They could have come one at a time, but no: our plagues, unlike the ones the Bible placed in Egypt, attack all together. Inflation, unemployment, poverty, debt, insecurity, criminality, corruption, global warming, untreatable physical and psychological diseases and, of course, the novel coronavirus. There are probably a few more. Each one will add theirs to the list, but it will not fail to coincide that the above mentioned are among the most important. It is not surprising that the last one to appear not only was clearly at the top of our concerns, but almost completely eclipsed the others. Perhaps, because what the other nine have been slowly introduced into our concern while the novel coronavirus put the whole world into a scary quarantine in just a couple of weeks: it completely disrupted our daily lives and put the world’s economy in jeopardy…
I am sure not alone to feel the suffering of the infected and their families, the premature death of babies and the early death of the elderly. In fact, not even the strongest among us are safe from this tragedy. I feel the hysteria that grips a terrified world, plunged in an unprecedented chaos, in which millions of people would give everything they have to get a protective mask just to feel allusively safe from a virus, impossible to see if not by a last-generation microscope.
However, these excessive emergency situations help us gauge the weakness of man, who despite the three hundred and fifty thousand years that have passed since we stood up, has today been completely naked against a minuscule virus that spreads through the veins of the Earth. In a world where a colossal amount of money is spent into military equipments we find our healthcare system with insufficient equipment to help supporting the life of our weakest fellows.
There is no social engineering, universal strategy, political project, advanced technology, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, military powers, or opiums to give to the people … that serve as a breakwater in the face of the wave of the pandemic, which rises above the security offered by managing the threads of this shed to the that we call civilization. The adoration of money, pleasure, dominance becomes ridiculous before a hospital corridor crowded with neglected patients. Not even the healthcare workers with their advanced equipment are safe from the contagious cough of the sick. The whole population is at risk, the infected and even the dead are part of the game of this casino in which the virus alone decides the very outcome of each one of us.
The main thing about a pandemic like the novel coronavirus is that it doesn’t discriminate. Whoever you are, wherever you live, you’re equally vulnerable as everybody else, at least in principle. While some of us may fare better because of our age or health, the microbes themselves are impartial and can inevitably results in a slew of highway fatalities. It’s worth pausing to reflect on the implications of that fact. Among other things, it means we’re all in the same boat, for better or worse. Whether you are rich or poor the threat spread evenly.
Life hangs by a thread from the very moment we break our first cry. So every moment of this trip is an undeserved gift. It is not us, it is not our merits, it is not the legacy that we leave that determines us, but the wonderful will of the miracle that invited us to this game without deserving it, giving us freedom as a bunch of keys with which we can open and close infinity of doors of this incredible and injudicious world where we maybe, just maybe, remember how weak we are… and that the egotistical path we’ve chose to walk is perhaps not leading us into the right path.