On early January we watched on the news about a pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan, China, and many of us thought this was just another disease in a far away continent like SARS, MERS, Ebola, that will never reach us in Europe or America. It took a month for the WHO to declare the outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, another month to raise the global risk of spread of COVID-19 from high to very high. It was until March 11th when WHO declares a pandemic.
Why did it go so wrong? Why did we not see this coming? Why did we react so late? We could ask many other questions but the fact is that WHO, and most of our governments reacted very late, and here we are with this serious challenge.
I am writing not to explain why this is happening, but to question ourselves what could we have done better and what can we do now as global community to overcome this undeniable challenge. The global economy has become so complex that a crisis in the most powerful nations causes an economic catastrophe in developing countries. When the COVID-19 pandemic slows down there will be more deaths due to the tremendous inequality and disparities in access to resources.
Now as we are in a self-quarantine or under lock down, it is a good time to rethink a few things:
What kind of life do we want to live and what kind of planet do we want to inherit to the future generations?
How can we live in a way that our actions do not affect negatively other people?
We live in a planet of finite resources, but how can we use them in a sustainable manner?
How can we live in a more equal world, where people have the same opportunities despite of the country they were born?
Have you ever wonder how many people die of starvation everyday?
How can we fight the power of money?
Take a moment during the quarantine to think what can you do to create a positive change in the world or what can you do to become a better you.
Cherry blossom. Tokyo, Japan.