Akeel Rashid

To be blunt: World, for now, is helpless in the face of Coronavirus

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With no medicine or inoculation available to treat and prevent the deadly Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), some preventive tips are in circulation across the world to at least tackle the further spread of the novel virus. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. “Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against 2019-nCoV, and WHO is supporting their efforts.”The advices like “Wash your hands”, “Maintain social distancing”,“Exercise and eat well”, and “Prioritize good sleep” feature at the top of these preventive tips. Although the tips have gained wide acceptance, the practical coordination between countries to fight the virus is still missing. No nation state has come forward so far to lead Coronavirus response. The powerful states, which have always been at the forefront of “saving people from badly behaving dictators” who do not comply with conventional democracies, are yet to utilize their full potential for addressing a possible “global catastrophic risk” like Coronavirus. Let me remind these states that time has again come for them to display their power and save people — this time, not from a dictator but a pandemic. Like there is a global consensus on fighting terrorism which has claimed so many lives, fighting COVID-19 also needs global consensus which continues to claim lives in the world and endanger many more.

Even when a situation that could drastically curtail human lives, some governments around the world are making hollow claims with regard to tackling of Coronavirus. Those in charge are too desperate to score brownie points with their public by making these claims. Such claims are nothing but desperate attempts to insert their politics into something which is not about politics at all and could damage human well-being on a global scale. Trump’s recent comment is a case in point. He, according to the Politico Magazine, told a rally in Charlotte on Monday that the virus proves him right on immigration. “We’re doing everything in our power to keep the sick and infected people from coming into our country,” Trump declared, warning that “there are fringe globalists who would rather keep our borders open.”

All over the world, it is just bureaucracy and politics that is dominating the discourse of COVID-19. The medical experts and researchers, whose words would instill comfort and hope into the world population, are not being provided a global platform to clarify the situation for the panic-stricken people. In our part of the world too, the situation is no different. Assurances are coming from those who have no know-how of medical science. They might be knowing the art of comforting as to what to say and do for people in distress but there are actual questions that they don’t have tools to answer.

The virus which was first detected in China’s Wuhan city has gripped, through presence or panic, the whole world in a matter of just few months. Trending twitter hashtag like #CautionYesPanicNo regarding Coronavirus promotes an insufficient hope as it makes us lose focus on the urgency of the situation. It is ok, we’re all panicking. Those who died recently didn’t die of panic but Coronavirus.

Not trying to be a Debbie Downer but the blunt truth with regard to COVID-19 is, “We are living on a borrowed time as getting Coronavirus infection is like receiving a death sentence. Our life would hinge on the preventive tips laid down by the experts until researchers develop treatments and drugs to nip the deadly virus in the bud.”


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