By Vivek Pattanayak in Bhubaneswar, March 24, 2020: The World War I and World II were less menacing to the globe than Coronavirus (SARS-COV-2). Can we hope that this colossal danger, which this swashbuckling minuscule alien has inflicted on the world, will bring catharsis?

The world with all the diversities is full of talent, knowledge, skill, and finally wealth. Can they not be harnessed for sustainable, peaceful, productive and healthy life free of mindless prejudice, needless arrogance, loathsome hubris, despicable hatred and irrational intolerance?

Human civilization is proud of its stupendous achievements. Electricity automobile, locomotive, aircraft, telegraph, telephone, wireless, radio, television, mobile phone, computer, internet, drones, robots, artificial intelligence, nuclear power, hypersonic missile, and space travel are all spectacular attainments of human ingenuity. What the world has seen in the last fifty years ,it had not seen in fifty thousand years.

Trans-oceanic flights can carry almost a thousand passengers to destination across the continents in twelve to fifteen hours. World leaders can have live video conferences without meeting physically. What happens in Machu Picchu in Peru can be seen live in Juangpir in Odisha.
On a smart phone one can watch films, have video conversation, read newspapers, magazines, listen to songs, send emails, and even produce films, conduct business and run an office, all affordable by ordinary people.

Some countries have produced devastating nuclear weapons which can annihilate the rest of the world. Within minutes missiles can strike enemy thousands of miles away. It has sent human beings to Moon and planning to send to Mars. We detect explosion around black holes many light years away that took place millions of years ago. Every now and then we hear of exoplanets even beyond our galaxy some possibly habitable by human beings.

Yet it is an irony that these magnificent laurels of nations and human race simply pale into insignificance when it comes to facing insidious war unleashed by Coronavirus. World dominated by human beings from the mighty nuclear powered militarily strong US, technologically advanced and economically powerful the most populous nation China, and economically affluent, scientifically advanced and highly developed Europe is facing its existential moment. It is in the grip of debilitating fear. In last three months it has been unable to contain the challenge produced by a virus which is even too small to be seen by light microscopy.

World is far more integrated now than when the World War II ended. It has a world body like UN and its specialized bodies (including WHO, ICAO and IMO, the institutions most relevant in the times of pandemic), which has produced an international legal system and regulatory mechanism.

While the world’s human beings are without united resolve, hopelessly disparate and preoccupied by national and regional conflicts, religious and sectarian strife, racial and political struggles, the tiniest microorganism is deadly determined, unrelenting in multiplying and ferociously destructive having a field day.

What damage this tiny devil will cause to the global economy, what permanent impairment it will leave for human population and what disruption it will leave behind to the civilized life future alone will tell.

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of