Covid-19 Pandemic: Divine Retribution or Blessing in Disguise?

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Much has been said about the Covid-19 Pandemic since it wreaked havoc all over the inhabited Earth and instill fear in the hearts of every human being that government instrumentalities all over the world were mobilized to combat the dreaded coronavirus and to prevent spreading like wildfire among humankind. It has traveled far and wide and infected at least 213 countries including their respective dependencies. Major cities in the world imposed either partial or total lockdown, third world countries self-imposed community quarantine, and urged respective citizens to stay at home. Recent statistics (virusncov.com COVID-19 Coronavirus – Update as of May 27, 2020) pegged the figures to the following:

Number of affected countries and territories – 213
Number of confirmed cases – 5,685,777 individuals (53,097 of whom in severe condition)
Number of those who recovered – 2,430,158 individuals
Number of recorded deaths – 352,225 individuals

For more than two months now, major thoroughfares and streets were deserted, business establishments other than those providing necessary goods and services were closed, transport industry stopped operation, classes in all levels were suspended indefinitely, construction works in all major private and government infrastructure projects were halted and to sum it all, it seemed that the whole world is in the state of suspended animation and the global economy in the brink of recession.

How different people view the present predicament the modern world is experiencing now and how it responded can be categorized in five different viewpoints:

Pundits’ viewpoint

There are different theories being floated around about the origin of coronavirus, how it evolves into a contagion, and develops to become the cause of Pandemic COVID 19 disease.

Many medical experts believed that the new strain of coronavirus likely originated in bats or pangolins. The first transmission to humans was in Wuhan, China. Since then, the virus mostly spread through person-to-person contact. The new strain of coronavirus is called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus causes coronavirus disease 19 (Covid-19). The new coronavirus has spread rapidly in many parts of the world. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Covid-19 a Pandemic, a disease that people are not immune to, spreads quickly across large regions.

Although some virologists notably, Dr. Robert Garry and a team of researchers analyzed the genome sequence of the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and found no evidence that the virus was made in a laboratory or otherwise engineered, some other experts and scientists believed otherwise. To some scientists, the true origin of coronavirus remains a mystery prompting them to suspect that the virus was created in a Wuhan, China laboratory.
Biologist said the coronavirus spreads across the globe in just a few short months, sickening hundreds of thousands but it has a dubious distinction of not really being a living organism, thus can not be killed by any antiviral or bacterial agent.

Pundits are not unanimous in their views, the origin of coronavirus remains a mystery to some of them, however, they are unanimous in saying that “Nothing will appear from NOWHERE and Nothing is created out of NOTHING.”

The Cynics’ viewpoints

The pandemic came at a time that a new superpower is emerging to be slowly creeping and controlling the world economy by employing Debt Trap strategy to third world countries. The coronavirus pandemic that rages across the globe is a fire that China helped light. And now, while Beijing grasps a hose with two hands, it is also planting a boot on the world’s neck.

The Chinese government spent weeks denying and downplaying the severity of its growing coronavirus outbreak that eventually spread to the rest of the world. The obfuscation cost nation crucial time in preparing for and potentially curbing the damage of Covid-19. Some experts believe President Xi Jinping’s regime should be held accountable for the 5 million infections and 350 thousand deaths that have taken place worldwide. But China isn’t letting the crisis go to waste. Instead of looking to make amends, Beijing is taking advantage of the chaos to pursue its long-term foreign policy goals more aggressively.

China has capitalized on the world’s distraction to claim sovereignty over the disputed islands in the South China Sea, intimidate Taiwan, and assert more authority over Hongkong in an attempt to quash the pro-democracy movement there.

The Fatalists’ viewpoints

Couple of months ago or days after the first case of Covid-19 was reported in China, I was still in Auckland, New Zealand, my son-in-law sent me a message with an attachment from a portion of a book entitled “The Eyes of Darkness” by Dean Koontz, published in 1981 which mentioned about a severe pneumonia-like illness which will spread in around 2020, which origin was also mentioned being from Wuhan, China. The seemingly incredible coincidence with Covid-19 reinforced the fatalistic view that since it has been divinely predetermined we can not do something about it.

