Coping with unique and difficult times

In an atmosphere of global political division and fractures on a national level, "the worst is yet to come. I'm sorry to say that," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

Representational image (PHOTO: Pixabay)

Physicist Marie Curie once said, "Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less." The idea behind invoking the thoughts of Marie Curie is one of the many ways to understand the current state of fear since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. We know that six months since the new coronavirus outbreak, the pandemic is still far from over. The World Health Organization (WHO) had on June 29 warned that "the worst is yet to come." Reaching the half-year milestone just as the death toll surpassed 500,000 and the number of confirmed infections topped 10 million, the WHO said it was a moment to recommit to the fight to save lives, according to reports.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing that six months ago, none could have imagined how the world – “and our lives” – would be thrown into turmoil by this new virus. "We all want this to be over. We all want to get on with our lives. But the hard reality is this is not even close to being over," he said. "Although many countries have made some progress, globally the pandemic is actually speeding up." Tedros added that " we're all in this for the long haul." He said that the world will need even greater stores of resilience, patience, humility and generosity in the months ahead as nations have already lost so much –“but we cannot lose hope."

Tedros is also reported to have stated that the pandemic had brought out the best and worst humanity, citing acts of kindness and solidarity, but also misinformation and the politicization of the virus. In an atmosphere of global political division and fractures on a national level, "the worst is yet to come. I'm sorry to say that," he said.

The WHO chief was not exaggerating when he stated, "With this kind of environment and condition, we fear the worst."  The WHO is reportedly sending a team to China next week in connection with the search for the origin of the virus that sparked the global pandemic. The world body has been pressing China since early May to invite its experts to help investigate the animal origins of the coronavirus. "We can fight the virus better when we know everything about the virus, including how it started," Tedros said. He said the proposed visit of the team was aimed at preparing for the lead into understanding how the virus started. He, however, did not specify the make-up of the team, nor what specifically their mission would consist of.

What may the WHO or the team of scientists do to probe into the real causes of the virus that supposedly “jumped from animals to humans”, nations are not willing to give up hope as yet. The dismal development on the ever spreading of COVID-19, despite its pessimistic outlook in the current phase of human history, may eventually also find strength in the hope that sooner or later there will be good news on the horizon. The Nobel Prize-winning philosopher Albert Camus said, “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” And as of now, one can find some words of inspiration during these very unique and difficult times. 

First Published:July 1, 2020, 10:51 p.m.

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