Corona virus – The demand for face masks unmasks many short comings of human race

Balayogi Venkataraman

It unmasks the reality of lack of global preparedness and lack of international institutions geared towards shared responsibility to handle crisis or natural calamity. 

But then, are there real solutions available out there?

The greatest outcomes of great problems are that they make us look at alternatives, multiple options, throw up lot of  suggestions, criticisms, ideas [even if they are utopian or too idealistic or naïve] and generate opportunities to look at implementation of new schemes to be better equipped for such future eventualities.

Are there lessons beyond, besides, much broader than scientific explanations and conspiracy theories?

Every natural calamity, disaster or epidemic is very sad and hard to console the affected and repair the damages even with all the modern technologically advanced methods and concerted efforts of many compassionate human beings, organizations etc.

The rippling effect of some of these calamities impact many parts of the world on various parameters at different scales, a very harsh way to make human beings realize that at last we are all interrelated, inter connected and interdependent amidst all our various ways of living from foods to faiths to frames and fences of identities around our political, economic , cultural, national characteristics.

Debates on environmental concerns, respect for other species, eating habits and so on are aplenty.

Awareness of many environmental issues and the obvious deterioration of our environment and depletion of many natural resources are all addressed by many in multiple ways, some scientists blame it on  many human activities [ perhaps rightly so] while some scientists brush aside all as natural phenomena which will eventually rectify [ perhaps they too may be right].  

Many of us do not venture into study in detail scientific facts but react to versions which are aligned with our predisposition, visible impacts that affect our life and start believing what we deem to be true and sometimes  think our beliefs to be the only truth.

When we talk of geopolitical economy, we call the world as a global village [as if the atlas has shrunk] a wonderfully coined and calibrated expression carrying within it the masked macro motives and magnified micro optics. 

When we talk of environment [in fact parade our environmental concerns more at international forums] we fail to really acquire knowledge to refrain from damaging it around us in whatever way we can.

When we talk of harmony, unity, peace and so on, we try to bring to the focus various and divergent religious, political and regional ideologies through mutual respect and tolerance; try to accept and forget many historical mistakes; minimize various regional disparities and so on.

When we talk of social engineering we have used most of the above factors namely, religion, politics, history, environment and used all the advantages that science and technology have provided to effectively and strategically implement policies [sometimes euphemism for scheming and manipulating] in the interest of global community as a whole cutting across various barriers. 

But through all these approaches based on various identities and economic status we have failed to monitor, regulate and maintain certain aspects in the interest of whole of humanity at present and we have also not created useful templates for posterity.

What are those aspects? What is the mindset that is required to even start looking at it? Let is chose this timing [Corona virus crisis] because at least now it would appeal to the caring hearts and calculative minds.

The mindset that is required is a sharing disposition, not as a sermonizing statement or a high sounding socio-political ideological concept but as a working and workable new model in the interest of all,

It is just a very loud thinking, utopian and idealistic in nature and therefore, too farfetched in terms of implementation.

However, with advanced modern technologies, huge number of educated people and overall larger number of matured concerned human beings there is a ray of hope that if the multiple outfits of UN, top world leaders and big business enterprises come together, then we may think of looking at the following options because they require macro level planning and implementation and the concomitant benefit is these activities may create lot of  new businesses, create more employment and push human mindset towards realization of oneness and interrelatedness of all. 

The options are:

Most vital items for survival of human beings must be easily available always at all places, more so in times of natural calamities and epidemics. 

Certain international organizations must ensure to have stock of such items for emergency supply. 

They may be broadly classified as food items, common medicines, natural resources, products, technologies, tools, transportation, wealth, manufacturing of certain high utility items etc

We must ensure that the availability of these items is not geographically confined to certain areas alone. 

However, if a product or item is available aplenty only in certain geographical location, then organizations like UN and its various outfits must ensure minimum storage or easy and quick accessibility. 

Hypothetically, if majority of high value secret wealth of many nationals are held in one country’s bank, imagine what if a major earthquake or some calamity destroys all of it.

If metals like gold, lithium, copper, steel are available only in certain mines in some countries [we need not deprive those nations of the economic advantage but then they must be made available everywhere at least in minimum quantity.

There is no harm in thinking on these lines. 

We must stop verbalizing and assign the whole lot of activities under the term ‘disaster management’ what we need is preparedness in place.

Balayogi Venkataraman

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