It’s all the world can talk about: a virus spreading so quickly that it leaves mortal men (and women) in shock, in fear, and a little bit in awe. A virus is only a small little thing, it can’t be seen with any naked eye and yet it is all powerful none the less. Corona shows us how weak the world is in reality.
February 28th, 2020. Noon. Suddenly corona is no longer a problem from some far off place elsewhere in the world. The second case hit the Netherlands. And not in a city in the south, two hours away from my front door, like the first one. No. Around the corner of my house a lady has been placed in quarantine in her house after being diagnosed with a disease that has the world trembling in fear.
For the first in a very long time the world has a common enemy. Because where we see borders as hard lines one can only cross with a little piece of paper that is precious to so many, corona flips off every border patrol officer it can find. Screw you and goodbye, it says while continuing on without any visa or paperwork. How rude… Because borders are holy lines, right? Solid as concrete walls and impenetrable as those medieval motes filled with crocodiles. Oh no wait, that only applies to humans. Both animals and viruses care very little about the lines mankind has drawn on a flat paper version of the planet.
So for the first in a very long time the world has a common enemy, but it seems that the countries itself don’t realise it yet. We still stand divided, solitary in our fight that we battle within our own borders. One country refuses the help offered. The other is refusing to give up a quarrel in order to work together. And in the meantime, people turn on each other claiming one group is the source of the problem. Fear and solitude roam freely. As well as the attitude that it “won’t come near them”.
February 28th, 2020. Noon. Corona did a little hop, took a little leap, and crossed the continent of Europe just like that. No longer was it “not near me”, because now it knocked on the door. . If corona can take leaps, can mankind do it as well? A leap into the attitude of forgetting for just a second that we have differences and disputes. For just a second to combine forces and strengths. Because the mortality rate is currently only 2% but it hasn’t hit the most vulnerable areas-between-drawn-lines of the world just yet. As soon as it lands in places plagued by mass malnutrition, hunger and war, or native communities rarely exposed to even the common flu, or suburbs with less access to healthy food or care in any major city in the world, one can only imagine the damages a simple flu-symptom-like virus can do. Not in economical ways – although the world is already starting to feel that too – but also in decimating local communities and cultures. Again: if corona can take leaps between countries, can we take a leap of faith to sit side by side?