Our living world has been evolving for millions of years. Species either adapt or die….. and sometimes it is a fine line. In most situations there is a good, bad & an ugly side. For this blog posts, am going to start with the ugly and bad side. If you want to read a more positive side then read the end of this post, otherwise am going to start with a reflection of Covid19 and how we will repeat the Spanish Flu.
Really the disease that will harm humans in is apathy. Italy clearly demonstrated apathy despite Covid19 beginning its reign of terror, despite stark warnings from China:
Warning the video below has upsetting scenes of Covid 19
After these kinds of scenes from Italy, many Western countries went into lock down to slow down transmission after initially making light of Covid 19. Governments all over the world began to compare Covid 19 with the Spanish Flu which lasted for 2 years before it died out killing about 50 million. Significantly the second wave was far more deadly than the first wave
The Spanish Flu is a historic case study that we can learn from or will repeat in this timeline for future generations to roll their eyes in disbelief as governments and corporations deliberately decide that the monetary economy is worth more than the infection on human lives. This is a balancing act as people who lack finances and are unable to adapt to their changing situation suffer from depression and can have suicidal thoughts. We already appear to be repeating social distancing & face masks as happened in 1918.
Lock down was to slow down the spread of an infectious disease to give us all time:- scientists to understand the virus; governments to create responses; companies to reflect, rethink and reboot their processes to adapt to the times; families to re-acquaint themselves with each other which sometimes is lost in our busy lives; individuals to reassess their finances & what they really want from life. I’ve posted enough about how the lock down has also provided a small amount of time for nature to reveal itself to us and what we can have if we continue to rethink.
But a lock down, in many countries has created a societal restlessness to resume “normal”. People don’t like being restricted. Nor do animals that we lock up. Like animals we also experience depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD).
Social media has created another dimension with politicians able to promote their own propaganda, and the general population becoming more polarised on many subjects. The UK is a divided nation due to Brexit. Now with Covid 19, you’re either in the pessimistic camp or the optimistic camp with an emerging apathy that will quickly erode any regulations. A key government official has already created the road for apathy & dismissal of rules, which has been supported by the government. (ref: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-52835982 ).
It is easy to become apathetic, especially when you have either had zero connection to those who have had Covid or really not had many serious cases in your area. In many countries the number of critical cases is anything from 1-3%. In Italy this had risen to 10% at one point. Watch the stats here: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ & on the FT site: https://www.ft.com/content/a26fbf7e-48f8-11ea-aeb3-955839e06441
Additionally stronger immunity systems during the summer months, could mean the Covid 19 symptoms will be weaker (NB this is my opinion). If we relax social distancing & other health/hygiene rules, the number of people carrying Covid 19 will quietly spread exponentially and that virus will be waiting to strike hard in a second wave when our immunities start to reduce in the autumn months. (See BBC report on Asymptomatic Carriers)
“During the post-peak period, pandemic disease levels in most countries with adequate surveillance will have dropped below peak observed levels. The post-peak period signifies that pandemic activity appears to be decreasing; however, it is uncertain if additional waves will occur and countries will need to be prepared for a second wave.”Source: http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/communicable-diseases/influenza/data-and-statistics/pandemic-influenza/about-pandemic-phases
Organisations can try to keep moving forward in what they thought was “normal” and take a chance on a magic vaccine coming to the rescue before the end of the year, but they might be waiting some time. After all we still don’t have a vaccine for SARS.
There are many who are fighting and resisting change, calling Covid 19 a conspiracy. At the same time there are corporations & calls from pockets of our societies pushing for a pre-Covid19 normality, wanting our societies to return to the tread mill of mindless consumption.
Am hoping many of us have woken up to the new age…
Human Economy vs Environmental Economy
….Does it have to be a continued sparring match or can they become integrated to form a new economy, one that sees us harmonising with our natural world?
Human economics has already seen our societies move towards recession, depression and inflation all at the same time.
