Saturday, June 20, 2020

Notes on the Coronavirus Pandemic 2020

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) had its beginnings In China (Wuhan) where the virus apparently crossed a species barrier from a bat and infected an unsuspecting human. It was thus, carried to a novel host – having no immunity – and spread like a wildfire or a like a tsunami through an unprotected population.

As a result, tens of thousands died while many were infected without apparent symptoms and spread the cold like virus widely. In this way, the virus carried by its unsuspecting human vectors spread worldwide. The unsettling aspect of this infection is that it can produce horrendous health complications for the more vulnerable members of the population.

This tiny particle is dormant outside of living things yet can almost magically come to life when within a living cell. This microscopic life form brought down the global economy with amazing efficiency yet with no malice for it was only adhering to the biological laws of its nature within a universe of earthly beings that have evolved on this planet for billions of years. From this perspective, there is no winners or losers only the continuity of passing time through the interdependent matrix of the living.

Homo sapiens holds no special place within the irrepressible sea of the living, subject like all others to the vicissitudes and vagaries of life. No individual is sacrosanct or exempted from the handicap that death imposes. No guarantees are provided at birth in regard to the manner in which life will unfold or its duration; there is no contractual assignment of responsibility or outcome.

This tiny and seemingly insignificant form of life too small to visualize without the tools provided by science and technology, is yet endowed with a remarkable genetically-determined engineering that can allow it to spread through an incredibly large population of humans regardless of how mighty their empires consider themselves to be.

The speed with which national sovereignties unraveled their delicate economic infrastructure in an attempt to thwart the advance of this virus was remarkable to behold.

In regard to the particular fate of the United States, the purported wealthiest nation on earth, this pandemic exposed the social and economic inequalities and the moral failures that had eroded the principles upon which the nation was conceived some 244 years ago.

The virus is of course not to blame for this descent; it is rather the natural consequences of the well-orchestrated ascendancy to the primacy of wealth and profit at the expense of the common good. It has therefore, become incumbent upon the next generation - who will soon be stewards of the future destiny of humanity - to incorporate some sanity into the troubled world of humans. It will become, after all, their world in which the very future of the species remains in jeopardy

The environment has been decimated for decades and relentlessly assaulted. The deleterious change in climate that is a direct consequence of this callous indifference will only worsen. Systemic inequality and racial injustice permeate many cultures and societies throughout the world. As a result, much dedicated and thoughtful work is needed to address these issues.

In regards to the specific example of the United States, is it sane and sensible to have a social cultural and economic environment within such a wealthy country that permits 25% of its children to suffer from periodic bouts of hunger; where the per capita prison population is the highest in the world; where the public health infrastructure showed itself to be abysmally unprepared for a pandemic; where the nation's for-profit health system provides marginal access to healthcare for tens of millions of its poorest citizens especially African Americans and other minority populations. At the very core of these problems is a disastrously inequitable distribution of wealth and therefore power. This system does not work for the majority of its citizens and provides little hope for those many millions with little and diminishing resources.

Within the United States there lies a long festering disease of racial hatred and bigotry that remains a corruptive influence within the body politic.  In the midst of this pandemic madness yet another unarmed black male was brutally and callously murdered by a police officer - this time in Minneapolis MN. The victim, a man named George Floyd, was subjected to a choke hold in which the officer knelt on the man's carotid artery while he was lying on his stomach. George Floyd called out that he couldn't breathe while three officers stood by as idle witnesses. In spite of these pleas, he was subjected to this brutality for more than 8 minutes; this entire incident was videotaped by an eyewitness. This behavior is yet one more example and a startling demonstration of how insignificant the lives of black people seem to be

This news instantaneously spread nationally and globally over the Internet. Ordinarily these kinds of killings - that have become commonplace throughout the nation - are usually followed by a day or two of spontaneous demonstrations especially from African Americans

This time however was entirely different; for the individuals coming from many ethnicities and backgrounds who were outraged by this savagery were idle having been furloughed from work and economic activity by the pandemic. Under these novel circumstances, they could collectively express their outrage and demand reforms not only nationwide but also throughout many parts of the world where such racial bigotry still lives. These demonstrations, mostly peaceful, went on with fervor and determination for weeks and remain extant. it must be remembered that those who participated in the massive demonstrations also placed their personal well-being and safety at risk congregating in huge numbers with the coronavirus still active.

It has become quite apparent, that there are many with a hunger for significant reform, especially the young, and are clamoring for meaningful change. This movement needs encouragement in spite of the relentless pressure being applied by some unscrupulous members of the affluent class who see their exalted and privileged positions in jeopardy

The pandemic of 2020 may inadvertently bring in a period of significant reform and with it renewed hope for many or lead to a return to the former state of supposed normalcy. It will be up to future historians to decide how it all turned out.

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