In this strangest spring we all have seen, the past weeks have been more like a science-fiction movie than any imaginable reality. A microscopical threat that originated from wild animals, raging like a wildfire from human to human around the globe, has become a pandemic that is now holding the entire world in its tight grip! Sounds like Mary Shelley’s dystopian novel “The Last Man” (1826), “Contagion” or the imaginative mind of a filmmaker. Movies, I don’t want to see, because they now bear too much reality! Our globalised world is facing unthinkable challenges for you and me, which have long been anticipated by scientists like a prophecy.
Countries forced into complete shut down. Borders that globalisation has erased, erected again between countries and individuals. The entire world that humans have created with great speed and greed forced to halt: At Times Square, in the city that never sleeps, surreal emptiness sparks disbelief. Vibrant European capitals like Paris turned into ghost towns ruled by curfews, whose deserted streets are patrolled by police. In the meantime, hospitals preparing for a war against an invisible enemy. Patients are being stacked up in corridors of hospitals in Italy, the presence of military, apocalyptic scenarios I confined to past centuries and the storytellings of my grandmother`s memory. An unprecedented sense of insecurity has spurred philosophical moments of emotionality. Powerlessness overcoming the majority. Last week`s problems would be a luxury. Yesterday`s convenience would be a treasure to me, as we are all falling through clouds of comfort. Surreality has become the new normality! In this tsunami of breaking news and exponential numbers, it has been challenging to keep up a peaceful mentality, knowing that this hasn’t even been the apex of fatalities. Medical professionals are fighting for lives in selfless heroic acts, people have been singing to each other from balconies, while some are arguing over stacks of toilet paper, drowning in selfish food hoarding. A crisis brings out the best and worst in humanity in unexpected dimensionality!
“WE ARE CONNECTED!”
I have been searching for truth in the eye of this unraveling storm. A couple of days ago, I opened Cleo Wade`s book “Where to begin” and I found three words spread in capital letters across page 45 that enlightened my perspective on this misery: “WE ARE CONNECTED”. In my lifetime, this pandemic is the most powerful and humbling demonstration of our interdependence. Our health, the health of other human beings, that of wild animals and that of our planet are all dependent on each other! We are all linked as part of one system. Scientists are speaking of it as “One Health”. 1) As a result of our interconnected globalised world we are more susceptible than ever. What affects one person on the other side of the world affects all of us. 2) The protection of the environment is the protection of our health. 3) As a matter of fact, we are awakening to the profound sense of our interconnectedness with every other form of LIFE!
Humanity had become oblivious of humility, relying on the deceiving invincibility of technology, science and vaccines. But nature is demonstrating with all ferocity our existence`s fragility is bound to its mercy. The real genius is unpredictability, exponential growth unleashes natures beast, currently playing its full force against humanity. Respirators becoming a scarcity, now we know how it feels if your lungs are deprived of oxygen. Humankind is reeling, but the animal world does quite the contrary. It doesn’t seem to be very impressed by the world`s economy on its knees, nature is currently taking a deep breath, reclaiming the world faster than death. And in this new calm a never seen gratefulness sets in: Freedom, health and social wealth will hopefully never be taken as axioms again.
“We are awakening to the profound sense of our interconnectedness with every other form of LIFE!”
Every crisis is also a chance! Did we really need a virus for us all to see? This is our ultimate test of solidarity, especially for young generations swaying in invincibility. A wake up call for our society, what truly matters to humanity? Likes, twitter, selfies and narcissistic feeds won’t help to fight a crisis defined by mortality! In social distancing we can find the true strength of community. Life is not always about “me”. Now is the time to take responsibility for our weak and elderly, which have been weighed for too long by the strange notion life ageing is depreciating.
Our addiction to perfect imagery must regain scientific belief, expanding our imagination beyond what we can see! But most importantly this virus has to be a lesson for you and me on how we are facing other crisis like global warming with a newborn spirit of unity! As our fast paced lives are slowing down, let`s use this time to take a deep breath, like nature currently, to reconsider our wealth, revalue our health and reconnect to ourselves – maybe things that we have all neglected for too long.