’s hard for them to join hand to mouth. Balanced diet and nutritional foods are a far cry for them.
Trump is blaming Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Chinese officials are blaming the US for spreading the virus. The question arises: who are to be blamed? Non-humans? Animals and plants? No, we humans are to be blamed. We are eating what is not to be eaten, we are destroying what is not be destroyed, we are testing what is not to be tested, we are climbing what is not be climbed, we are polluting what is not be polluted and we are threatening what is not to be threatened.
Who will be the sufferers? Definitely, we, human beings; not non-humans like animals, plants and birds. They are feeling more relaxed now than before. We boast that human beings are the smartest and the most intelligent being in the world. In fact, human beings are the most stupid creatures in the world.
We see people are in panic to save their lives and earn their livelihood but rest of the world is relaxed. This is the bitter fact that no-non humans are afraid of COVID-19. In fact, they have regained their natural shelters and foods which were occupied and destroyed by humans. Non-humans are happier right now because they never harm the nature and the nature will never pay them back with epidemics and natural disasters.
Human beings are innately arrogant and most of times this arrogance leads us to destruction. We will suffer a lot due to our arrogance. Why did first and second world war break out and innocent people were made scapegoats? This was because of few excessively arrogant rulers of the world. Japan suffered a lot in World War II. Thousands of people lost their lives and significant infrastructure of development were destroyed. This is the reality that arrogance results in downfall.
We are boastful that we have invented the airplane, spacecrafts, tested the nuclear bombs, and visited the moon. But we are very poor in combatting COVID-19 at the moment. We are not able to protect ourselves. Donald Trump boastfully announced, “We have the best doctors in the world and we will take COVID-19 under control easily”. Now, the pandemic’s epicenter is the US. The scientists and the rulers of powerful countries should work for the protection of the whole world including non-humans, not for the destruction.
Modern humans are very short-sighted and do not care about rest of the world. They just want to fulfill their immediate desires without thinking about the future. Fulfilling their immediate desires satisfies them and they do not ponder profoundly about the days they are to encounter in the future. We want to enjoy all luxuries and comforts, ignoring the earth and other species. When the plot reaches its climax, then, of course, downfall begins and we will again be the sufferers. Now, we are regretful. But it is already too late. We are always guided by personal selfishness. We do not really want to think deeply about others and the future.
Capitalism has become one of the main reasons for people’s suffering. Do non-humans practice capitalism? Definitely not. Capitalism incites people to accumulate as much property as they can. Build skyscrapers, shopping malls, swimming pools, industries etc and make capital; money at any cost. These are the major slogans of capitalism. Now, people are destroying the environment and the species of plants and animals and are pursuing their dream of being capitalists. Countries like China and the US are doing exactly the same and people are suffering more with epidemic, disasters and apocalypses.
The more nuclear test is carried, the more humans will suffer and eventually, most probably, nuclear weapons will end the humankind. Powerful countries like Korea, China and the US are demonstrating their power by producing nuclear weapons day and night. Nuclear hubs are contaminating the people and the atmosphere nearby which is the main reason of spreading the diseases threatening the whole human existence. Some people are blaming the powerful countries that they made COVID-19 in their labs as biological viruses for the war. Time will prove if it is true.
Overpopulation has engulfed the world. Rapid population growth demands higher consumption of resources. If the non-renewable resources come to an end, what will the world use? Science fiction writer Isaac Asimov in his essay ‘Nightmare Life without Fuel’, written in 1997, talks about the terrible, dark, cold and totally paralyzed life of humans when all resources of fuel come to an end. In the same way, this earth cannot, one day, tolerate this population. We are suffering and the day is coming when we will suffer even more.
Definitely, the posterity will suffer more than we suffer right now. They will encounter new diseases, more devastating natural disasters and weather extremes. These things will be very hard to resist and fight. Consequently, the whole human existence comes to such apocalyptic condition where people can go nowhere. What shall we do at that time? We have to surrender. The only one thing we can do is ‘pray for the whole humanity’.
Humans need to listen to their conscience and fulfill their needs while protecting the environment. Stop nuclear testing, let the earth go green, do not eat what is not to be eaten, do not destroy what is not to be destroyed, do not be boastful with scientific inventions which are threats to humans and other species of the earth, have foresight and ponder profoundly for posterity. Only then will we suffer less and posterity will be spared. In order to maintain proper balance in environment and ecology, we must learn from non-humans.
The writer has an MPhil in English from Tribhuvan University.
Published on 17 May 2020