A Breath of Fresh Air

Some weeks ago many countries of the world began to feel the severe impact of Covid-19 pandemic, which until the fall of January was largely restricted to China and its surrounding nations. The global outbreak of this virus was not only sudden but also rapid, judging by its impact, it is safe to assume that no one saw it coming (not even the developed nations) as though the entire earth was being held to ransom by unforeseen invaders. By late February, the pandemic had flooded Europe and within twinkling moments, North America and the rest of the world began to descend into what is now a global health crisis. Global events such as the Olympics have had to be either postponed or cancelled, scores of businesses had to cease operation and as events continue to unfold we began to adjust to the reality that the world might just be going on holiday for a while.

Taking a quick trip down memory lane to shortly after the end of the second world war, looking back at the devastating effects of the war, the big players of international politics decided to come together to form a common union, an international association of countries that will help promote cordial relationship among nations in a bid to avert the possibility of another world war, hence, the United Nations emerged. Following the establishment of the United Nations was the cold war, which was a fierce battle for world supremacy between United State of America and the defunct USSR as well as the arms race, which involved the procurement of advanced military weapons such as ballistic missiles aimed at giving loftier advantage to countries in the event of a war. Of course, the country with the biggest gun won the second world war, so it is not irrational to conclude that the country with the biggest will win the next (should it ever occur).

In what can only be described as a mockery from fortune, more than 7 decades after the second world war, the world is faced with its next global crisis and contrary to expectations, it is not a war between two nuclear powered countries, it is not a war fought with missiles or ballistic weapons, it is not a war between (neighbouring, friendly or hostile) countries, it is not a war of man versus man but a war of man versus an unseen virus. It is a war against an invisible enemy fought in hospitals, clinics and medical centres across the world with health professionals as foot soldiers and medical equipment as weapons of war. Perhaps one of the most important lessons coronavirus is going to leave behind is the realization that threat to global freedom, peace and security can arise from any direction. Hence, there is a need for global vigilance on every aspect of human life as we do not know which form the next global crisis will take.

After weeks of total or partial lockdown, the month of May seem to bring a breath of fresh air as some countries are beginning to ease lockdown restrictions and businesses are gradually opening up in many parts of the world, signaling that the end of Covid-19 might indeed be in sight though the road to recovery might be gradual and normalcy may never fully return until a vaccine, cure or treatment for the virus is certified. As we hope that the worst is behind us, Covid-19 pandemic should be a wakeup call to countries whose health system is below international standard, particularly African countries who seem to have suffered greatly from the pandemic economically and health-wise despite having fewer cases (compared to Europe, Asia and America).

The world emerged strong from the first and second world wars, without doubt it will emerge even stronger when the coronavirus pandemic is over. Economies will bounce back, businesses will reopen, global events will return and streets will once again pulsate with human activities.

Happy new month, stay safe and adhere to health instructions.

May 2020 Editorial

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