The COVID 19 pandemic we are currently experiencing is putting us all at risk.. But it also has the effect of forcing us to question ourselves about our lifestyles and how we got here.
Obviously, I am not trying with this article to say that the people who are suffering from the consequences of this pandemic deserve it or that we should have foreseen all the problems that have been brought to light by the pandemic. I do not intend to call for a sudden reversal of the current order and replace it with something or other either. But I think it would be a mistake not to draw the consequences of the pandemic for our society. We have to learn from our mistakes if we don't want to make them again.
What follows is just a small set of ideas. The principle is simple. Every weakness in our community that has been exploited by COVID 19 must be brought to light and addressed. So here it is:
We have learned that this disease is more likely to kill overweight people, especially obese people. I don't blame them because I myself have had serious overweight problems in the past. But it is clear that COVID 19 tends to “penalize” a lifestyle that is not healthy for the body. The same can also be said of the impact of COVID 19 on smokers or alcoholics. What COVID 19 is trying to tell us here is that this way of life, which has an insatiable appetite and overconsumption at its heart, is not sustainable. We need to do more to move towards moderation and promote a healthy lifestyle.
We have also learned that this disease is more prevalent where lies and mistrust of government institutions reign. When a people no longer wants to trust, rightly or wrongly, its Government, this kind of tragedy takes place. I am not saying that we must blindly obey the Government. On the contrary. From the start of this pandemic, I followed information from scientific and non-governmental sources to protect myself. What I mean by this is that in order to avoid abuses by lying Governments or lying conspiracy theories, it is imperative that we restore the bond of trust between the people and the State. And as in any relationship, initiative and effort must be common. To the people who give their confidence, the Government owes transparency and sincerity.
COVID 19 has also revealed our weaknesses in our economic model. Just imagine that we are experiencing the most serious economic crisis since 1929 ! And this because of a microscopic organism. The Spanish flu a hundred years ago had economic consequences, of course, but they were less damning compared to those of the Great War which preceded it. And the 1920s were a real economic boom despite the pandemic that had just ended. Why then such consequences today when a hundred years ago, faced with a more dangerous disease, the economy was not so strongly impacted? The answer is simple. Our current economic model is too dependent on short-term prospects, on overproduction in order to consume more and more. We have to rethink our way of consuming and our way of producing as well as allocating resources so as not to depend entirely on short-termism. Moreover, this policy has never benefited the community but only a few.
Finally, COVID 19 also enlightens us on our environmental policy. Even if the link is somewhat exaggerated, climate degradation can lead to the explosion of pandemics and one of the questions that terrifies me right now is “what will be next ?”. By destroying our environment we create the ideal conditions for this kind of event to take place more and more often.
So if we recap, COVID 19 is actually playing a warning role. On a personal level, it calls us to change our lifestyles in order to live in a healthier way, and on a global level, it asks us to rethink our societal model in depth. If we get there, COVID 19 would have been a vaccine against the dangers that await us in the 21st century. Otherwise, it will have been our last chance to understand our mistakes and learn the consequences.
The one who is warned but persists in his error deserves no mercy. So let's learn before it's too late.