(Expressed opinions are personal.)
It’s a testing time. Coronavirus has questioned the whole system we have established. It questions globalisation, mass manufacturing, division of labour in large scale, our current lifestyle, sustainability of the world, the vulnerability of human lives and everything else that we have adopted recently.
Disruption of global supply chain happened due to the emergence of Covid-19 in China. Later, it encompassed other parts as well. Economists are debating if we need to have regional manufacturing centres to avoid such a disaster again. Although China reports containment of Covid-19, other parts, especially Europe is engulfed dangerously. Even developed countries are under serious threats. Do we need to have scattered manufacturing clusters? So that in case of a pandemic or other challenge, they can be alternatives to each other?
The global health system, surprisingly even in the developed nations, has come under immense pressure. The USA, European and other countries claimed to have the best health systems in the world. But they have come under pressures and are not able to cope up with the situation. In fact, no health system has been able to accommodate even its own citizens at this time of need. Prioritising is the only option, but it has left a large number of individuals to suffer and many to die. Even testing capacity is not enough. An eye-opener for all of us.
Privatisation has its own merits but in this situation, except for some responsible corporations, no one has come forward. Only the governments have borne the burden, economic and administrative. It raises the question of whether privatisation of all assets is a viable option. It has been proven that in times of difficulties, private players seek government support but unwillingly cooperate in the time of need. Can a nation run if everything is privatised? How much will they be willing to listen to the government? Even if they have to, what will be the cost that individual will have to pay, directly or indirectly? So, either we need to rethink privatisation or put riders on them.
Travelling has increased over a period of time. Facilities and ease of transportation have promoted business travelling and tourism. Both are valid and essential to a certain extent. But as an organisation and individual, we need to ask ourselves, is this an essential travel? If not, avoid. Not only for coronavirus situation but at any time. Each individual travel contributes to the ecological, cultural and social disturbances in one way or other. How many meetings of business could be handled through the use of technology, i.e. teleconference, video conference etc.? How many vacations do we need in a year? Aren't we exaggerating our travelling?
Our current lifestyle, seeking validation on social media, has become restless. This time of isolation and social distancing has revealed the truth. We are finding it difficult to spend time with ourselves, families. Going out is not a necessity but an addiction for us. Even if everything is available at a place, an urge to go out remains in the heart. Even introvert people are finding it surprising how much their ability to remain with themselves has reduced. We need to come back to ourselves.
Are we, as the human species, really undefeatable? Perhaps no. A virus or any other calamity is a threat against us. Some of them are avoidable and some are not. We know, and should accept, that we are vulnerable. Maybe not as mankind, but as an individual. Death of every individual, due to any threat, is a small defeat of human specie. So, why to create more threats? Why not stop preventable deaths? Are we serious about it?
Does comfort and riches of a few outweigh basic needs of others? If a larger section of human society is at a threat, can others live peacefully? The fundamental question is how can one prosper at the cost of others? Don’t say it is reality and pragmatism. We all know, even if it is, it’s faulty. It has been normal for most of the people not to worry for thousands of deaths occurring in some part of the world if their heating and cooling is working properly. But it is only when their own life has come under danger, the antenna has been raised. Our sensitivity and responsibility for mankind need to be stronger.
This is a signal, not an occasion. Let’s learn from it. Not sounding like it’s doomsday, but it’s a time to introspect into the system, our society and humanity.