I am a fairly optimistic person in life and I don’t watch the news. Turn on any news channel at any time and you will notice a pattern – “You are going to die because of ____(fill it with any topic – North Korea is going to launch a nuke. etc)”. This sort of news tends to have a shorter shelf life because they run on scarcity. Think about it, if media is saying North Korea is going to launch a nuke and they kept on bragging about it for two months, and nothing happens, then two things will happen, either people will start ignoring that news or they will switch to another news channel. Since we have an abundance of content, thanks to the internet, news media have to come up with catchy headlines, otherwise, people wouldn’t listen. For a news channel, it is a do or die situation. But for us, it’s not. So they kept on coming with catchy headlines to grab your intention regardless of the importance of the news.
I follow a simple rule – If I kept on hearing news for more than 20 days, only then I dig into the topic. Otherwise, I let that topic pass.
When I started digging into the Coronavirus, it was already a month old news. Since I’m a fairly optimistic person, I believe that nothing stands against human species. When scientist across the globe gets after something, it’s only a matter of time when they come up with a solution. If we can land a person on the moon with a 0.043 MHZ computer processor, we can do anything. For reference, iPhone 11’s processor runs at 2490 MHz. That means iPhone has over 100,000 times the processing power of the computer that landed a man on the moon 50 years ago. Human species can solve any problem when that problem becomes their priority number one.
I was watching AsapScience’s YouTube video “What Actually Happens If You Get Coronavirus?” on the Corona Virus. The entire video was good but the ending was a little weird. A lot of people started relating Chinese people with the cause of the Coronavirus and started discriminating against the Chinese community. To me, that looked weird. My initial reaction – Who does that? But I will let it pass because earth is full of weird people.
I didn’t bother too much. It was business as usual until these two incidents happened and made it a priority.
Two weeks back, when I was speaking with one of my colleagues from India. He shared the news that a lot of workshops have been cancelled because of the Coronavirus. Usually, corporates don’t cancel any events unless it’s unavoidable. A lot of businesses were taking a hit. For some, it was 90% of their revenue.
Last week, Region of Waterloo, place where I stay, received its first positive case of Coronavirus. I was going back home on the bus. After the third stop, a Chinese man came along and sat next to a person sitting in front of me. That person started feeling uncomfortable and started acting weird. To me, that was clearly visible. Suddenly, the last few minutes of AsapScience video started replaying into my mind. That stigma was for real. I am sure scientists will be able to find a cure for Coronavirus, but for the stigma which people will build against the Chinese, there will be no cure.
I started digging into the Coronavirus and what I found was surprising to me. Suddenly, I developed empathy for the Chinese community. If anyone would have been in their situation, we would have chosen the same path.
It all started in the 1970s when 36 million Chinese died because of food scarcity. The Chinese government who controlled food production at the time wasn’t able to feed its growing population of 900 million. It was a life or death situation for the Chinese people. In 1978, the Chinese government gave up control and allowed private farming. While big companies started dominating the market of chicken, beef and pigs, some small farmers started raising wild animals like snake & bats. This initiative was a hit, and the Chinese government started backing Wildlife Farming. In 1979, the Chinese government passed a law declaring wildlife as a natural resource. That means anyone can use wildlife for human benefits. Over time, that small-sized local wildlife farm turned into industrial-sized operations. Marketplace, where all sorts of wild animals are slaughtered and sold, they named it Wet Market. The Chinese government issued a list of animals that can be sold into the Wet Market. But like any coin, Wet Market has two sides. The legal market follows policies but the illegal market sells anything they can get their hands-on, including endangered species. This situation has lead to this Coronavirus epidemic.
What is Coronavirus and how it works, I will leave this part to the experts.
History Of Coronavirus & How It Started.
What Actually Happens If You Get A Coronavirus?
Why I’m Optimistic That Scientist Will Be Able To Find A Cure.
What It Means For The Economy.
Watch any video, and you will notice a pattern. Human species has broken a law of mother nature. Now we have to pay the price. It’s a simple cause and effect relation.
It’s a matter of time when scientists will be able to come up with a cure but what about the stigma? It’s going to stay for decades. The idea of Wildlife Farming was justifiable in the 1970s. But now China has all the required infrastructure, resources and technology to feed its 1.4 billion people. As mentioned in the video, most of the Chinese have stopped eating from Wet Market. Now it just another mode for the rich people to display their wealth. And now we all have to pay the price.
Why Coronavirus Can Be Good For Humanity?
As a child, when we were in school, we made a lot of mistakes. The responsibility of a teacher was to give student feedback so that the student can correct their actions. This continuous feedback loop shapes our behaviour and habits. However, students who don’t get feedback on time tend to form bad habits in-comparison to students who get feedback. Once a person forms a habit, it becomes hard or sometimes impossible to drop that habit. Think of smoking as an example. A lot of smokers try to quit smoking, but they can’t. Because they have developed the habit of smoking.
Now in the case of Coronavirus, the situation is similar. People have developed a habit of eating animals which they shouldn’t. Eating was justifiable when it was a life or death situation. But now it’s not. This Coronavirus is just another feedback that we are getting from mother nature to correct our actions.
It’s a lesson for the entire humanity. We need to learn when to stop.
A man should know his limits, for those who kept on pushing with no end, the only path they reach is death.