I believe in numbers and science. I like to count, compare, and predict with a basis of facts. So, let’s start with some numbers.
Right now, there are over 4 million, 800 thousand reported cases of COVID-19 (we have no idea how many there actually are in reality). Let’s say they appeared during the last six months. Of these 4.8 million people, about 317,000 have died so far. That gives a mortality rate of about 15% but of course there are still plenty of people who have not yet recovered so this number could still rise.
This seems like a lot, these are big numbers, but do you know how many people in the world suffer and die from malaria, HIV, hunger and malnutrition?
Each and every month millions of people die around the world from those causes and it has been going on for a lot longer than just half a year, but we don’t really seem to notice too much. Actually, maybe it’s not a fair comparison because they aren’t all viruses. Oh wait, maybe it’s not a fair comparison because we know how to prevent and treat each of them.
Some people claim that they can treat all of these cases of COVID-19 and will quickly develop a vaccine, that in this way they will stop this particular virus, or at least control it, there may still be isolated cases but they will be easy to treat and cure.
I just wonder why we are all so worried about COVID-19, why all of the world is going so nuts and standing up to fight against it, when we can’t or don’t do the same with malnutrition or malaria. Is it because it spreads not just through poor socio-economic groups, but touches everyone regardless of their wealth or which country they live in?
Sometimes I believe that nature just decides to perform natural selection and there will always be a new ‘corona’ to fight, and that it is completely normal. It’s true that some people, some governments, have the ability to create and engineer viruses as biological weapons. These capabilities mean that conspiracy theorists will always have something to grab onto, but I don’t believe that this is the case here. I don’t believe that the Chinese created this virus and then used all of the nationalities to spread it around the world, destroying their own global export business in the process. Anyway, everyone will always have many theories about everything from the moon landings (or not) to what viruses are lab made, and there will always be people who won’t believe whatever evidence they are presented with, it doesn’t really matter.
Let’s see what this situation has brought to us. To start with, all the countries around the globe have had the chance to check their health system and some proved to be far from perfect. Sweden had chosen to believe in the peoples conscience, while the countries neighbouring of Sweden believe that the mortality rate in Sweden is too high. The WHO believes that it’s possibly the right way to go, but who knows?
The United Kingdom thinks more about Brexit than the situation about their mortality rate, with a government that bounces backwards and forwards between unclear policies. Lithuanians are blaming their government for just about everything, even if they took fast action and have a very high testing rate.
In the United States they believe that bleach can kill the virus, or at least their quite clearly nuts president does, and in Mexico (with an equally unbalanced president) they probably believe that beer can kill the virus. Treating corona with Corona doesn’t sound like the worst idea, but there is no Corona (or any other beer) anymore in the shops.
There are good things, if you look at the situation from a social consciousness point of view, you can see that many individuals and companies are nicer than you might have thought. The try to support the people in need by starting great initiatives, both big and small. Everything from supporting the medical community, sewing masks, 3D printing face shields, to sharing food with the homeless and those who can’t afford it. People are helping their old or vulnerable neighbours by doing their shopping, it kind of inspires hope for humanity.
Then there is the biggest change to daily life, most countries were, or still are, in lockdown. Quarantine is one of the most common words nowadays. Of course, there are some consequences of this too!
All sorts of things are changing, levels of air pollution have decreased, the dolphins came back to Venice. Sexual activity has increased, but so has the divorce rate. Now people have more time to spend with their families, but they don’t know how to do it anymore. Parents who wanted to be with their children more find that suddenly they can’t just blame teachers for the things that their kids have failed to learn, because right now school is at home.
Some small business will die but for sure Amazon, Uber Eats, and anyone who manufactures toilet paper will survive. This is the time when deliveries take not 1-3 days but 1-3 weeks, which is still better than 1-3 months. Oh, and in the last six months people learned that actually it’s a good thing to wash your hands, which they probably should have known already.
All in all it’s a like a good kick up our asses, a reminder that not everything will always go as we planned and that sometimes we just need to find ways to deal with it. Actually for us for a couple of years it is not all going as we planned, so corona kind of didn’t change so much.
So, COVID-19 is changing the world, everyone is responding, governments companies and individual people. They are all standing up and fighting together against this threat, but the big question is why don’t we do anything about those other ones?
You might be wondering about the title. Psychosis is typically characterised by “a distorted or nonexistent sense of objective reality”. Does it sound like it fits?
Oh, and just in case you were curious. It’s about 8 million deaths annually caused by hunger, over 400 thousand from malaria, and about 770 thousand related to HIV/AIDS.