There is not much to celebrate on World Health Day designated as April 7th by the United Nations. Old diseases once thought eradicated like polio are making a comeback in different continents, and after two years since the Covid-19 outbreak, we are still in the throes of the pandemic.
This year “Our Planet, Our Health” is the UN’s event theme. It focuses on the interdependence between all levels of nature and our health. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 13 million deaths worldwide each year are caused by environmental issues. In fact, climate change is linked to diseases such as cancer, asthma, heart problems, plagues, and others.
We can continue counting the deaths and complaining about the state of the world, but nothing will change until we admit that the health systems globally have failed. Our main concern should be questioning how humanity has reached such a low point despite all the scientific advances that were supposed to ensure a good life for everyone.
Humanity gave birth to health systems based on its own egoistic and ill-intentioned characteristics. So we cannot expect good to come out of evil. The evil referred to here is selfish, egoistic attributes entrenched in humankind. The health systems, like all of society’s systems depend on how money is handled and on people’s willingness to make them function properly.
Many international organizations that are supposed to guarantee a better state of the environment and global health, instead of promoting those goals, are only concerned with amassing financial support and jet setting from conference to conference with no real results and actions to improve the situation.
So no wonder we are not only unable to tackle pandemics effectively, but even old diseases thought to have been virtually eradicated are re-emerging. There may be a period of incubation of hundreds of years in which a disease returns and we are just not aware of this process, but we will never be able to exterminate them for good if we continue creating the conditions for them to proliferate.
All diseases, particularly those discovered in the last few decades, are the result of a mental, physiological and biological imbalance between a person and the environment and between human beings. Until we fix it we will not be able to eliminate the cause of the illnesses.
As humans we need to comprehend that the state of nature depends on the relationships between us. We see visible evidence of our negative impact on nature, but the interconnection runs deeper. We need to face this, change our attitudes, and be willing to adapt to the integrality of nature. This means that we need to take only what is necessary for survival and care for the good functioning of the entire system, instead of considering only selfish calculations and grasping all that we can without any regard for the consequences.
One may ask how human relationships and what happens in nature are related. There are four levels in nature: inanimate, vegetative, animate, and human. All but man exists in accordance with nature’s laws of reciprocity and balance. The other levels have no free choice in anything; they act instinctively taking only what is needed for their survival. Conversely, the human level is the only one that commits atrocities on Earth and against others intentionally, consciously, for the sake of causing harm. All the negative reactions we receive from nature are just a consequence of our actions. Simply put, we bring these blows upon ourselves.
If we try to build a harmonious system of human relations, all of nature will be balanced, including humanity. When we feel how dependent we are on everyone and each acts with concern for the others individually and collectively, like with a common mind and as one body, the ancient proverb “Healthy mind in a healthy body” will become a reality.