Despite the physical, economic, and emotional impacts of the pandemic, the lockdown has brought humanity back to a simpler way of living.
Rabat – The outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic at the dawn of 2020 has spread both disease and fear around the globe.
After China, South Korea, and Iran, where the virus has already harvested thousands of victims, the pandemic made its way to Europe. In just a few short days, northern Italy became a hotbed for the virus, causing the population to flee the region in droves.
Despite strict lockdown measures, the unseen enemy has spread its reach into southern Italy, through Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. The rising number of patients and fatalities continues to soar, stunning billions of people around the world as they hear the shocking death toll on the news.
Governments have closed borders and suspended flights to prevent carrying the virus further. The global pandemic seems more like a science fiction movie than reality.
Despite the physical, economic, and emotional impacts of the pandemic, the lockdown has brought humanity back to a simpler way of living. Consumerism, globalization, modernization, and fashion have all been lambasted by the virus.
Coronavirus is forcing humans to reconsider their existence, their lives, and their capabilities. In “Man…The Unknown,” Alexis Carrel shared concerns over the dichotomy of scientific progress. Man is taking strides in two opposing directions: One toward advancement and the other toward degradation.
As humanity reaches new horizons and explores unprecedented realms in science, technology, and communication, we will experience deterioration at different levels. The superficial comfort that science and technological advancement has created are eroding humanity and distorting morality and mental peace.
The relentless evolution of this pandemic has, in a short time, made us question our existence and worth. The shock brought us back to our Creator, begging for survival in the face of a lethal unseen “thing.”
The current situation reminds us of science fiction plotlines, which we never thought would be real. The coronavirus does not discriminate. Wealth, age, color, race, ethnicity do not make any difference. Suddenly, humans are equal again. People across the globe have remembered their Creator and figures, leaders, celebrities, and laymen are praying to God for mercy, powerless in front of this invisible killer.
Archetypical sci-fi inventions such as spaceships and flying cars have vanished from our memories, which retain only “coronavirus.” As people rushed to stockpile food, we realized that Hollywood’s apocalypse films may simulate a reality that waited just beyond our sights.
In developed and developing countries alike, thousands of “innocent” lives have been put to the sword by the silent virus. Survivors and observers shivered with fear. Artificial intelligence, automation, and advanced science stilled as we considered possible future scenarios.
People feel more uncertain than ever before. The few pedestrians on eerily empty streets keep a distance from each other to avoid infection. Dreamers have forgotten about flying to Mars, visiting Bali, or attending the Champions League final at Wembley Stadium. Instead, they dream of simply walking out their front doors.
People are locked inside, meditating, browsing screens, imbibing both facts and fake news. In “Castaway,” after months of harsh jungle life on an uninhabited island, Tom Hanks’s final scene captured my attention. Hanks’s character stands still, turning a light switch on and off, reminding viewers that we do not appreciate our well-being when it comes easily.
We are all now cast away. Coronavirus has reminded us of freedom, life, solidarity, God, the nation, the other, and death. It made us cherish what we have taken for granted. Whether this pandemic is a passing crisis or a full stop of the course of humanity, it is a time for us to take stock of our moral values and how we treat ourselves and others.