What Did a Germ Teach to Humanity and Continues to Teach More?
Silence. All I hear is a tremendous silence on these days. When I wake up in the mornings, I cannot hear any human voice at all however the annoying croak of the seagulls and crows grates on my ears. Now they are the new tyrants of the sky, since almost all flight operations have been canceled. In our apartment’s garden, the stray cats are enjoying their mating season with their insatiable orgasm scream.
Now, I am trying to let some fresh air into my bedroom and doing five minutes exercise to boost my blood stream before starting my work. It has been fifteen days since I have been at home and never go outside. Welcome to the isolation and social distancing era which a germ rules the world and humanity delays her mission to find the immortality.
On the last day of February, I went to a running event with my friend in Antalya which is a summer vacation destination on south of Turkey, and we stayed at a nice hostel in the middle of Kaleiçi, a touristic neighborhood. Hakan, the new owner of the hostel, was waiting for the summer season where it starts on middle of March for Antalya normally and preparing his place for new guests. He has invested a lot for his new business after some fails on previous works. While he was typing our names to screen for check in, we started to watch noon news at TV in front of the desk and talk a few seconds about how 2020 has started with devastating events. “This is my last shot” he said. “I hope there won’t be worse, or it will be a suicide reason for me.” he added with smiling but serious face. After ten days, the first coronavirus case has been announced in Turkey.
In the beginning, everything seems normal. People were going their works or schools, going out with the friends, sending stories and photos to social media, going to shopping malls, talking about politics and football, thinking about summer plans etc. Of course, we were aware of the world agenda, but sun was shining, and we had a bright future to live and have fun. Day by day, case numbers have increased, and new precautions have been applied strictly. People stopped going their works or schools, sending less stories and photos to social media, stopped going out with the friends, going to shopping malls only for toilet papers and food, stopped talking about politics and football, stopped thinking about summer plans. And Hakan I hope, you didn’t pull the trigger my brother. Everybody including me was thinking “It must be a dream or an illusion”. However, it wasn’t a dream nor an illusion. It was our desperation and inability in front of the unbearable reality.
Last year, I wrote an article “30 Things to Do to be less affected by the Upcoming Economic Crisis.” and presented some solutions in case of an economic crisis would occur. I have never thought of a germ would be a reason for this and I wasn’t sure it will come soon. In the end of article, I finished with “Difficult days are over. More difficult days are waiting for us. It is good to be prepared.” You may say it’s a cool story bro but even I wasn’t be prepared. Now, the survival game has just begun.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives,Charles Darwin
not the most intelligent that survives.
It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
I know all of us, or at least most of us, are shaking and having stressed about the ongoing news and trying to focus on the real issues for survival. Now, stucked at our home, we are waiting for the day that this germ will be gone forever. Patients are dying without seeing their beloved ones, doctors are working day and night, politicians are talking bullshit, states announcing economic support packages and businesses unforeseen their future. Every problem we have face and reflect as humanity now disappeared due to a small germ that taught us how we need to stop and rethink. Recently, we were talking about reaching singularity and finding immortality, how AI will shape the world, how data science will be the sexiest job of 21st century, how social media will be a powerful channel, which startups will be an unicorn, what industry 4.0 can change the supply chain, when we will go to Mars, what is left that a software can eat in the world, which programming languages we need to learn, which episodes to watch, which destination can we go for summer… All the first world problems and desires are gone at least for now, and we begin to think about real things. That is breathing without the support of a machine is marvelous, the time we spend is a lot, being with the family and friends are significant, the system we live is unstable, the job and the wealth we have may not be permanent.
I don’t want to mention theconspiracy theories. It is not important whether it is a systematically planned pandemic or not and how it has occurred. Shit happens. Probably, you have read and watch so many contents about those. It is not the context of this text. However, I want to talk about the effects of this and how we can deal with it. As human beings, our desire to rule and shape the world is persistent but we are fragile over tiny resistance. We know tomorrow will be not the same and this terrify most of us. Before going deeper into the new world order which some call, we need to change our priorities, plans, behaviors, habits, perceptions and perspectives about almost everything which affects to our lives and our beloved planet.
“We’re here to put a dent in the universe.Steve Jobs
Otherwise why else even be here?”
Some say, D-Day is coming and other say we have been cursed. I am not sure about
neither however we should adopt a realistic approach. We are now living in VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) times. Because of that factor, there will be no fixed future waiting for us. We have seen that everything can be change in milliseconds before an action is started. We need to adapt to the upcoming changes that we face and keep a few alternative and flexible plans for different possibilities. There are two main problems for now: We don’t exactly know when the pandemic will be over. And at the door, a huge economic crisis will be waiting. Both are a global problem and cannot be resolved if we won’t be in solidarity. Butterfly effect is real. Lately, we were promoting globalization and cheering about how world is connected however we have seen how countries are closing borders and fighting for masks. The wealth and power are becoming nonsense against a germ. We have seen how qualified health system is crucial, how technology is important for sustaining business, how education can be given in anywhere and more.
On the other hand, during the quarantine and economic recession, the world has an opportunity to renew itself. Due to minimum human activity in the cities, the animals come to reclaim their own places. Nature is taking control over humanity again. Global air pollution is decreasing dramatically in almost every industrial region. Our previous approach on nature and interaction with other species were all wrong and we need to re-shape them if we want to live in peace and prosperity in future. Effects of global warming are still critical, but I hope this pandemic will be a huge lesson for humanity in order to design a better and more sustainable world model.
After all, now I am asking to all of us:
Who is the real virus? A small germ or us?
Is it a curse on us or just an enlightenment for us?
The choices we make will be the answer for us.
Check MAN video on Youtube .