Viewpoint: Enemy at the gate

Well, here we are in the midst of a pandemic and the world is in turmoil with the human race pulling out all of the stops to deal with it. Mankind is in full survival mode and the sky's the limit when it comes to survival.

It has always been the position of man that a single human life is a most precious thing and must be preserved and protected at all cost. It’s amazing to watch as the population becomes divided into different camps.  There are those who will go to ground and hide until it’s clear to come out again, and that is just fine as it will slow the spread of the virus.

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There is, however, a large segment of the population who are front and centre in fighting this contagion. From the medical professionals to the rescue workers and the law and order providers, add to those the retail workers in the grocery stores, the drug stores and the liquor stores plus other such essential supply outlets. Every one of them is being exposed to this virus that is making so many sick and taking so many lives. 

There are volunteers stepping forward and health care workers who are coming out of retirement to step in to replace those who fall to the illness—heroes, one and all. There are scenes where people are applauding those who are fighting the good fight.

All of mankind is very mindful of the threat that this virus represents and encourages all efforts that are being made to stop it. When it comes to human life, it seems there are no limits to what the human race will do to save itself.

But that brings up a really curious question: if human survival is so precious, why are we not doing all that we can to preserve it when it comes to the survival of Planet Earth?

We all know that the planet is in serious peril because of human indifference, greed and the lack of commitment to deal with this problem. We all know that if we don’t pull out all the stops to save the earth and nature we will surely not survive. So, what is wrong with this picture, people, what is wrong with us? How is it that we will be so heroic in the face of an enemy that is front and centre in our lives but so blind to the other equally serious enemy that we ourselves represent?

But wait just a minute here, planes aren’t flying, ships aren’t sailing, everyone is staying home, cars and trucks aren’t being driven needlessly.  Jobs are being lost in the hundreds of thousands, no one is out shopping and the factories are closing down. Damage to the environment is being reduced substantially thanks to the unwitting non-participation of the populace. Is nature finally getting even? 

If it weren’t such a tragic story it would be really funny.

Jerry Eskes is a Powell River resident.

Copyright © Powell River Peak


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