As soon as we all began hearing of the fires in Australia, Brazil and elsewhere, the floods in Venice and other locations, the tragedy unfolding in Wuhan, my beautiful eldest daughter said: This is a Cleansing by Mother Earth. She could be right, because some scientists are now telling us – as many have been for decades – of the links between our abuse of Nature and this Pandemic, and, since we’re not cleaning up our act, it seems that Nature has decided to take matters into its own hands by jolting us with a piercing siren to shake us up. So, will we humans take stock of that and modify our ways, or, after scientists come up with a vaccine, which will happen at some point, will we be going back to our wicked, selfish ways? It is a vital question . . .
. . . that many specialists and writers have written numerous articles about, predicting that after this Pandemic quiets down, our life-as-we-know-it will never be the same, and that we will do better. I sincerely question that, because if the same corrupt politicians remain in power, and unfettered capitalism continues on its evil way, then nothing will change. Moreover, as long as there are selfish, ignorant, irresponsible, superficial, entitled and privileged spoilt brats insisting on going back to their pre-Pandemic “normal,” then nothing will change either. Nothing. Nada! And we will only be wasting precious time until the next maelstrom hits us, as it surely will. Sad!
It was very telling for me when texting my wonderful son to enquire how he’s coping, he texts back: “haven’t we been through a fucking war? Of course I’ll cope!” And that is the truth in a nutshell for all of us who are from war-torn countries, who have seen uprooting and displacement; who have had to “make do” and go without; trickling water; sporadic electricity; trash piling up in our streets; who have lived through terror and terrorism; endured the indignity, humiliation, deprivation and devastation of a Colonialism that has never ended; who have slept in corridors and hidden in bathrooms as we hugged our children and as the bombs exploded; who have lost friends at the hands of zealous murderers; who have the scars etched on our hearts and souls and the PTSD that never goes away, but simply subsides only to rear itself up in these disconcerting circumstances. Yes, we can cope better than most citizens of the pampered/modern Western World which has enriched itself by inflicting so many hardships on all those many “others,” and continues to do so with its merciless wars, heartless sanctions and military swaggering! Some cynics have even been saying that this is “Karma” and that what goes around, comes around giving the smug and arrogant Western Governments a taste of the agony that they have been doling out to those they deemed undeserving and beneath them. Ouch! I am also very cognizant of how the regional wars, civil wars, protests and upheavals that I have personally been through clearly demonstrated to me that once the veneers of Civilization begin peeling off, as they are prone to do in challenging circumstances, then the abundant Scum, Ignorance and Criminality lying just beneath the surface of the Glitz and Glamor blatantly and dangerously reveal themselves as social order breaks down, and as the cruelty of our political systems exhibits itself. We are still at the very beginning of this Pandemic, and I am hoping that this will not happen, and that in the obvious absence of capable political leadership, the usually self-aggrandizing media will spare us their “views” and stick to the “facts,” especially in the absence of those from our delusional President. And, perhaps, they can lead the charge of acting as a responsible body by broadcasting and addressing the need for people to maintain civility, manners, moralities and cooperation as they bring in experts and programs to reinforce this, rather than the experts who echo their views. Could they emerge as Heroes? Because, and as in every disaster, there will always be heroes. My heroes today are: ALL Medical Doctors, Nurses and Hospital Professionals, as well as ALL First Responders, Delivery People, Truck Drivers, Supermarket Staff and all those exposing themselves to assist us. Heroes! Also, Doctor Anthony Fauci, who one can obviously discern is biting the bullet and staying put in order to give facts to the American people, and not out of any Pence-like-subservient allegiance to Trump. And my other heroes are Cuba and China, who are demonstrating to the world that they have much more class than our Administration, and are sending their brigades of doctors and experts to help the devastated in Italy and many other places. All of them are real Heroes!
Meanwhile, sequestered people all over the globe are finding ways to lift up their spirits by reaching out and propping each other up; by Sugar-coating our dire situation in order to remain as upbeat as possible. This is quite understandable, and, even, necessary. However, let’s be honest, we all have the jitters inside us, that sinking feeling now and then, the gut-sense that tells us this is very serious. That, too, is understandable. It is Realism, not false Sugar-coating!
History has many foreboding precedents for us; tales, stories, myths and facts about many grim events that have always occurred on our Planet. What is evident are two important realizations. One, is that this too shall pass. And, it will. Two, we will all – every single one of us – hear of many sad stories about people we know, or are related to. This is inevitable when there is this humongous tsunami rampaging throughout every corner of our world. And, therefore, much as Sugar-coating events makes us feel good, I am hoping that we do not lose sight of the Realism of the moment and that we must prepare ourselves to withstand the unfolding of this disease and the devastation it will leave behind on a personal, national and global level. Individuals have done that throughout history. We can, and we will, too.
While we all go through this we will also hear of so many acts of kindness and caring, because Good has always had that extraordinary will to outdo Evil. It has been insistent on doing that from the beginning of time. However, Evil is pretty stubborn too and it has consistently found ways to suppress the Good. In fact, in one way or another, we have all been encouraging that Evil by indulging in our avaricious consumption and total negligence of what that consumption is costing, and who are the humans suffering as a result of it, as well as the extreme suffering we are inflicting upon the Planet. Will we realize that this cannot, and must not, continue, because Pandemics are equal opportunity killers?
P.S. The White House briefing of Sunday, March 29 was the sanest, least delusional to date. Maybe miracles do happen, after all? Fingers crossed!