One of the most remarkable phenomena surrounding the coronavirus is characteristic of our time: conspiracy theories. There have been countless theories about the origin of the virus, the effectiveness of various medicines, the strategies of dealing with it, and just about every aspect of the war against COVID-19. What’s more, they all seem to come from reliable sources. As for me, I doubt that anyone knows the answer to any of the questions, including those who are certain that they do.
From my perspective, the virus isn’t even our biggest problem. Were it not for the virus, we would be suffering from something else and people would still be dying in droves. Worse yet, they would not even fight against their suffering or stop to think about its reason; they would simply accept it as an act of fate and miss out on the opportunity for change.
Luckily, the virus has stopped us in our tracks. It made us question our civilization. Everything has been put to the test, from food supply to work, education, entertainment, religion and faith, governments and governance, and human relations. When we emerge from the coronavirus crisis, we must embrace only those elements of civilization that are truly necessary, and truly make our lives better. Anything that does not improve our lives makes them worse, and must therefore be dumped. If we scrutinize ourselves sincerely and boldly, we will come out the other end of the scrutiny as a strong and confident humanity. If we avoid the chance to “clean up the mess,” a second, harsher wave of germs will strike and we will still be forced to comply.
Under our noses, the rules of the game have changed. Capitalism isn’t working anymore. It cannot work when every person is dependent on every other person in the global village. Ruthless competition and a dog-eat-dog economic policy do not work when one sick person shuts down the entire world. A different policy is required, which takes all of humanity into account, or the domino effect seen with COVID-19 will take the whole system crashing down.
Today’s rule of thumb should be unity. Every regulation, directive, law, and act must begin with questioning its contribution to global unity. If it does not, it is certain to do more harm than good and must be struck off from the agenda. Today my words may seem like fantasy, but tomorrow we will find that they are the only possible reality.
And what is true for all of humanity is true for all of nature. Just as we have been fighting against one another, we have been fighting against nature. We have tried to harness and exploit it for our purposes. We have trampled every living creature and every piece of land and water. We have left nothing clean or healthy. Is it any wonder that finally, nature is sending us diseases? It would probably be more sensible to ask why it had not done so before!
Yet, nature isn’t trying to destroy us. The coronavirus is not a threat to the existence of humankind. If anything, it will make us and our environment healthier and cleaner. We want nature to be kind to us, yet we mistreat and abuse it wherever and however we can. Can we expect it not to set us straight?
In order to avoid nature’s painful teachings, we must realize two things: 1) Everything is connected to everything else. Whatever each of us does impacts the entire system. 2) To mend our relations with nature, we must work on our own nature. We cannot be kind to all the trees and at the same time mean to all the people, but if we are kind to all the people, we will also be kind to all the trees, animals and all that exists.
The coronavirus will not let go of us, so we will not think that we can come out of it in any way besides mutual connection. This is where our easy and pleasant existence is found. These positive connections are the cure for COVID-19 and for any other virus. If we change our hearts toward each other, no virus will sicken our bodies.