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What the Coronavirus has shown us

You have probably read yourself sick of Coronavirus articles by now. The news nowadays is mostly only about the pandemic. Is it justly done so? I think the virus has shown us some sides of the world we don’t want to see … and some that we want to see some more of.

            The Coronavirus has at the moment of writing this, 446,789 cases accounted for (there might by a lot more) with 19,808 death accounted for.[1] The cases and death are suspected to rise exponentially which means we could have double the cases and double the deaths tomorrow. Still the death rate is ‘only’ (if one can use this word in this circumstance) 2%. This is still a pretty low percentage. But what if next year there comes a virus that has a percentage of 10%? Or a percentage of 20%? What then? If we would have been as active as we are with this virus, we would not be able to stop it. Many people would die, who could have been saved, if only we acted sooner.

            This drives fear in our hearts. We don’t want to be confronted by death. We don’t want to see our loved ones die. Because of this we act hastily, and irrationally. We give power to those who promise us safety easily. And not just any power, Totalitarian power. Power the Romans gave to a consul in times of need, making him a dictator (this did not have the bad connotation it has this day). In the right hands this could be good. The person in charge could quickly make decisions without warrying about political agendas, lobbies or the economy, which would hasten the measures which are needed to be taken to stop a deadly virus from spreading. In the bad hands it becomes a perfect means for total control. Therefore, we should think about the people we elect and not just vote for people which line well with our ideologies or personal flavor. We should elect people because they are competent leaders and because we would want to have him or her as an authority. You could compare it to choosing your own parent. Who do you want taking care of you? An idiot or a competent person? I think we both know what the answer would be.

            The pandemic has put a lot of pressure on the healthcare system of every country. Yet some countries perform better than others. Why? It isn’t because they have more hospitals. Hospitals are expensive and you can’t just have one in every town, that would simply be too costly. The hospitals who are under pressure are mostly those who don’t have enough equipment to deal with the immense flooding of people. Because of this they have to put people on floors and cancel non-necessary appointments, sometimes even cancer surgery appointments. In these days if it isn’t Corona it is non-necessary. But this is counterproductive. We should still be able to have those appointments. The hospitals who can cope with the immense flooding (for now) are those that are well stocked and prepared. That’s what we should learn from this, we should always be prepared for something like this, because it can happen in the blink of an eye.

            We should also have a better-defined healthcare system. When people can’t stop working because otherwise, they won’t be able to pay their bills only worsens viruses like this. The economic fallout will be immense. This will only increase poverty in the already poor areas. Most European countries have a pretty decent healthcare system (in Belgium it’s the only thing we’re good at) but the US falls short. How one wants to build a healthcare system is up to the country, but a country should need one. When people are starving because they aren’t allowed to work, is immoral and we should not allow it to happen. A country can have an elaborate healthcare program where everything from doctors’ appointments to surgery is paid back, or it can have a UBI system where people can choose to do with their money as they please. Whatever it is, it is necessary.

            Now, I do believe there isn’t only bad things to be said about the whole situation. I believe a lot of good things can be said about it. From the support that people give to one another, to the creative ways of staying in contact with people, to the kindness people can muster for others. It is good to see that in times of crisis; we do stay decent people. Even though the Coronavirus shows us that we still have a lot of problems to deal with, it also shows us how much we as human beings have accomplished, together.


[1] https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

By elenchusphilosophy

I'm a Philosophy student in Belgium, trying to talk and write about ideas of all kinds of sorts.

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