The whole world is in shock of the current pandemic COVID-19 which is spreading like a global wildfire. This is the first time; some generations are witnessing such an outbreak. I have experienced some natural calamities or epidemics in my country/state, but nothing of this sort with heavy death toll.
Is this pandemic here to teach a lesson to the mankind?
Don’t you think, we humans, have been greedy and ruthless for so long? We have literally taken a toll on our home planet that now, our lives are at stake. Mankind has assumed to be the super power of everything that we forgot how vulnerable we still are. We boast about the advances in our technology while we still haven’t been able to harness the superior energy that governs the whole universe. Some may call this pandemic as the wrath of God. Some may object the existence of God. But whatever it is, I believe in the presence of a vital force that balances our whole ecosystem. It’s the bitter fact that, we humans, have brought an imbalance to our ecosystem. A major part of the population is getting wiped out and our knowledge, technological and medical advances and everything stand helpless in front of this disease.
Let’s take a look back at the history.
Even though, corona virus outbreak is one of a kind, history takes us back to many such epidemics that took a heavy toll. Dating back to the 541 AD, The Plague of Justinian which affected the Eastern Roman Empire, estimated deaths of 50 million. Then came the Black Death or the Bubonic Plague (also known as The Great Plague) in the 1300s with a death toll of 200 million people in Asia and Europe. In the 1520s, the small pox brought out a devastating pandemic in Central America and Mexico killing about 56 million people. The Yellow Fever Epidemic in the late 1800s had a death toll of 100-150K. From 1918 to 1920, the Spanish Flu or the Influenza Pandemic, known as the Mother of pandemics, which wiped out a quarter of the population had a death toll of about 50 million. From 1981, the HIV/AIDS is still causing about 35 million deaths. In 2002-2004, the global SARS outbreak killed about 700 people. Between 2009 and 2010, the swine flu or the 2009 flu epidemic which was a global influenza pandemic, caused a death toll of about 200K. In 2014-2016, the Ebola Virus outbreak in the Western African region estimated 11.3K deaths. In 2015, the MERS outbreak brought about 800 deaths. At present, the novel corona virus outbreak has estimated 74,816 number of deaths. (as of April 7)
From these data, it is quite sure that these pandemics or epidemics were constrained to a certain portion of the world. But taking COVID-19 into consideration, it seems to have affected every continent in the whole world with an exception to Antarctica, till now.
It’s so easy to just estimate the number of deaths. But when it’s our loved ones, we start thinking!
How the coronavirus infects the human body?
It is said that the SARS-CoV-2 was transmitted from animals to human beings. For a virus to enter into the human body, it infects the human cells and uses it to make multiple copies of the virus. The cell finally breaks, releasing the virus which go on to infect other human cells. The corona virus has a special spike protein or S protein which grants its entry into human hosts. When the virus attacks, our immune system fights against it, producing fever as an immune response. The immune system may overreact in critical situations leading to the attack on lung cells. In such cases, the individual feels difficulty in breathing. This may lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome which can affect the function of other internal organs. If the individual’s immune system is not able to fight off the virus, it may spread to other parts of the body. Then fatal damages to the organs may result and eventually, it would not be possible to keep the individual alive.
Prophecies regarding the pandemic
It may seem a bit strange to discuss some eerie prophecies or predictions at such a tragic time. But discarding the fictional elements aside, can we search for some truth in these prophecies?
In her book, End of Days: Predictions and Prophecies About the End of the World, published in 2008, the author Sylvia Browne predicted the outbreak of a disease in the year 2020. Sylvia Celeste Brown was an American writer and a renowned psychic. The excerpt reads, “In around 2020 a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe, attacking the lungs and the bronchial tubes and resisting all known treatments. Almost more baffling than the illness itself will be the fact that it will suddenly vanish as quickly as it arrived, attack again 10 years later, and then disappear completely.”
