It’s a small world – or is it?

When we heard about the coronavirus in Wuhan, some of us were guilty, including myself, of being lax in taking precautions, because Wuhan is around 6,500 km away from Kuwait. We assumed that regardless of how dangerous the virus is, it will not be easily transferred to us. Then soon enough we found out the virus began to hit everywhere and fast, from Brazil in the south to Norway in the north and everywhere in between.

We knew much earlier that the world has become a small village, because of the Internet and its applications. Add to that the so-called globalization that became supreme, as one treaty after another were being signed for free trade, as an example, and free trade zones were being created between countries via bilateral agreements.

The virus’ nature enables it to stick like a glue on any material, and experts say that it can live for hours to a few days depending on the material it contaminates. For example, a shipment from Wuhan to any city in Europe or Asia takes a few hours to arrive (Wuhan as we know is a major Chinese industrial city, and it is almost back to normal now).

We must forget the idea that a country like China is far away and others are nearby, as we all are now a virtual single community. Wuhan is almost 10,000 km away from New York, but it is obvious how devastating the pandemic has been there. Passengers travelling became vehicles transporting the virus from one place to another.

Governments that realized the danger early found out that aircraft are one of the quickest means of spreading the virus around because of the sheer numbers of people they carry in close proximity from each other, and that is why they closed their airports and suspended commercial flights.

It is amazing how a virus that cannot be seen kept people in check and confined them not only in their countries, but in their own homes – very strange!

The coronavirus revealed something that can hardly be believed, as some countries showed selfishness, be they superpowers or otherwise, as they refused passage of simple things like masks and sanitizers to their destinations and confiscated them for their own. This shows how quickly things can change and how globalization can be thrown out of the window, even if temporarily, when it comes to one’s own interests.

I hope that lessons are learned from what happened and the world community cooperates for the sake of all, because if not, all will fail without exception.

A final word: “Unity is strength…when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” – Mattie Stepanek, an American poet

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