So it was that in the year of our Lord Two thousand and twenty that the world was hit by a great fiendish plague of untold magnitude that spread to all corners of the world bringing disease, dis-ease, malaise, pain, sorrow, and confusion. Like a great whirlwind, it swept through the world - upending countries, governments, communities, education, and life, leaving death, tears, and confusion in its wake.
But alas, this was just part of a macabre scene, a violent unending dance of destruction and pain. Before the plague, the world was like a violent spinning top moving from one end of the earth to another gathering speed and momentum. There was neither let nor pause – a sad tale of violence and destruction from one day to the next. The media constantly barraged us with news of war, natural disasters, injustices, murder, political upheavals, climate crisis, riots, crime, disasters, cyber wars, trade wars, stock market volatility – on and on it went, the giant spinning top, gathering speed and momentum with every crisis. No sooner had the world uttered a sigh of relief for the end of one crisis than another erupted. It was almost as if the world was turning on itself – a strange game of who would destroy the other first.
Like one in the throes of a bad dream, the inhabitants of the world watched in horror hoping fervently to awake and find it was not real. Where does one even begin to tell this macabre tale? Is it
The Ethiopian and Lion Air disasters
The New Zealand Mosque attacks
The Notre Dame Cathedral fire in France
The migrant crisis with many drowned, displaced, stuck at borders or in refugee camps
The violent pro-democracy rallies in Hong Kong
The dire climate warnings and rallies by Greta Thurnberg
The Brexit debates that polarized the United Kingdom
The United States Government shutdown
The Impeachment debates that polarized the United States
The Trade Wars between the United States and China
The heightened tensions between the United States and China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea
The riots in Chile
The drought, devastating forest fires and floods in Australia
The Volcano eruption in New Zealand
The Amazon rainforest wildfires in Brazil
The terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka
Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas
Shootings in El-Paso and Dayton, Ohio
The Vaping deaths in the United States
Pipeline/Gas explosion in Lagos, Nigeria
Insurgency in Northern Nigeria or
The helicopter accident that claimed the lives of Kobe and Gigi Bryant and several others in the United States
The list is endless – hurricanes, cyclones, and other natural disasters; air disasters; train accidents; deaths; migrant and refugee crisis, war – on and on it went.
Then came the Corona Virus disease dubbed COVID19 – an insidious silent disease with symptoms as mild as a cough, cold, and fever to severe symptoms as pneumonia and respiratory complications leading to death. A silent moving killer spread through droplets from an infected person long before signs or symptoms become evident. As the disease moved from country to country, it became clear the world was dealing with something different from the others (SARS, MERS, Ebola, Lassa Fever). Sickness and infection rates spiked with high death rates recorded in some countries. COVID19 had morphed from a localized epidemic to a worldwide pandemic of disastrous proportions. Suddenly, COVID19 has taken center stage with all else becoming background noise. All the wrangling, disputes, politicking, tensions, accusations, bickering, and other divisive world issues have taken a back seat.
My purpose here is not to be a doomsday prophet but rather to highlight some things that have become glaringly clear:
Governments all over the world find themselves unprepared for a pandemic of this magnitude and are quickly discovering that they must put differences aside and work together
Governments are failing in providing and maintaining basic healthcare for its citizens especially the most vulnerable (aged, poor, homeless, and economically disadvantaged).
The Corona Virus Pandemic is teaching the painful lesson that a country's health is directly related to the health of its most vulnerable and not its rich or those able to afford healthcare
When health care follows the whims and caprices of capitalism, all suffer eventually
Governments' budgetary allocations and investments that starve healthcare, education, and welfare make such countries poorer overall.
Continuous long-term budget and pay cuts in the areas of healthcare, education, and citizen welfare, are proving fatal in the time of crisis.
Disease and death are universal levelers reminding us of our common humanity
The world is quickly realizing that overworked and (often) underpaid health care workers and professionals are the ones we now depend on. They are now being referred to as frontline staff after years of being improperly funded and inadequately equipped
We are reminded of the importance of social interactions, relationships, work and earning an income as well as the value of everyday freedoms, rest, and time with family
As this crisis rages on, it is obvious that defeating this virus requires continuous worldwide effort and cooperation. Hopefully, we will turn a corner soon.
By Imabong Faminu
Imabong Faminu is a creative writer, content writer, and poet. Connect with her on Twitter @IFaminu and on Instagram @wordsrwine