You have taken the world by storm. You have no competition to be the Time Person of the year. Tell us more about yourself. Who are you and why have you caused this pandemic?
I have no identity. I came suddenly and will vanish suddenly. You cannot catch me – at least for the near future. Let’s just say that everything in the universe happens for a reason.
But taking innocent lives and threatening humanity – is that a justifiable reason?
Before you blame me, mankind should introspect and ask themselves a few questions. You are not the only inhabitants of planet earth. There are over 8.7M species that live on earth (Of which only 1.3M have been identified) – only humans are in panic not the other species. You have to ask yourself what is it that you have done to cause this situation. Before you point a finger at me kindly introspect.
I still dont get it – can you elaborate?
The essence of life is moderation. What your generation has done in the last 50 years is bringing the planet to the edge. In 1900 the population inhabiting earth was less than 2Bn. Today it is almost 8Bn. Over the last 50 years the incremental growth of population is in the range of 50 – 80M/year. Planet Earth cannot sustain this explosive growth.
This growth of population threatens the existence of all life forms. Nature is devastated. Look at your rivers, oceans, forests. In the last few decades over 500 species of animals have become extinct. This generation in the last 50 years brought the planet to the edge. While everybody is aware – nobody takes action. And when a little girl cried in front of world leaders, most of them ridiculed her. Thats when I realised that it was time to take some action.
But humans have made so much advancement. Why do you think they turn a blind eye to the environment?
The first reasons is – GREED. The measure of success is growth & profit. Apple has a turnover greater than the GDP of most countries but the company still wants to grow and increase profits to shareholders. According to the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report, the world’s richest 1 percent, those with more than $1 million, own 44 percent of the world’s wealth. The rich get richer and most elected Governments encourage this trend. the second reason is POWER. The global arms trade is worth 100Bn annually. Nobody has a count of the total value of of arms & ammunition lying in stockpiles across the world. The current form of capitalism is exploiting the world balance.
Its not just the environment that has been ignored. WHO says that 2.6M children die because of malnutrition every year.
So whats the point – are you here to eradicate mankind and set the equilibrium back in place. Will you leave only after wiping away 50% of the population?
Like I said I came suddenly and I will leave suddenly. For eons I have come in different forms and shapes. Flu, Typhoid, Ebola, Small pox, TB, Chicken Pox. When I come there is panic and disaster but then things soon settle down.
COVID 19 has a fatality rate of 2%. You may recollect that my cousins SARS and MERS had a much higher fatality rate. (SARS 9.6%, MERS 34%).
So why is there so much noise about you?
You can attribute it to Social Media and a connected world where information can spread in seconds. It actually moves faster than me. I am the first global disease after the spread of social media. Yes, I started in a province of China and have spread globally in the last 4 months. But lets look at some data points (As of today April 18th)
- Total Active Cases 1.5 M
- Deaths – 156,000
- 20 Deaths /M
Now lets peel the onion. In the city of NY which has had a vicious attack there were only 3 deaths in the 0 – 17 age group. If you look at data closely across the globe I dont impact children and people below 20.
The biggest section of people impacted are male above 65 and a vast majority of them have some pre ailments which has weakened their immunity. Of the 4095 Male Deaths in NY 3087 had underlying conditions.
I am not a statistician but if someone analyses the numbers you will see that less than 20% of the world population is at a risk of fatality.
But is it not cruel to go after the weak and the vulnerable?
Like I told you earlier, everything has a reason. I am not going after the weak and the vulnerable. Children and healthy women are statistically the safest from my attack. Yes they may get affected but most will recover like any normal Flu in a weeks time.
You should see the movie Logans Run. Its a science fiction that was released in 1976. It tells the story of a human like society in the 23rd century where nobody lives beyond the age of 30. While that may be an extreme and that is not something I am targeting. We need to realise that thanks to medical science, life expectancy has gone up from ~ 30 years to ~ 80 years. And if the trend continues many in their 80’s will go on to live to 100+. This is something that was unheard of 50 years back.
This is against the law of nature. I am fixing this. Again I am majorly impacting people who are already suffering from diseases like Cancer, Cardio, Kidney, Liver problems. Diseases that is causing pain, agony and loss of wealth to families. Rather than suffer for years I help them move on to a better next life in a matter of weeks. The younger folks affected are people who have ruined their health by smoking, drinking, drug addiction etc. Find me a person who leads a healthy, positive moderate life who has been been impacted by me with death. So dont treat me as a villain. I am here for a reason and will leave after my message has been delivered.
So what is your message to mankind?
I have a few key messages
- Dont blame me – blame yourself
- Focus on what changes you need to make in your daily life
- Versions of me have come in the past, I will keep coming in different levels of severity. Accept me as the new norm and get along with your lives
And finally a quote from the Holy Bhagavad Gita
जातस्य हि ध्रुवो मृत्युर्ध्रुवं जन्म मृतस्य च |
तस्मादपरिहार्येऽर्थे न त्वं शोचितुमर्हसि || 27||
Death is certain for one who has been born, and rebirth is inevitable for one who has died. Therefore, you should not lament over the inevitable.
What is the greatest fear of humans? Death, we all know it. Lord Krishna tells his friend and devotee Arjuna not to fear death at all. Death is merely a transitional phase. Death can only come to something which is not permanent; that which is real can never die. Whether a person is an ordinary citizen, a soldier or a leader, he must not fear of losing his life, position or wealth. Relationships, wealth and all other worldly objects are just temporary; they are tools to climb the ladder and realize the Self someday. It isn’t hard to guess how beautiful life would be if there is no fear at all.