The governments of Western nations have, throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, evolved systems devoted to treating their citizens en masse. They have done so deliberately and persistently, neglecting the very obvious effects upon population and climate, even turning a blind eye to health, and Nature’s ineffable way of putting right everything they do wrong.
The results? Bigger conurbations, bigger transport infrastructure, bigger shopping malls, bigger schools, bigger hospitals, and a vast jelloid mass of shifting population, dashing expensively hither and thither, regardless of damage caused. In Nature’s terms, a sitting target.
If, now, we are sitting in our little hutches listening to the uncomfortable scratching sound of chickens coming home to roost, we have no-one to blame but ourselves. It was always going to happen, because governments are too stupid to see beyond the edges of their desks…
If, after a token period of self-flagellation and noisy penance, we think our sins are forgiven and we can go back to doing things as before, we are just as stupid.
We have a chance to do things differently. We have an opportunity to ditch the school system and establish one that uses home tuition and technology as its base; to finish off the daily dash to the city and adopt home working and video conferencing in its place, to recycle all the aeroplanes and trains the world doesn’t really need when oceans can be crossed with the tap of a ‘send’ button, to bring people back to their small, local communities and to provide them with a hospital that is nearby and doctors who actually care.
We can do it. The technology is there! All we have to sacrifice is the relentless drive for some obscure god we have invented, by whose edict we judge the success of our personal lives –
So, will we? Sadly, no.
Instead we will fall back upon the only option we have courage enough to take – to re-open, to continue to construct, to herd our children into stockades to be taught, into mass wellness machines to be cured, and into mass graves when we die.
When we look at our existence through a tunnel of dead imagination, that is all we can see.
While we recoil in horror at the worldwide signpost of 300,000 Coronavirus deaths being passed, it is worthwhile remembering that more or less exactly a century ago Spanish Flu proved far more virulent for our ancestors: deaths worldwide were certainly no less than 17 million, and probably as high as 100 million by 1921 – more lives than were claimed by World War One.
It was not the first ‘peak’ of that disease – in 1918-19 – that destroyed the vast majority of those lives, but the second. In 1920-21.
Picture Credit: Mourning 51 from Pixabay