Psychologists and social analysts say the world will not be the same again in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic which by noon yesterday had afflicted more than 1,017,000 people with the death toll being more than 53,200 and with the positive factor being that more than 213,200 people have recovered. Virtually, the whole world is involved in this apocalyptic war against an invisible enemy and most analysts believe the next few weeks will be crucial.
United States President Donald Trump till recently underplayed or undermined the pandemic, apparently based on his own political or personal agendas, but now listens to scientists or medical specialists, and has admitted that the pandemic is catastrophic with some analysts saying the world’s most powerful country may suffer a death toll of between 100,000 and 240,000 with more than one million people being tested positive.
Some analysts say US intelligence agencies warned President Trump of the hellhole calamity soon after the virus erupted in China’s Wuhan Province in January, but he had not taken it seriously in the same way he has dismissed the climate change crisis as a hoax manufactured in China. Analysts say even Britain did not take the pandemic seriously until recently when Prime Minister Boris Johnson himself tested positive. The analysts say even now what Britain is doing is too little and too late just as the US failed to act fast and effectively.
Fortunately, Sri Lanka has acted effectively and the number of Coronavirus patients has been relatively low with 151 cases and four deaths as at last evening. But some medical specialists say the figure may be higher because most people have not being tested and we do not have adequate testing equipment. But that is a crisis that also faces the US, Britain and other western countries which do not have adequate testing equipment to control fast-spreading Covid-19. They also do not have adequate face masks and proper protective equipment for doctors, nurses and other medical staff who treat Covid-19 patients. Italy has the highest death toll of more than 10,000 as at last afternoon with hundreds of doctors and other medical staff also dying.
When it is said the world will not be the same again, it means the change of attitude and approach to life by nations, communities, families and individuals. The desire for power and prestige, wealth and success has brought about a situation where ten of the world’s super billionaires are known to control about 70 per cent of this planet’s wealth and resources. The globalised capitalist market economic system has widen the gap between the rich and the poor more than ever before and up to two billion people are known to be trapped below the poverty line. This must end or be ended with effective and sustainable measures to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. For this to happen, wealthy nations and people need to be liberated from their slavery to selfishness or self-centredness. They need to share and care much more for the poverty-trapped and vulnerable people so that we will have a just and fair society.
Another aspect is the battle against climate change. Analysts say depletion of the ozone layer has been reduced significantly the past few weeks apparently because thousands of millions of vehicles have not been running and thus not emitting huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. We hope Covid-19 encourages world leaders, families and individuals to rise beyond themselves and act as responsible citizens by doing what they could to win the battle against climate change.
Another important area where the world needs to change is the possession and development of nuclear weapons. Nine countries possess nuclear weapons with the US and Russia being the worst criminals and spending billions of dollars in developing their nuclear weapon technology. For instance, the US is known to have nuclear weapons which are fifty times more powerful than the atom bombs which were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Although the United Nations has approved a nuclear weapons non-proliferation treaty, it is being violated not only by North Korea but even by the US and Russia. If and when there is nuclear weapon disarmament, the world will have trillions of dollars to fight pandemics such as Covid-19.
World-renowned dissident and philosopher Noam Chomsky, author of more than 120 books, says capitalist economies have come to a standstill with a global recession now virtually inevitable. The pandemic had been predicted long before its appearance, but actions to prepare for such a crisis were barred by the cruel imperatives of an economic order in which there’s no profit in preventing a future catastrophe, Noam Chomsky points out in an exclusive interview to a new non-profit agency.