COVID-19 Pandemic is all about blaming, while it should have been about learning — as soon as the Pandemic began, a round of blame game started. Right now, 197 countries out of 200 in the world are battling COVID-19 Pandemic. President Donald Trump has explicitly and blatantly put the whole blame of the Pandemic on China, and he even called it “Chinese virus” and “KuFlu Virus”. The Chinese Government has marked the US president’s extremist stance on China as racist and wrongful. We all are aware of the ‘boycott China’ campaign going on around us. India has banned over 118 Chinese apps, and many American companies are withdrawing from China. The blame game is not only confined to US-China. President Trump has accused the World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom of being biased towards China and also threatened to stop the funds for WHO. There has been quite a lot of heat exchange regarding the export of Hydroxychloroquine from India to other nations. Trump has, yet again, made inappropriate comments in this regard.
As time went by, we realized the world wide lockdowns had cost us immensely. Suspension of economic activities resulted in the grim and chaotic ambience in almost all the countries. The Indian economy has faced one of the most severe blows in the wake of COVID-19. The relationship between state governments and the Central Government has reached an all-time low in many areas. Mudslinging of the governments has reached a new level. As a direct and indirect consequence of this started an unrestricted flow of false news and wrong information. People were confused and misguided.
Pandemic is far from being over. We should take a moment, and realize that this dirty blame game, mudslinging will not lead us to anything constructive. It is time we asked ourselves- Is it not us, the human beings, the root cause of all sorrows and miseries of ourselves? Aren’t we collectively responsible for all sorts of calamities and pandemics, including this one?
If we looked closely to find out why the Pandemic has spread across the globe at this rate, we would find the root in human greed. Virus and disease are a part of human life, so an outbreak of a virus is not something surprising or unnatural. What engraved the situation so much is our mismanagement. China took its time to report the outbreak in Wuhan province because it did not want to shut down its factories. The US failed to strategize and implement lockdowns successfully. The virus spread like wildfire there killing many. President Trump had to do something about the situation as the Presidential elections are nearing. So he blamed it all on China. India’s idea of co-operative federalism completely broke down as we struggled to manage the exodus of migrant workers.
Meanwhile, the price of COVID-19 essentials and other basic amenities skyrocketed. A 10 rs mask was being sold at Rs. 100 Every businessman tried to extract as much profit as he can from this distress. Private hospitals and medical facilities, who are expected to cooperate with us, have been the worst. Last week a COVID-19 patient tried to kill himself by jumping off the hospital window in Kolka because he was given a completely absurd invoice of for his treatment. The private nursing home is charging a rate of approximately 12000 rs for 7 km ambulance journey! The human greed is the underlying reason for such sufferings.
Greed is a vicious cycle that continues by exploiting everyone. COVID-19 has shown us the already existing cracks of society. We are doing it for over centuries now- Building factories with zero heed to the environment, dumping hazardous waste in water bodies, releasing toxic smoke into the air we breathe. Environmental pollution has cost us dearly before (for example, the outbreak of Minamata disease in Japan, which was caused by industrial wastewater consisting of poisonous methyl mercury), yet we do not learn our lessons.
If we do not stop now, it would be too late. The condition of the human race will be like the golden egg-laying goose. In the lust for getting it all, we will not get anything, and in the process, we would end up scratching and biting each other.
A healthy society strives on honesty, transparency and mutual cooperation. All these values are needed during this Pandemic more than ever. The disease will not discriminate, and if we fail to stop the virus, we all will go down. Our health infrastructure is already breaking down. If this continues, we will be in an extremely bad situation. Blaming one another will get us nowhere. Humans have come so far from all other species because we are civilized. The values of our civilization are rooted in cooperation, and it is high time we re-establish them in these dark hours.