Throughout history, there have been instances where either the whole world or most of it suffered the same predicaments at the same time. The two World Wars where every country was affected by it, either by directly participating in it and losing millions of people or by some other means. Of course, some were affected more than others, and some significantly less.
Besides the wars, history remembers the outbreaks of deadly diseases that wiped out a great percentage of the population. One of them was the bubonic plague whose death percentage was 50%. Another one was Spanish flu with its deadly outbreak at the beginnings of the XX century.
And now we have Coronavirus.
It’s been long since there were any pandemic situations and if there were epidemics they were mostly contained to a few countries or regions. Nothing worldwide, nothing that affected all of humanity. We have lived pandemic and similar catastrophic situations through films, stories, and imagination. They existed only in fiction. They were not real and even if there was some kind of a mild threat to public health, we still lived in a technologically advanced age where pandemics are the things of the past. It’s not like we are almighty or anything like that, but we do have great confidence in our scientific and medical advances that we could blissfully leave all those things to live only on the screen, for our entertainment.
But then Coronavirus happened.
At first, it was only one country – one country that is so far away, that, in our minds, it has no real connection to the reality we are living in. After all, their culture is weird and they eat all sorts of disgusting stuff. They are not as refined as we are. Furthermore, people in that country are accustomed to having epidemic outbreaks – just remember SARS. It is something that happens there, not here. It’s their problem, not ours. Until it is.
We can point out fingers at whomever we want, but the fact is that now, the whole world is that far away country. We all face the same dangers, we all have the same problems. We all want to survive. In all truth, it is the fault of every single one of us – of those who thought they were somehow invincible while they stayed in that far away country, simply because they were the citizens of the countries where things like that never happened, of those who thought they were safe because they weren’t residing in that country, of those who think this is a joke, of those who are bored in their homes.
This is something that is much bigger than our individual likes and dislikes our beliefs and destinies. This creates a unique sense of unity in death and suffering. There is no place on Earth that isn’t affected by the pandemic, be it through the current number of cases and death rate, or the serious pause in the economy. Right now, the world is not what it used to be. The “natural” order is jeopardized – it doesn’t exist. We are forced to think beyond our commodities and our immediate surroundings. Maybe we are not ready for it and maybe we will never be. But we have to change our way of thinking and seeing the world in order to get out of this.