In the times of COVID-19.
Updated: Jul 23, 2020
Today, the world stands together to combat the coronavirus. The first case of infection due to the novel pathogen was detected in late December 2019, in Wuhan (China). Since then, it has spread to 210 countries, infecting more than 4.5 million people and claiming over 300,000 lives. "Human transmission" was noted as the leading cause of spread, thus, forcing governments worldwide to enforce strict "social distancing" and "lockdown" measures.
While the authorities ensure discipline amongst people, scientists & healthcare professionals stay on the forefront, fighting to save lives. Air crews have flown over thousands who were stranded on foreign lands. Fashion and beauty giants are now using their facilities and resources to manufacture safety essentials like gloves, masks and hand sanitisers. The grocery vendors and staff at supermarkets and pharmacies have been working to stock and deliver essentials.
For those of us indoors, the least we can do is stick to the discipline without resistance. That's the best way to express our gratitude towards the warriors. It's human to worry about the excessive, yet, reversible economic strain, but the human cost is irreversible.
Reconnect and Rethink
Human beings are the most intelligent species in existence. That one bite of knowledge, centuries ago, has led us to transform the face of the earth. We created science, religion and weapons of mass destruction. Yet, a microscopic entity has managed to turn billions of lives upside-down in just a matter of weeks. Ironic, right?
The pandemic, therefore, highlights the shortness and vulnerabilities of human life. The importance of working in harmony and being fortunate to be able to walk out in the open at our own will (unlike the animals). It also throws light on the fact that all humans, irrespective of their caste, gender, colour and nationalities, are composed of the same matter. The disease affects us all equally.
“If you just grabbed your phone out of boredom, try looking up and noticing the world around you instead.” (Headspace)
Observation and mindfulness are keys to unlock the doors of potential. It's time for us, individuals and businesses, both to re-evaluate our needs and habits. It's time we re-think what is genuine growth and what is artificial, leveraged, “scale-up” commerce. (Business of Fashion)
- Why must we consume like we do?
- Why do we need companies to produce so much, so fast?
- What are we leaving behind for our future generations?
The ongoing pandemic, for example, is not just the result of illegal trade of exotic wildlife, but also severe acts of deforestation that increase our contact with new microbes. Glaciers melting, seas drying up, oceans being polluted with plastic, forests going barren, trading wildlife for their skin, pets being abandoned or killed are just a few acts of cruelty against nature. According to the latest reports, climate change from fossil fuel extraction is forcing polar bears to engage in cannibalism (Read 1 & 2).
Food for thought: We are living longer by creating short-lived attachments. Stuck in a linear lifestyle, we Take - Make - Waste and Repeat. We do that with products, with relationships and with nature. Why?
It all starts with You!
(The earth seems to be healing during the lockdown. Read here)