Chinese Puzzle

For some people, COVID-19 can be compared to a nuclear bomb
that could change the direction of the human race.

By Khalid Hussain | July 2020

It was in December 2019 when the world heard about an unknown, fast spreading and communicable disease called Corona Virus (COVID-19). It ostensibely originated in Wuhan, one of the commercially busiest cities of China. In just two months, the virus engulfed the whole world and created an uncontrollable worldwide emergency.

What are the reasons behind the origins and spread of COVID-19 and who is responsible? Is it a man-made virus or something else? All this is still a mystery. There are so many questions but information is mostly scarce or is being concealed. There are different opinions, speculations and theories that are being discussed all over the world but there is no hard proof.

The situation is worsening day after day but no scientific, medical research or health organizations have been able to find a solution, treatment or vaccine; many research studies have been launched under the W.H.O. and other organizations but everyone is still waiting for any positive results.

The pandemic has completely crushed the global economy; millions of people have lost their jobs and are stuck in miserable and unbearable conditions. Education, trade, business, social setups, communication, etc. in almost every corner of the globe has been drastically disrupted. Do pandemics stop the survival of human life? COVID-19, as similar pandemics previously, will be exterminated one day. But it will leave behind many questions and lessons for mankind.

When we look at history, we find that pandemics that spread worldwide such as cholera, the bubonic plague, smallpox and influenza, played their roles as brutal killers and disrupted human life. Millions of people became victims of pandemics in every century. The flu pandemic of 1968 that originated in Hong Kong, led to the loss of a million human lives. In the Asian flu of 1956 that also originated in China and lasted for two years, the death toll was over 2 million; The flu pandemic of 1918, that lasted for two years, caused the death of 20-50 million people. The worst-ever pandemic on earth, also known as the Black Death of 1346, lasted for about eight years. This outbreak ravaged Europe, Africa and Asia and caused an estimated death toll between 75-200 million people.

COVID-19 and other previous pandemics may be punishment from God or are due to man-made causes but this is not surprising. Being technologically, socially, politically, economically and culturally developed is not a bad thing. But the routes taken towards such development and progress in today’s globalized world are less human-centered.

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The writer is a doctoral fellow of Islamic Studies at the Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University in Rajouri, Kashmir. He can be reached at khalid6484

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