Changing world

 
August 04, 2020

For the past few years, or even decades, we have been discussing the dramatic changes brought to the world by new technologies in the fields of IT and communications. But today we need to discuss a...

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For the past few years, or even decades, we have been discussing the dramatic changes brought to the world by new technologies in the fields of IT and communications. But today we need to discuss a very different kind of change which may potentially lie ahead. According to the WHO, Covid-19 is likely to be drawn out over some years and there is no certainty when or how it will go away. The US has expressed a lack of trust in vaccines being developed overseas, and for now experts say they cannot confirm if a vaccine will work against the virus which has already killed more than 680,000 people worldwide. The toll continues to rise as India and the Philippines report new infections and countries in Europe have announced new lockdowns to prevent a second wave. The WHO has said that the impact of the pandemic will be felt for decades to come. We have already seen some of these changes in terms of the way we live, the extent to which we move outside our homes and of course travel to other parts of the world.

But the coronavirus pandemic is not alone in threatening to alter our lives forever. Climate change has already inflicted havoc on crop cycles and patterns of rainfall in many parts of the world. Scientists believe there could be mass flooding if polar ice caps melt, sweeping away land mass lying close to them and destroying life of many kinds. The thawing of permafrost, which freezes the soil and ground cover in parts of the world even though these areas may not be covered by snow is an added risk. There are warnings that if permafrost begins to disappear the soft soil which emerges will result in villages sliding away, dangerous gases being released and viruses or bacteria that have remained dormant for years emerging once again.

These changes present immense challenges for the human race. We have developed all kinds of technology. But despite our scientific advancement we have not been able to combat Covid-19. Much has been due to the fact that people have been unable to reconcile with the idea that the system may have to be changed forever and that life must change too. Only recently, protesters in Europe have demanded a return to normalcy. But this normalcy has been lost because of our own errors and oversight. We fail to respect nature sufficiently. As a result, we have mutated viruses, large-scale climate change, depletion of water resources, and issues such as disappearance of permafrost. The question we need to answer over the coming years is if our science and learning can enable us to tackle these problems which present a massive threat to humans no matter where they live. How we deal with these problems may determine our future and the pattern along which we lead our lives.



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