When you wage a war against injustice (or a virus), then you mobilize everyone. The fight against the coronavirus has been exceptional for two reasons:
1. 3/4 of the world population is immobilized by political decision, requested to stay at home and do nothing
2. Today there are more casualties from the side effects from the attempts to contain the virus than caused by the virus.
The observations are summarized in 2 editorials: 1. When you fight a war .... 2. From unintended consequences to collateral damage.
I look forward to receive your feedback.
Syndicated Article by Gunter Pauli
The arrival of the coronavirus came as a complete surprise. Every government was caught with its pants down, incapable to react, exposing how unprepared public services were. It felt like a stealth attack, invisible at first, everywhere the next moment. This unpleasant surprise was accompanied by myopic social and broadcast media that only monitor a few numbers while repeating instructions threatening with fines. This hard reality offered the ideal conditions for causing panic and obedience. When faced with despair then hardly anyone uses common sense. Emotions trigger a series of decisions and enforce behaviors which history will judge very harsh. When the World Health Organization declared a pandemic the political leadership did not wait to make the most drastic decisions ever: a lockdown of (nearly) the whole world. The following six observations should guide us towards a positive way forward.
1. The pandemic had been announced in very clear terms.
Void of any conspiracy theory, the Harvard Institute of Global Health had presented in January 2019 at the World Economic Forum a stinging report: pandemics will overwhelm us due to excessive pollution, excessive population density and climate change. The authors warned that Governments had to prepare themselves. These warning were not taken serious. Once the pandemic hit, societies at large were incapable to handle the rapidly rising demands for medical services and palliative care.
2. The Over-Confident European Union acted totally uncoordinated
While the EU tightly controls budget deficits and member states’ debt the only response it could imagine to the pandemic was to let each country decide to keep citizens like rabbits in their hutches like France, Belgium, Spain and Italy, or to let them regulate themselves like Sweden did. With its combined annual spend of €1.5 trillion the EU considered that its health care system would be able to handle any situation. Europeans for the first time since the Second World War had to queue at the emergency entrance of hospitals. African, Asian and Latin American nations face this reality every time another Dengue outbreak hits their communities.
Every year 400 million people are infected by the Dengue virus for which there is no vaccine. Then hospitals are overrun like Europe witnessed. More people die annually of Dengue than even the worst coronavirus scenarios predict. The world remains unmoved! The European industrial and social powerhouse faced a third world reality.
3. Experts take over when everyone is in despair
While it is wise and necessary to take counsel, one cannot only depend on the virologist. Indeed the virus expert only sees viruses. Virologists know that they spread fast. Every day on every square meter some 100 million viruses descend, transported by air streams from continent to continent. There are ten times more viruses than bacteria on earth. How can you protect anyone from viruses? Now if you decide to protect, then you can lock-down and only slow down infection rates. Over time without exception nearly 100% of the people will be exposed. If you know that everyone will be exposed anyway, why asphyxiate the economy? Or, was this lockdown necessary to cover-up the incapacity to handle a real fast hitting pandemic?
4. Mobilize everyone against the common enemy
This war against a virus is the first war in history where by political decision everyone is de-mobilized. This is an amazing situation. Confined at home, forced to stay put for months, arousing panic and fear, being forced to listen to experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci from the United States who owns vaccine patents and promotes a lockdown until the vaccine is available that will make him very rich. We should have mobilized everyone, instead we have immobilized nearly everyone, except medical staff.
5. Mobilize, Connect and Exercise
We need an immediate mobilization at two levels. First the best way to protect yourself from any viral or bacterial infection is to exercise. If muscles are not used for months, then bones and joints will weaken, the oxygen in the lungs insufficiently refreshed, bacterial plaque and biofilm will build up. Under these conditions everyone, especially children confined to computer screens are prone to succumb to the next wave of viral and bacterial attacks!
The same is true for our immune system. Without continuously exposing yourself to the wealth of microorganisms descending from the air, shared through water and food, spread through love, care, cuddling, hugging and kissing, then the immune system will weaken. Lockdowns weaken the immune system! The AIDS virus kills annually 800,000 people and no vaccine exists. Has any government prohibited intimacy? Everyone must exercise and ensure regular contacts with friends and family. Inactivity and lack of exposure to the sun represents a risk to the individual health I would impose fines on every able individual who is not exercising daily.
6. Unleash Entrepreneurship
The most important mobilization to get out of the mess we are in, is to wake up the entrepreneurial spirit that all have in us. We will witness a dramatic drop in GDP, we will have record high unemployment rates especially amongst youth and immigration will only be suppressed by force. We need to urgently list the 1000+1 activities every home, every city quarter, every village requires every day in order to live healthy and happy. This is the opportunity for an amazing renaissance of the entrepreneurs we desperately need to relaunch the economy with all available resources.
These entrepreneurs have a clear focus on responding to all basic needs, rebuilding communities, strengthening resilience, unleashing the creative mind that has been at the origin of every artifact around us. We should refrain from discussing “who was right and who is the culprit”? We need to inspire a whole population and generation that is now in panic mode impressed by al little zombie (the virus). Only concrete steps that move quickly from idea to vision using the best of science wisdom will convince people to transform the reality around us. Thus, we evolve from vision to new business models that serve people and not capital.
The aim of this blog is to present a fresh look at realities around us. Whereas I do not pretend to present the truth nor a definite position, I do wish to push the reader to think beyond the obvious. After all, time has come to dramatically improve the plight of millions, and that requires more than the predictable. Sometimes it forces us into spheres of discomfort.