Well, the fact is that such a pandemic occurred in coinciding with her predictions. I’m not saying these are true, but there is a hope that this disease will vanish soon.
Another theory that got widely circulated in the internet was the so-called cryptic message in a novel named, The Eyes of Darkness, written by Dean Koontz in 1981. “They call the stuff, Wuhan 400 because it was developed at their RDNA labs outside of the city of Wuhan and it was the four-hundredth viable strain of man-made microorganisms created at that research center”, the book reads.
Even though the book is a fictional novel, its reference of a virus named Wuhan-400 developed as a bio-weapon is something that gives me chills as COVID-19 outbreak originated from the district of Wuhan. Dean Koontz didn’t predict the outbreak, but some of his references happened to be coinciding with the facts, not all.
Stay home, Save lives
The first and the foremost thing that we can do is to stay in our own homes. We have homes. That makes us the privileged part of the society. You know why? Because there are many people who don’t have even a shelter to ensure their safety. In such a situation, how can they live in home quarantines as we do? We can help those people by staying in our own homes, thereby breaking the chain of infections and saving many lives.
My heart goes out to the doctors, nurses, police force and numerous other people who risk their lives to save ours. It’s our responsibility to help them save lives by taking the necessary precautions.
What quarantine days taught me?
I came to know about the word ‘quarantine’ only after the emergence of this pandemic. It seems, we are not the first people to use this word as it has been used widely in other epidemic days throughout the history. The word quarantine has its origin in Venetian language from ‘quarantena’ or ‘quarantina’ which means “40 days”. In the earlier times, forty-days isolation period was observed by ships and people to prevent the spread of diseases and to contain the epidemics. Now quarantine means, “a state, period, or place of isolation in which people or animals that have arrived from elsewhere or been exposed to infectious or contagious disease are placed”.
I am in home quarantine. At first, the quarantine days were exciting for me. I was enthusiastic and energetic. I had numerous things planned for me to execute. Then it started becoming dreadful. I’m inside a house where there are people, but I stopped talking to them. I felt sort of having nothing to do for the rest of my life in spite of having lot of things to do. That’s when I realised that people are much more productive when they are under pressure or when there is a deadline. Now, we are living as if there is no end to this pandemic any soon. We tend to establish a mindset to not do anything which makes us lazy. Eventually our powerless minds take control of our body and our productivity decreases. This is dangerous just like the pandemic itself.
I started taking control of my mind and decided to engage in constructive activities. I started realizing the importance of mingling with my family. The major realization was that this was the first time our whole family is together. The people who are rejoiced more than me because of this union is none other than my grandparents. It’s been many years since we all have been staying at home for this long duration. It’s fun only when the whole family is cooking, eating, watching a movie, cracking jokes together. Just imagine all the things we are missing out because of our busy lives.
Impact of the pandemic on environment.
Many countries like India, China, France, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, and the UK have implemented massive restrictions to fight against the Covid-19 outbreak. India has implemented a ‘lockdown’ for 21 days till April 14 which resulted in controlling the spread of the virus to a greater extent. Even though the disease was a disaster, it brought in climate benefits and changes in the environment. Our Mother Earth is finally breathing! Our planet had been suffocating for decades because of our actions.Now, clean air to breathe, clear water in the water bodies, less vehicles on the roads and a better environment to live.
Let every country implement this practice of shutdown or lockdown, for at least a day, frequently, even after this pandemic is over. This can eventually save our economy and ensure our survival. Less people outside = Less pollution
I won’t ever say that this pandemic was needed. But it really brought back the kindness, helpfulness and unity to humanity which were long forgotten in our hurry-burry lives. The only sad part is that we had to gain this understanding by sacrificing our fellow humans. Coronavirus is not a solution to save our planet. It’s a reminder for us to not take everything as granted. And in no way this pandemic is our doom. It’s a revelation to open our eyes for a better future. I am sure we will make it through this together.
If you have any comments at all, please let me know. I would love to hear from you!
Image credits: Google Images