Covid-19: The flip side of the coin

J D Lovrenciear


LETTER | Economists, businesses and their hired analysts are screaming warnings of collapsing commerce activities that will bring untold sufferings.

Governments are scrambling with all kinds of financial and social balms to soothe the struggling populace.

Astrologers are painting canvases of a planet that is being punished by the cosmos.

People are experiencing an unprecedented level of alarm, suspicion, challenges and accompanying pain (thanks to communication technologies and media inputs) as they struggle with lockdowns and restricted movement orders the world over while the Covid-19 pandemic rages through national borders.

Will all these be over in the next coming weeks or months or over a year? This remains the most poignant question for everyone, from the illiterate to the expert.

But we need to also focus and embrace a dawning reality in the midst of this ravaging storm and chaos.

The lockdowns to restricted movements imposed by nations have allowed many good things to rise above the anguish.

Drastically reduced noise pollution and the ensuing silence enable the melodies of nature to be heard.

More birds, bees and butterflies are filling gardens and parks.

The air smells more of trees, barks, leaves and flowers - even around our modern concrete barracks and "Towers of Babel" we call home.

Residential areas have become extremely peaceful with little movement of vehicles and people on the roads fronting our homes.

As families bond like never before, there seems to be so much more to do in our homes and backyards and to relish, savour and treasure these moments.

There is time to call and connect with distant relatives and forgotten friends to share concerns, information and love.

A new space is blossoming in the hearts, minds and souls of people all across the globe, as we, in our own little spaces, rediscover the flip side of existence.

Human suffering of this pandemic scale has opened a new page in the history of human civilisation. How we are going to write that chapter begins right now.

Perhaps, world leaders need to capitalise on this never before experience. Hence, it is time for all humanity to explore some of the following ideas.

We need to make philosophy as a compulsory subject in schools all the way through universities or higher education. Stress the importance of arts, science and social sciences.

Although we had set out on trails of specialisation producing blinkered humans and benefited from their frontier knowledge, it is time to enable education to give every human a holistic comprehension of human existence on a planet which is inextricably glued to a larger cosmos.

Physics, chemistry and biology must be taught to all, right up to higher-level education, irrespective of one's choice of specialisation.

We need to learn quickly the symbiotic relationship of the four paradigms of human existence - politics, social, economic, environment - within which civilisation evolves.

We need to bring people of all faiths together and not launch missions of religious conversions.

We need to take a serious look at our post World Wars' capitalism mantra that opens and shuts the world on the hinges of profit and profiteering.

We need to redress our social charter. The fragility of Earth is protected by the cosmos. Humans, therefore, cannot withstand the punishment for transgression.

Life is not sustained around economic panacea, creating millionaires and amassing personal, national and global material wealth.

It is about living in harmony with Mother Nature. It is about thriving in harmony with planet Earth. It has got to be one of "by design" and not of "through defiance".

No matter how much we claim to know; no matter how fast we race to find solutions to problems; no matter how great we can be in creating marvels in technology, arts and science, the bottom line is human existence within the framework of the entire cosmology is what ultimately determines the quality of life.

Perhaps, for starters, it is time to declare a global lockdown anniversary stretching over three days for humanity to be reminded of the virtue of humility, integrity and accountability.

Humans need a universally agreed time and space to review, reflect, redress and move on collectively as a species.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini. 

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