Covid-19 is not just a virus; it is a true mirror and reflection of nations’ ‘strength’ and ‘power’. This invisible virus has unveiled the flimsy state of ‘national security’ and hegemony claimed by powerful establishments around the world.
The coronavirus is simply spreading from country to country, challenging the arrogance and apathy of leaders, generals, judges, technology-owning Gods, missile-making scientists and mullahs and priests of towering mosques and cathedrals.
The tiny and imperceptible virus has overpowered intercontinental nuclear and ballistic missiles, supersonic fighter jets, Globus-like radars, super computers and many other safety and security gadgets.
Covid-19 has not only exposed the institutional inabilities of weak and fragile states but also uncovered the inhumane policies of ‘powerful’ governments, which have been robbing their nation’s wealth, depriving them of education, health, food, nutrition, hygiene and clean drinking water, and investing all their national earnings on adventurous war machines.
The virus introduced individual masking but at the same time unmasked the reality and strength of powerful developed countries which claim to transport humanity to Mars and the moon but which are unable to provide masks and personal protection gear to their people in times of emergency.
Covid-19 has ruthlessly exposed nation after nation, indiscriminately spreading its arms to all human beings without being judgmental about race, colour, religion, region and status.
Unlike white supremacist, fundamentalist or Islamic extremists, Covid-19 is a belief-less creature, and has infected and brought tears, pain, sorrow and sadness to each and every community and country.
Covid-19 is not limited to the malnourished populace; it is reaching out equally to the world’s millionerds and tycoons. Ministers and prime ministers, princesses and priests, generals and judges, soldiers and servants – everyone is experiencing this pain and contagion.
What is shocking is that we are still trying to find excuses, crafting and creating conspiracy theories. There is no willingness to discuss and debate our wrongdoings and misdeeds that invaded, destroyed, devastated and demolished each and every corner of the world for our personal leisure and greed.
Are we unaware that with our supersonic cutting machines, we cut over 18 million acres (7.3 million hectares) of forest area each year, not only harming nature and the environment but crushing the habitats of billions of wild species and manipulating ecosystem, weather patterns, and even climate?
Due to our endless desire for luxury and energy, the world lost 502,000 square miles (1.3 million square kilometers) of forest cover between 1990 and 2016. Fastly disappearing forests and loss of wildlife habitats never gained our serious attention, except for a few fancy seminars.
Our approach to animals and wildlife is shocking. Every single day we slaughter and kill over 200 million animals and a total of 72 billion yearly, just on land. In addition, around the world, over half a billion animals are killed by hunters each year.
The coronavirus is a reflection of our irresponsible behaviour. We have been carelessly polluting our lakes, rivers, streams, groundwater, and eventually oceans by dumping and pumping massive pieces of garbage and invisible chemicals into these water bodies.
Our greed for inexpensive energy is costing irreparable and expensive loss, loss of clean air. Coal-fired power plants emit 84 of the 187 hazardous air pollutants. Our video-gaming habits turned humanity into a warzone. Dozens of countries are suffering from direct and indirect wars waged by a greedy, selfish and war-mongering elite that has a powerful correlation with the war industry.
The environment has long been a silent casualty of war and armed conflict. The methods of modern warfare cause far greater devastation on the environment. The progression of warfare from chemical weapons to nuclear weapons has increasingly created a stress on ecosystems and the overall environment.
There is no end to the manmade disasters; we produce millions of tons of pharmaceutical drugs to save lives but are in return causing serious damage to the environment. Drug pollution is causing frightening water pollution, metabolites, which reach the aquatic environment – rivers, groundwater, lakes and oceans.
One of the main threats of drug pollution is discharging antibiotics into the environment, leading to antibiotic-resistant pathogens that are harder to treat.
In search of leisure and luxury, we humans have created unseen monsters, breeding diseases and producing disasters. Our misdeeds are causing more death and destruction to humans and wildlife than the tiny Covid-19.
The coronavirus is a message for the new century – of rethinking our behaviour and approach. It can’t and shouldn’t be treated by mere use of Acetaminophen or any pain reliever.
The novel coronavirus is a loud and clear message from billions of species, which we have disregarded as part of nature, that they do exist, and want to live side by side in harmony with humans. They’re asking us to accept them and respect them.
Covid-19 will subside once we, as humans, decide to change – change for humanity, think about humanity and invest in humanity.
The writer is a member of the Balochistan Assembly, and former Senator.
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