Covid-19 has shown what is regarded as acts of altruism, while countries have lined up to applaud the health workers who put their lives on the line to save others.
We are being told to stay at home to save lives, but for how long we can only speculate.
The UK has largely followed this course of action, leading to many people putting their lives on hold, waiting and hoping for this to be over. I certainly fall into this category as I miss being at university, which gave me a purpose, that subsequently has led to me being at home with my parents, feeling tired and once again in the role of a child.
While our concern seems to be largely about what happens within the UK, what about countries in Africa? Who don’t have the healthcare system to cope with this pandemic, can we consider humanity to be great if a humane catastrophe happens there?
Surely the vulnerable within our country are just as deserving as the vulnerable there. How can it not be?
I also find this approach hypocritical, as I have never fully understood why human lives seem to be of such importance compared the lives of animals. We strive to save every single human life, yet we wipe out species to just sustain our way of life. Surely our preponderance to use up the world’s resources is inflicting damage on future generations.
The crisis has changed our behaviour significantly. Flights have been grounded, carbon emissions have dramatically fallen, fast-fashion industries, which seem to have little purpose, have been completely halted and the scarcity of food has meant it has taken on a new importance. Will this pandemic show that it is possible to change our behaviour to save our planet?
In the Guardian I read an article that predicted that more pandemics are likely to happen in the foreseeable future. These pathogens have hosts, and when we destroy their habitats, along with the hosts, these viruses will not just disappear, most likely they will mutate to find a new host, namely us. So, while the world has gone into lockdown over covid-19, which has a low death rate, it might just be a matter of time until we are faced with a new pathogen which has a much higher death rate.
The time to act is now, don’t forget how quickly our lives can be upended if we take mother nature for granted.