As I campaigned for a reduction in waste, rather than simple recycling, people would tell me I would be doing others out of work, such as those in India who sort through the mountains of waste clothes. My response has been, if we are supposed to the intelligent species on this planet, then these people would learn new skills. They would adapt to survive.
However am seeing so many angry people on forums and social media groups who would prefer to blame everything else on their own misfortunes. Change is hard for all of us but put that fighting song on “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”…
All you marathon, ultra marathon runners know ….
Many are doing so such as Umang Kochar from Jaipur India.
A Voice From Mumbai
Umang lives in Mumbai in a house with 3 other families. He is busy inventing & developing himself and decided to contact me on all my social media platforms to talk to me. His excuse was for me to be his guest as part of a Podcast series he had just started.
Having done a lot with Green Nudge in Singapore, some with Mujalonga Sul Mar in Trieste, Italy and of course with many running organisations like Nice Marathon and smaller organisations like Cheltenham Challenge. Would it be possible to remotely light another flame for the environment in India?
As a human volunteer for our natural world, my time is limited and it is important to see as many as possible continue the work as well as to seize the day with the new normal. Thus, I agreed to see if Umang would be open to create a green change in Mumbai. He is 20 years young and full of enthusiasm for a green change, as we should all be.
Using Zoom, I politely asked him how Covid 19 was in India. He excitedly told me how an amazing phenomena was happening with the animals returning. I asked him what he meant as I could only imagine a typical stereotypical thought of elephants and tigers.
“We have been listening to the birds every morning. We had never heard the birds before lockdown”. Again I could only imagine that where he lived would have been an endless stream of human traffic & machinery.
We talked and I shared as much as I could… or perhaps rambled my vision of what I would love him to be able to do and would happily mentor him as much as I could. Additionally, I asked him questions
What do you do / aspire to do?
Before lock down, I worked in the hospitality industry in Mumbai for 3 years. Now am a Podcaster for Fitness Loves. I love Running and chasing sunrises every day (he is part of the 5am club!). I am working on a project to open a Fitness Club in Jaipur where people come for Running, Yoga and Wellbeing. I recently got engaged with SDG (Sustainability Development Goals) Waste Management by Rima (Tyre Lady) So will be working on How we can reduce waste in day to day life and make earth better place.
You said you share a house with 3 other families, how large are each of those families and how do you manage – such as shared kitchen, communal spaces etc? Are these other relatives or independent families?
We, 8 People, live in our house, My sister recently got married and is now living in Canada. We all love each other. There are ups and downs sometimes but it is normal. We share the kitchen and eat together. We talk about each other’s progress and how everyone is doing in life. We play chess and enjoy life. We believe Power is in when we live together not apart. People leave their family to earn more money but they don’t realise that Money cannot buy FAMILY, LOVE and INNER PEACE.
How has lockdown been for you and what negatives and positives have you found?
Lockdown has taught me that break is good and peaceful. I was always running in life to archive more which was like Rat Race. I take everything positive, during Lockdown I did what I love to do. I did the Nutrition and ASCM Marathon Personal Trainer course. I also helped mom with Kitchen, cleaning house and gardening. Lockdown has made our Earth beautiful again. We can see a more positive and clear sky. We can feel the nature, Birds, Dogs, etc. Lockdown has taught us that silence is important and Beautiful.
How would you like to see mass participation events like running events change when they can restart?
Lock down has taught me many things on waste Management. I feel that it is the right time for us to realise that we need to protect our Mother Earth. I would like to see future events with less wastage of our resources. Example -In Marathon people can carry their Bottle and supplies, to reduce waste. We can have Digital Medals and opt out of T-shirts. It is a waste to have 20 or 100 T-shirts when we don’t need.
Quote “If you buy things which you don’t need, soon you have to sell things which you need the most”.
We all should come together and educate people on Waste Management and how we can reduce, reuse, and recycle. Let’s make our events waste free. I will try my best. Will you help me ?
I will be looking out for you Umang and will be fighting with you to help continue our re-integration with our natural environment that Covid 19 has enabled many to see. Hope others will also be on board with you.
Next blog post: What about marathons? Let’s see them change – REBOOT!