Several authors recently have writen about the need for increasing medical solidarity among nations to reduce, and hopefully control or better, eliminate, the Coronavirus. Some have asked “Why does it take a potentially all-encompassing tragedy, for enemies to drop their political and military differences and unite?” This is of course, a profound question, given the still warring landscape among nations across the globe. The road to unity and shared resources to combat the “new” imposing enemy, is rocky and long, being fraught with clashes of values, ethics, and perceived strategies
Profound medical questions that infiltrate our thought processes without quick answers, (indeed answers that sometimes take millenia to sort out), are now upon us: How do we stop our citizens from dying as a result of this disease? How quickly can science find a cure? What medical resources, e.g., gloves, gowns, masks, and sanitizers, do we need to amass for hospitals and medical staff around the world? Who pays and how? Who pays for the spin-off effects of job losses, quarantines, travel restrictions, school and institution closures, and food distribution issues? Who guards the guardians of our health?
COVID-19 has forced scientists and the medical professions globally, to communicate as they have never done before. It has forced religious leaders to alter traditional assemblies of their church and synogogue congregations. It has forced inter-communication globally among political administrations of all stripes. It has forced the much-increased electronic inter-communication of travel agencies, of families split apart by geography, of sports associations, of suppliers of drugs and medical equipment, and media announcements about the closure of symphony orchestra performances, community centres, local non-profit group meetings, and thousands of small and medium-sized businesses.
Never has the world been the victim of a viral pandemic of COVID-19 proportions. Millions may die. Most of us will live, given what we already know epidemiologically and our realistic expectations for a cure among laboratory scientists working 24/7. And ‘physical distancing’ is a key factor in curtailing the spread, along with many other protective measures. On the positive side of things, innovations by people working from home, are triggering new world-wide forms of buying and selling, banking, investing, skill training, medical advising, product purchasing, and K-12/college/university education. The world culture will have changed significantly after this disease is eradicated through tested vaccines.
Spaceship Earth is drawing a protective cover over itself, but time is of the essence. Every person is a Captain and crew member. Cooperation and compliance are fundamental guidelines at every level. Let’s all do our part.