Under this fatalistic view, the only saving of life that occurs is the lockdown, and perhaps the precautions that people took stem from improved treatment of the sick that may result from lengthening the period during which the population becomes infected.

During that period, some of those infected at the time the lockdown was imposed will die and the rest will recover. Assuming that, after recovery, one can no longer become infected, the ability to transmit the virus by those infected at the time of the lockdown will have been very significantly curtailed. This doesn’t mean that the virus will have been stamped out. It won’t have been. No lockdown can bring about a total end to new infections.

Most fatalists are also religiously superstitious who believed this pandemic is predestined to happen by a Supreme Being and that the people should resign to accept our fate. They believe that the pandemic is one supernatural phenomenon that is bound to happen again and again as Divine retribution to the morally decaying world.

The Realists’ viewpoints

Whatever the origin of the coronavirus virus that causes the pandemic COVID 19, whether it came by the natural process of mutation from previously known virus, thus a product of Darwin’s evolution theory or manufactured in a laboratory as a bio-chemical weapon designed to subdue nation, the pandemic was already wreaking havoc across the inhabited earth and is knocking out global economy that every nation must individually face and has to deal with.
The realist approach to international politics and foreign policy does not devote much, if any, attention to the issue of potential pandemics like the COVID-19 outbreak. No theory explains everything, of course, and realism focuses primarily on the constraining effects of anarchy, the reasons why great powers compete for advantage, and the enduring obstacles to effective cooperation among states.

The Idealists’ viewpoints

A global, novel virus that keeps us contained in our homes—may be for months—is already reorienting our relationship to government, to the outside world, even to each other.

But crisis moments also present opportunity: more sophisticated and flexible use of technology, less polarization, a revived appreciation for the outdoors, and life’s other simple pleasures. No one knows exactly what will come, but here is our best stab at a guide to the unknown ways that society—government, healthcare, the economy, our lifestyles, and more—will change.

Here are some ideal situations that are made possible because of the Pandemic:

The loss of innocence, or complacency – We know now that touching things, being with other people, and breathing the air in an enclosed space can be risky. It could become second nature to recoil from shaking hands or touching our faces—and we might all find we can’t stop washing our hands.

A new kind of patriotism – The world has long equated patriotism with the armed forces. But you can’t shoot a virus. Those on the frontlines against coronavirus aren’t conscripts, mercenaries, or enlisted men; they are our doctors, nurses, pharmacists, teachers, caregivers, store clerks, utility workers, small-business owners, and employees.

A return to faith in serious experts – The COVID-19 crisis could change this in two ways. First, it has already forced people back to accepting that expertise matters. It was easy to sneer at experts until a pandemic arrived, and then people wanted to hear from medical professionals.

Less individualism – The coronavirus pandemic marks the end of our romance with market society and hyper-individualism. The coronavirus pandemic is going to cause immense pain and suffering. But it will force us to reconsider who we are and what we value, and, in the long run, it could help us rediscover the better version of ourselves.

Religious worship will look different – All faiths have dealt with the challenge of keeping the faith alive under the adverse conditions of war or diaspora or persecution—but never all faiths at the same time. Religion in the time of quarantine will challenge conceptions of what it means to minister and to fellowship. But it will also expand the opportunities for those who have no local congregation to sample sermons from afar.

New forms of reform – The epidemic also revealed deadly flaws in the health care system, and awakened us to the need for landmark reforms. People are finding new ways to connect and support each other in adversity; they are sure to demand major changes in government, and they’ll become newly conscious of interdependency and community.

Regulatory barriers to online tools will fall – COVID-19 will sweep away many of the artificial barriers to moving more of our lives online. Not everything can become virtual, of course. But in many areas of our lives, uptake on genuinely useful online tools has been slowed by powerful legacy players, often working in collaboration with overcautious bureaucrats.

Summary/Conclusion

The COVID – 19 Pandemic as viewed from five different vantage points offered a pentagonal pyramid image of a phenomenon that swept across the globe and wreaked havoc on the local and national economies, curtail freedom of movement or mobility rights of everybody, threatened peace and security and family unity.

