A lesson for the world
Perhaps one of the most important lessons coming out of the global pandemic that has crippled so many countries is that, despite people living oceans apart, as citizens of this planet earth we are all connected irrespective of racial, ethnic or Ideological differences.
We all need basic ingredients such as food, healthy environment, peace, harmony and the right to live in an atmosphere of justice and freedom.
Most of those needs are still a distant dream for millions, with many children never knowing what peace looks like.
It is a harsh reality that the spilling of blood through countless wars has not taught the world the vital lesson that a bigger disease than any pandemic is the virus of hatred and prejudice, which robs all of humanity of understanding that until we learn to respect and care for each other, there will be no end to violence and human suffering.
The pandemic in a strange way has caused people living thousands of miles apart to be more sensitive about how close we really are when it comes to health problems that cross oceans and land boundaries. The coronavirus has been the enemy of all people, no matter what country, or political or social status. If there is any light at the end of the tunnel in this global health crisis, it is still quite a distance away, even with massive vaccinations taking place daily.
Few countries, if any, have been spared loss of life from a virus that is yet to be brought under control. Even our lovely island of Bermuda joins much of the world in battling a disease that has not only taken lives, but has impacted much of our community and economic activity. As with other countries, restrictions are expected to continue until health officials are satisfied we are moving in the right direction. The highest priority must be the saving of lives.
During any crisis where human lives are at great risk, there is usually reaction from the world to seek ways of assisting, pushing aside political or ideological differences.
The situation in India is dire. The world’s second most populous country at about 1.39 billion — second only to China (1.444 billion) — has been plunged into a health crisis where medical officials have been so overwhelmed with infections and deaths that even doctors have been brought to tears over not being able to cope with the number of people seeking help.
One doctor bluntly told the international press: “I have people over there dying like animals because there is no oxygen.”
Deeply shocking, but it was painful reality.
As the full scope of India’s health crisis became clear, many leading countries immediately launched efforts to get oxygen to the country as fast as possible. There was no time for debate or discussion; only to act in the quickest way to assist a country in dire need of life-saving oxygen supplies. There was little time to be concerned about who would pay for what. The saving of lives became the single objective.
Hopefully, the aid will help Indian health officials to regain some footing in a crisis that was described as having shaken the nation. It will be an uphill struggle, but with more international assistance, things could improve.
Another tragic situation where the world jumped to assist was when a Indonesian submarine failed to resurface with a crew of 53 on board. On a practice dive run, what is believed to be a mechanical malfunction sent the vessel below depths it was designed to withstand. Naval officials knew their oxygen supply was limited. The emergency prompted many countries to offer assistance by sending special equipment to the area in the search for the stricken vessel.
Once again there was a situation where saving lives became paramount over any national differences. The single objective was that if there was a way to rescue the crew, it would be found.
Sadly, at such a depth, the submarine broke apart from crushing water pressure, taking the lives of the entire crew. The important factor in this tragedy was that a number of nations, without question, rushed to help if possible in any rescue. That in itself indicates how the world must learn that working together is far better than engaging in conflict with powerful weapons that take lives instead of saving them.
There is that saying history tends to repeats itself. We can only hope that the world will learn a lesson that will render that saying obsolete. Only time will tell.