The coronavirus has spread throughout the world. Yet, of all the species living on the planet, its noxious impact seems to be affecting almost only humans. Why is that?
If we look at the instructions we are required to obey in order to contain the coronavirus (which we are disobeying), it might tell us something about the reason it is impacting almost only people. To curb the virus, we are required to maintain social distancing, wear face masks, and wash our hands. Of the three requirements, the first two are critical to preventing us from spreading the virus, and the third is important if we want to avoid catching it ourselves. Let’s focus on the first two, since if we obey them, we won’t spread the virus to others and won’t have to worry about catching it from them.
Social distancing means more than keeping six feet apart. Why is it not called “physical distancing,” which would make more sense considering that this is what we are required to do? “Social distancing” is the right term because we are required to keep ourselves apart socially and emotionally, and not just physically.
Animals do not maintain noxious connections among them; there is no ill-will even between the hunted and the hunter in the animal kingdom. Therefore, although they transmit to one another viruses and other potentially pernicious germs, it hardly ever affects them.
Humans, on the other hand, have cultivated a culture of competition, bigotry, and discrimination. In a word, it is a culture of hate. As a result, the viruses that we transmit to others are as nasty as our thoughts about them, and just as noxious. In fact, our negativity toward each other is so intense that even keeping six feet apart won’t dilute it enough to make it harmless, so we are required to cover our faces, too.
Until we heal our hatred for each other, we will not get rid COVID-19. Even if we find medical solutions to mitigate its impact, it will only become more sophisticated and injurious, just as we ourselves act surreptitiously when we want to hurt someone but cannot do it openly. So while working to find a cure or a vaccine for the coronavirus, we must work even harder to cure the pandemic of hatred that has spread throughout the human race.