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  • Christian Armbruester

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Why the Coronavirus may be the best thing that ever happened.

It really is difficult at the moment to talk about anything other than this horrible little virus that has come out of China and is holding the world hostage. There is real panic out there, and when half the children in my six year old daughter’s school class are having nightmares about the Coronavirus, it is time to put things into perspective. In tribute to one of my favourite Clint Eastwood movies, we shall look at the main take-aways from the current crisis.

There is always good that comes from bad, and all one has to do is look at the satellite image of China’s massively reduced pollution as a result of factories shutting down and airplanes flying less. We have derided our addiction to flying for a long time, for the damage it does to the environment. However, no one has been willing to actually put a stop to it. Least of which, all the celebrity eco-warriors who lecture us on climate change, yet take their private jets to fly everywhere around the world. Do as I say, not as I do. Sure, but nothing like a little Armageddon to change our habits and for things to change. The outbreak of the Coronavirus may very well save our planet.

None of us want to admit to being racist, but let’s face it, if you were standing next to someone on the tube that starts to sneeze, we would all run for the exits. Images of the character George Costanza from the cult TV show Seinfeld come to mind, when he runs over women and children as someone yells “fire”. The fear of dying brings out the worst in us and there is little that is sacred as our instincts for survival kick in. When we can no longer feel empathy or extend a helping hand to those that are in need, things are bad. Very bad.

Then there is the endgame. The current plan of governments around the world is to close off towns, schools, businesses and confine everyone to their homes. Yes, that could probably stop the disease from spreading, but then what? Who is going to produce the food, who is going to keep the lights on or fix our plumbing, and what exactly are we supposed to do when the internet goes down? I can only imagine the pending zombie apocalypse as we scavenge the earth for supplies and kill anyone who comes our way with symptoms of a cold. That would truly be ugly as 7.5 billion people live like cavemen of old and everyone is out there fending for themselves.

So where is this thing likely going to go? We are all going to catch the flu at some point and so it is with the Coronavirus. It will be horrible, people will perish (note: more than 700,000 people die of the flu each year), but the world will go on. Which is more than we can say, if we keep polluting our planet in the way that we have. Maybe, just maybe, this is the wake-up call we all needed for things to get better.


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