Blame it on the mainstream media, or blame it on social media or blame it on whoever you can, irrespective of what you do, the saga of coronavirus has mainstreamed the importance of global public health like never before in the history of human kind.
For the first time in our lifetime, we can understand what is freedom yet not being entirely free to roam around, unwind with colleagues over pep talks, do the regular shopping or the fun time or go to religious places of workshop whatever we conceive God to be.
For the first time have we seen so many industrial sectors being affected, countries going into lockdowns and the global village in search of meaning and existence. Those sectors which felt that healthcare was a by-product and community health can be a taken for granted entity, the virus has led the way to tickle the human ego and have a straight talk on why investing in public health matters.
This reminds me of the book by Dr. Alexis Carrel, where he mentioned that “Man remains a stranger in the world he created.” Rightly so, the virus has disrupted our lives to such an extent that we have been pushed to recognise who we are and where we come from.
The virus has not differentiated between the rich or the poor, the powerful and the not so powerful. It has spared no one, simply putting everyone at a level playing ground and clearing the myth of what equity means at large. Interestingly the virus has agreed to spread itself amongst so many of us, pushing us to slow down, to reflect upon our inherent worth as human beings, to spend some time at home and to also restrict our movements, not always running pillar to post seeking meaning and existence, fame and fortune.
For global public health professionals, this is a perfect storm which sets the tone of practical activism over theoretical rhetoric and arm-chair research. It pushes every community health physician to contribute their bit by raising legitimate information in the age of misinformation. To actively work in case finding, outbreak investigation and meticulous surveillance and to win the hide and seek war. To build community resilience, if I may say as an ambitious goal.
To the diplomatic community which lived in a closet, not appreciating trans-boundary global health concerns, coronavirus is an answer of why every embassy around the world, must staff an epidemiologist and liaison with neighbouring countries and across the continent.
Yes, you are reading it right! I am batting for humanitarian diplomacy to be mainstreamed. For NGO diplomacy to be more engaged and polished and for country governments to be more approachable, humble and willing to listen.
To what extent, we as egoistic bunch of fellas learn from a tiny virus, only time can tell.