Updated: Apr 8
COVID-19 has impacted us, all of us, well a significant majority of us anyway. I write this sitting in my room in Munich pondering over what we’ve done to nature, and simply to our planet terrifies me. I’ve studied development thus far for my education and I know the significance of challenges that the developing world has faced, is facing and will continue to struggle with even after the COVID pandemic is over. It is amazing how the world takes note of issues quickly when say Europe is impacted or say North America for that matter. Countries across Africa, South Asia or Latin America have been facing colossal issues of mass poverty, deprivation and marginalisation for decades. Yes, I agree someone would say a pandemic is different, but I wouldn’t be so sure about that. It’s just something to think about. I write this piece for a different purpose and here it goes:
The COVID-19 is a pause to humans’ wild conduct of the planet, its species and its resources. Despite critical issues of climate change, rising inequality, it is clear that we have narked the angel of Earth for quite some time now. We humans are selfish and so are human societies, COVID has made us bleed and we are scrambling for a response in a fairly short, pressure-driven time-span. We hardly have shown such a fast and furious response to our wounded ecosystems which have sustained us as a race and are bleeding almost for over a century now. We continue to deracinate the very soul of nature for financial and material gains. If this doesn’t end, we will end. I honestly feel this is our last decade for action. Technology will come out, sure, AI will come about, sure, but whether it can turn around things, I highly doubt. We are a special race who have “brains” but when it comes to the tide of nature, we will be overpowered. COVID, like the plankton, or like locusts, are nature’s tiniest components, and yet these humble creatures will impact the modern human race over the coming years.
Just sit and think, can we continue to run the engine of our settlements and civilisations at the same pace, with the same greed and the clear lack of consciousness we started globalisation about 50 years back? Will the COVID, the lesion, make us rethink the blinding, numbing, painful, machinations of the industrial giantism as we have known it? Could COVID be the David coercing the Goliath and Gargantua of the human race to slow the hell down. As the pollution dissipates over China, European countries, India, can we please find another way to conduct ourselves when this is all over? We need to rethink individually what we are doing to this planet before our beloved planet asphyxiates. We need to rethink and revaluate growth paradigms. Our desires. Our ambitions. Permanently. Otherwise, we pass out. If you think this is all a joke, you’re the joke.
Reset. We need to scramble, and find that damn reset button. Pavan Sukhdev of Citibank, India laid the foundations of the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) emphasises something that we all should inherently know, but we don’t, which is that nature has an intrinsic value that NEEDS to be incorporated in our decision-making processes across the planet and its nation-states. Humans are not irreplaceable, mangroves are. Humans are not irreplaceable, forests are. Biodiversity loss and its cost is incalculable. Economists can’t do it. They simply can’t. While we take on the COVID globally, all the media, the communities seem to care about is the economy, jobs, GDP growth. FOR THE SAKE OF OUR PLANET, we need to change our thinking. Moving to Mars is a far-sight. What we need is the mainstreaming of our global economy within an organic order. We think as humans we are extremely capable, but why don’t we apply our potential in a more mindful, thoughtful manner? Modern economics and its proponents are in denial. Extractive industries have a ball of a time on our planet. RESET button. Press the RESET button. The time couldn’t be more appropriate.
Anyway, it’s tough staying indoors, but please do? It’s for all of us, be selfish at least now, its surprising how hard it is to be selfish, considering we have been perfectly selfish for the last several decades. Humans continue to surprise me. Before I stop typing my thoughts, I would like to say that the youth across the planet need to mobilise their thoughts, consolidate them and come out as strongly responsible, global citizens after this COVID nightmare is over. COVID is honestly a trailer of a movie that is yet to be released and we don’t know what the planet has in store for us. Instagram, House-party, Facebook, Facetime, Telegram is cool. I also spend some time on these platforms, but we need to channel our time to retrospect, introspect and really fundamentally alter the way we think and the way we go about our daily lives. Don’t be a burden on this planet, please don’t. It has given us everything, like our parents, we wouldn’t want to do what we’re doing to our planet to our parents now, do we?
“God always forgives, we men forgive sometimes, but nature never forgives. If you give her a slap, she will give you one. I believe that we have exploited nature too much.”—Pope Francis’s Press conference, flight from Sri Lanka to the Philippines, January 15, 2015
Hence it is time for prospecting change, the change in our lavish lifestyles, change in our profit paradigms and the economic growth "pandemic", and change in renewing our respect for mother nature that cradles us through the universe.