Already threatened by the belligerent proliferation of nuclear weapons and climate change, the world has currently been threatened by the pandemic new coronavirus, baptized as COVID-19. Since this one kind of virus among billions in the nature shook the very foundations of human civilization to its roots, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to admit that we have witnessed universal vulnerability.
The financial losses that multinational corporations have to bear due to this pandemic are being estimated with global media highlights, while the agenda of health as a basic human right appears far too fainter though health as a commercial luxury is not a new phenomenon. The global crisis has more than adequately exposed our universal vulnerability from which the world can learn some important lessons, especially in terms of political orientations heavily molded by oligarchic psyche that intrinsically jeopardizes the life quality of the majority. But unfortunately, this agenda appears still overshadowed in global media due to their ideological polarization.
While the world has been testing people for the coronavirus, the virus, on the other hand, has been testing human wisdom. The year 2020 is radically different from the year 1918, when a similar pandemic called the 'Spanish Flu' took millions of life in the world. Today, we are globally networked by information and communication technologies (ICTs) for multiple transactions, with an unprecedented degree of economic and technological interdependence. Despite the existing digital divide and the all-pervasive multidimensional disparity, the world today is definitely advanced economically, technologically and information-wise in the sense of human achievements. Conforming to the logical requirement of more critical and analytical modern citizenry, it would be reasonable to substantively consider the COVID-19 pandemic from a proactive and change-seeking perspective.
Even in normal times, economic volatility could be seen. This pandemic caused unprecedented voluntary suspension of economic activities within and among nations for the sake of protecting human lives. Following resumptions amidst the prevalence of the coronavirus, nations will have to rework harder to restore their normal economic status by getting through devastating situations. However, the harsher situation created by the pandemic could also be a watershed for the world to get better through the application of fundamental democratic values in a truly accountable and public-spirited manner. Blaming the virus, it is easy to cover up our serious defects generated by our psycho-moral settings founded on political and socio-economic patterns. However, logical questions arise in reasoning minds across the globe beyond more than a seeming circumstance of the new virus's strangeness. It takes a great degree of ideological and racial tolerance, combined with wisdom and its subsequent spirit of universal fraternity, to successfully deal with the pandemic and its after-effects. Any notion of using the crisis as part of covert war against one another among major global players would ultimately harm humanity. Racist and ideologically biased expressions, oblivious of inherent defects in human nature, would not be conducive to effectively dealing with the pandemic that has already mirrored our serious vulnerabilities.
Up to the World War II period at least, chauvinism was predominant among nations. Marked by globalization and interdependence networked in multiple ways, the current era does not recognize chauvinism as a practically workable concept capable of sustaining any nation. Only by realizing the universal vulnerability witnessed in the process of coping with the pandemic coronavirus can the world utilize the situation as a turning point of positive cooperation and co-existential progress. In this sense, it is a truly testing period in the human history. Whatever the causing factor of the coronavirus, the world has suffered heavy humanitarian and economic losses within 11 months and will suffer inexplicably should the crisis be abused for ignoble purposes. The internalization of this universal vulnerability could result in proactive thoughts and actions to cope with newer challenges set by the natural environment as well as unwholesome human life styles.
The pandemic raises the need of global cooperation, which primarily entails the internalization of the UN Charter's spirit of nations' togetherness, dispelling non-conscientious belligerence and futile hostility. Hostility results out of mutual mistrust. Win-win cooperation among nations can breed a great deal of positive trust-an asset to lay heads together and act concertedly. This is the time for us to remind ourselves of the universal principles of equality, freedom and brotherhood for promoting a cordial atmosphere for global cooperation. Listening to experts, in this context, would be productive. They suggest that even if the COVID-19's deceleration occurs at the moment due to temporary physical distancing and shutdowns, it may recur on a larger scale after resumption of normal activities so long as a proper vaccine is not developed and administered globally. This shows the essentiality of global cooperation to defeat the pandemic.
Individualism Vs global-mindedness
Individual freedom is as natural as the very life itself. But individuality-not a standalone matter- is part of collectivity in the mundane sense. Amidst our growing tendencies to compromise collective interests to individualism, the question how globe-minded we have been as to coping with a global pandemic like the COVID-19 is natural. Individualist decisions affect collective interests. Can our ultra-commercialist health policies truly address public health concerns, jeopardized by profit hunts that run counter to the acute need of psycho-moral, physical and social wellbeing as the criteria of human health? The current pandemic poses a stark question regarding the existing nature of health policies and strategies of nations, often ritualized but detached from ground realities-based actions. Amidst the de-territorialization of cultural industries and body glamor-based social ideology, individualism seems to have overruled the true spirit of globalization. Apparently, highly interlinked global economic ecosystem means even a single major disruption in one part of the world bitterly affects economies in many parts of the globe.
In this context, human solidarity and collective wellbeing based on synergistic development processes cannot be ruled out under the vision of globalization.
Moreover, health systems in the globe show more individualism. The new coronavirus reveals the fact that the globe's health systems require to be based on human rights principles. In the present circumstances, it would be counterproductive to merely speak of ourselves in superlatives, dreaming of individual empire over the majority of people. Whatever be nations' political and socio-economic orthodoxies, human traits of moral reasoning and conscience towards ensuring a safe world through the transformation of conflicts arising out of the widespread rich-poor disparity should not be ignored.
The current COVID-19 pandemic issue is concerned with how nations manage the crisis from medical, political, economic, and socio-cultural perspectives. It is an important issue of applying democracy to benefit the majority, minimizing the pre-existing effects of ritualization. Moreover, this is also the time to seriously reflect on how well we have adopted democracy as a just system of collective wellbeing.
Ruling over people or the whole world is not as exact as ingeniously serving people and humanity as a whole. This is why statesmanship matters the most in the current era. This could be an issue to realize in the light of the pandemic.
(Article changed on October 6, 2020 at 04:27)