Last week we have seen death and misery at its worst. As a new strain of virus hit China and the world, citizens of Wuhan are collapsing to their death. Many others are afflicted with the disease that is now known as 2019 n-corona virus. Medical teams are scampering to discover an antidote, but by the time they find one, the virus may have already caused a global epidemic. Already, there are reports that there are people infected as far as France, Germany, Australia, and some South East Asian countries. While no cure has as yet been found to counter the effects of the virus, there are preventive measures in place being implemented by various governments. Large swaths of areas are locked down and persons who have shown symptoms of the flu are quarantined.
It is not known where the virus has originated, although there are speculations that it was from game animals that are served as exotic foods in some restaurants in China. There is a street somewhere in Beijing where tourists can test their stomach by eating spiders, scorpions, lizards, and all sorts of creeping insects that have more than four feet. Well, they say that in China, everything that moves is edible in much the same way that “except for Adam and Eve, everything else is made in China,” including the deadly virus that is gripping the world, for that matter. As such, it is not amiss to say that it was only a matter of time before the effect is felt.
Everything that is taboo has very troubling effects. For instance, the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS came about because of unhealthy and abnormal sex practices. The bubonic bacteria came about because eating the meat of monkeys. The foot and mouth disease, the mad cow disease, the red tide, meningococcemia, the avian flu, and the African swine fever. These are all the results of unhealthy and untidy practices. Ironically, because of global warming and the rapid growth of the population, people have shown a propensity to lean towards these unhealthy practices. Therefore, the 2019 n-CoV that is killing people by the hundreds is bound to happen. It was only a matter of time. As people adjust to the effects of microbes, the microbes in return mutate to adjust to the lifestyles of the people. Is it like a symbiotic relationship that forms part of the normal cycle of life?
Scientists claim that the 2019 n-CoV is not as bad as the SARS that also came out of China sometime in 2002. How can they claim that? Perhaps, they are only saying this to assuage the fears of the people. The SARS epidemic did not afflict as many victims as the current one. There were fewer deaths. After a few months from its inception, the SARS was immediately put under control. Not this one. Only one week into its inception, it had killed more than a hundred with thousands more being infected. Major cities in China are on a lockdown and gatherings are restricted. The values of stocks are falling precipitously with the world market going into panic. Nobody is buying and nobody is selling. They are all inside their houses trying to be secure against the disease that is capable of wiping out an entire nation.
The problem is that China is not saying the entire story to the world. In a way, it has censored some vital facets of the epidemic. Hence, speculations are rife that the virus actually is a form of a biological weapon accidentally sprayed upon an unsuspecting population. Of course, this is far-fetched because China would not do such a dastard act against its own citizens. But who knows? The politburo has had some history of distorting facts to advance its own agenda. Still, it is not the time to speculate on politics since it is not only China that is suffering. The entire world is. This is a catastrophe that is being linked to the “black plague” that killed a third of the population of Europe during the start of the nineteenth century.
At least, in the midst of the 2019 n-CoV appearance, there is a respite against its effect on the populace.
On Monday morning, basketball superstar Kobe Bryant died from a helicopter crash. He was a sports icon who transcended the bounds of the basketball court. He was idolized by millions around the world, including in China. His death temporarily stalled the fear brought about by the death of several others. Thus, while thousands of people are dying with hundreds already confirmed dead, the world is only mourning for one – Kobe Bryant. For a moment, the 2019 n-CoV took a back seat and emboldened the people to remember that there are those whose lives are bigger than death.
Still, the effect of the 2019 n-CoV remains. No cure has been found and the body count continues to pile. Travel is restricted. Masks are the new fad, not because it is stylish but because it is the most effective way to combat the spread of the ailment. Where will this lead us? Somehow, somewhere, the world will survive the crisis, as it always does.