Coronavirus is another problem for the human spirit to overcome
Much of the world remains in the grip of confusion and fear over the coronavirus that has caused near panic in many countries, as world health officials scramble to cope with a health crisis, that at the moment threatens all who inhabit this planet.
This is not the first time the earth has experienced periods of mystery diseases, that claimed many lives and, indeed, Bermuda history reveals how many years ago, a dreaded yellow fever resulted in so many funerals they ceased tolling the church bells.
As dark as that chapter of our history was, had there not been survivors, none of us would be here today. Just as mystery diseases strike often without notice, the power of the human spirit has proven to be insurmountable in striving to meet various challenges in the quest for a life of peace and happiness.
Numerous wars have resulted in loss of life, probably greater than any disease known to man, but mankind still struggles with economic greed, materialism, along with a lack of respect for honesty, justice and truth.
There are countries in our world today, where family life has been ripped to pieces by notorious leaders, who cling to power, by brutal suppression, and stop at nothing to maintain that grip, even if people are killed in the process.
Our global news sources are seldom without a report of human suffering, with children losing parents, and often dying of starvation as much of the world rumbles on, as though it is all just another chapter of the human experience.
Even countries with economic and military power are these days being confronted by protesters who often put their lives at risk, demanding justice and freedom and the dignity to be free to express their views over policies that impact their lives.
There are not enough journalists on earth to fully cover such events that continue to affect many societies globally. However, without them, many voices would never be heard.
Increasing numbers are expressing concern about climate change and the damage from higher temperatures resulting in massive fires as recently experienced in Australia, with loss of life and extensive damage.
Scientists globally have jointly warned that failure to significantly reduce gas emissions into the atmosphere from massive industrial projects will lead to more ice melting in the Arctic, creating higher ocean levels that eventually will threaten all low-lying land areas around the world.
With such crucial matters it would seem the world has no room for yet another problem, this time known as the coronavirus.
However, another virus we should all be concerned about is the virus of no respect for decency, truth and the dignity, that is found in too many leaders of today, who resent those who reject their brand of leadership, that excludes opposing views.
That is a virus that not only threatens democracy, a system designed to provide freedom of expression for all, but it also destroys basic values essential for keeping families strong, in order to have better societies with less crime and violence.
As countries continue to struggle with this virus, the real cure could be in the quality of leadership, because upholding great values for good living will best be displayed by example. That remains a test for all leaders.
However, this is not a time to be obsessed with doom and gloom over so many negative stories floating about.
Hope and belief for a better tomorrow will be a positive story, with upcoming Easter celebrations in Bermuda, and throughout much of the free world. Hope will always be the best medicine during times of despair.
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Ada Nyabongo (1926-2020)
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