The origin of coronavirus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic is still in question and that remained a mystery to some experts. Some experts, though inconclusive opined that the virus could have originated from bats or pangolins, while others theorized that the coronavirus that caused COVID-19 could have mutated or evolved from the previously known virus while still other experts suspected that that virus was developed into a biological weapon in a secret laboratory in Wuhan, China where the first case of COVID -19 was reported. Cynical men and women were quick to conclude that the pandemic is China’s strategy to gain control of the world economically.

The fatalistic, however, dismissed the phenomenon to be an act of nature being predestined to happen again and again as Divine retribution for the sins of men. They argued that in the olden times, Gods punished His people whenever they sinned and tend to go astray, then regain His blessings and heal their land whenever they turned away from their evil ways and atoned their sins.

Whatever final images the schism on coronavirus’ origin would paint, the realists would have resigned to accept the fact and situation and do something to deal with it as is and respond to it accordingly without resorting to depend on bigger or higher plane of authority or on any make-believe solutions.
In contrast, however, with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the idealists see windows of opportunities to change humankind’s’ socio-economic and political orientation and our relationship with the government.

There are positive developments that are brought about by lockdowns and community quarantine. Personal values were analyzed, clarified, and refocused and reoriented for a more humane society. Family and interpersonal relationship and were made cohesive than ever, staying at home during the quarantine have made families together for longer hours so that every member of the family have more time with each other.

The lockdowns and community quarantine virtually made streets and thoroughfares empty of people and vehicles so that petty crimes and vehicular accidents were minimized and curtailed though they may be temporarily observed. Uncollected garbage and wanton littering and vandalism were also minimized, factories were temporarily closed and smoke-belching vehicles were parked indefinitely so that a reprieve was given to people for irritating traffic congestion, polluted air and water bodies and that even the ozone layer has somewhat healed itself temporarily.

My humble assessment is that the Covid-19 Pandemic is both Divine Retribution and Blessing in Disguise.


References:

  • COVID-19 Coronavirus – Update as of May 27, 2020, https://virusncov.com/
  • “Coronavirus Cause: Its origin and how it spreads” Published on May 19, 2020, by Medical News Today Newsletter, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/coronavirus-causes
  • “Coronavirus is not even alive but expert explains how it can harm”Medicinenet,
  • March 16, 2020, https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=229387
  • “How China is ruthlessly exploiting coronavirus pandemic it helped caused”
  • by [email protected], April 28, 2020, https://www.vox.com/2020/4/28/21234598/coronavirus-china-xi-jinping-foreign-policy
  • Coronavirus Fatalism, By: Paul Mirengoff – posted on April 14, 2020, POWERLINE BLOG
  • https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2020/04/coronavirus-fatalism.php
  • “The Realist’s Guide to the Coronavirus Outbreak,” by Stephen M. Walt, FP – March 9, 2020
  • https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/03/09/coronavirus-economy-globalization-virus-icu-realism/
  • Coronavirus Will Change the World Permanently.
  • https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/03/19/coronavirus-effect-economy-life-society-analysis-covid-135579
  • Deborah Tannen – Professor of linguistics at Georgetown: Inside the Language of Women’s Friendships.
  • Mark Lawrence Schrad – Associate Professor of Political Science: A Global History of Prohibition.
  • Tom Nichols – Professor at the U.S. Naval War College and author of The Death of Expertise.
  • Eric Klinenberg – Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life.
  • Amy Sullivan – Director of Strategy for Vote Common Good.
  • Jonathan Rauch – Contributing Writer at the Atlantic and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.
  • Katherine Mangu-Ward – Editor-in-Chief of Reason magazine.
  • Sherry Turkle – Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT, Founding Director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self, and Author: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age.

One thought on “Covid-19 Pandemic: Divine Retribution or Blessing in Disguise?

  1. The article I have written had become one of the topics in a lively but seemingly endless discussion with unlimited topics, in a drinking session we had one sleepy and boring Sunday. My six drinking buddies were divided two to four as to their views about Covid-19 Pandemic in favor of blessings in disguise. I couldn’t disagree more…

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