COVID-19 – Globalization or Individuation

Corona is a global pandemic; it has become a part of discussion everywhere, be it social media, TV, newspaper, business discussion, family discussion in nutshell everywhere.

Recently, I came across a TED video by Bill Gates where he said every country is prepared for war having so many weapons, nuclear weapons, fighter jets, and whatnot with them, but our enemy is invisible and will not be killed by these weapons. We have to prepare ourselves for this invisible enemy and start investing money, resources time in fighting these viruses, bacteria and strengthen our health infrastructure which includes providing better facilities, invest well in building health infrastructure so that we can fight with them and diseases such as these.

A few years back I watched movie Contagion and was in awe of the ideas and creativity the Hollywood comes up with. I was just thinking the same thing till 1st March 2020. In newspaper read the story on COVID 19 and that how it spread in Wuhan and doctor who discovered it, also got infected with the virus and is no more. Li Wenliang was a Chinese ophthalmologist who worked as a physician and he warned his colleagues in Dec 2019 about a possible outbreak of illness similar to SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and later acknowledge it as COVID-19. Wuhan police thought he is making rumors and false statements and they summoned and admonished him for the same. Later Li returned to work and got infected from one of his patients and eventually passed away. This disease spread like a wildfire and has almost affected the life of every human directly or indirectly. In this article, I won’t get into the argument of how it came into human contact and what is the source of this disease.

Since we are living in the 21st century where everyone is far from but connected just a hand’s away. We are so proud of globalization that whatever is available in the USA the same thing is available in India and other countries. This is an era of connectivity be it transport, communication, education, business we are connected with each other so closely. And with every single day, we are improvising our connectivity and getting benefits out of it.

Now Let’s get back to our topic epidemic and then connect this epidemic with globalization.

About 5000 yrs. ago an epidemic (Circa 3000 B.C) wiped out a prehistoric village in China. Around 430 B.C. an epidemic Plague of Athens ravaged the people of this place and lasted for five years. Till here people are mobile within their villages or town or maximum to the next town. And so the illness or epidemic and it is confined within an area. And people with areas suffered from it and the rest of the world are dealing with their own challenges and system.

Slowly at that era, people made advancement and started traveling to other parts of their country and world through sea and sea became the source of traveling of disease from one part of the world to others. The best example here is The Black Death (1346-1353) it traveled from Asia to Europe and left devastation impact on Europe and wiped out half of the European population.

American Polio Epidemic that started in New York in 1916 caused 6,000 deaths in the USA and this is the time when people started a lot of movement from one part of the world to other and became the carrier of this disease which traveled to many parts and infected children around the world, though the vaccine is there and it is eradicated from most of the countries of the world.

And in between, there are many epidemics but as we throw light on the current pandemic: COVID 19, this virus traveled from Wuhan to Europe and to the USA. We know we have a complex grid of air network and if we draw this network it is quite visible to us that how this virus has widespread throughout the globe. Though in this pandemic many countries took a proactive approach by seizing the air travel so that they can safeguard their people from this deadly virus.

But till the time decision was made and implemented, this virus has a supersonic speed of spread it had already done the damages which were beyond control. Now in this era of globalization, we are experiencing an era of prehistoric times where we are confined not only to our country or city or our locality but to our house. By the time we have a vaccine, social distancing and confinement are the only options.

Globalization has made us approachable to almost everything so easily that even if I want the latest Apple product released in California, the world I can get it in my country, my town easily and quickly. The same is also applicable to this virus, something which we all have witnessed in the past few months. Something that started in one part of China has now affected the globe.

The year 2020 has created a history that being lived in an era of globalization; we now need to practice individuation to safeguard ourselves, family, society and mankind. Staying at home, in a lockdown, makes me curious whether it’s an era of globalization or individuation.