The COVID-19 Pandemic now is the most dramatic modern historical wake-up call and reminder that whether the threat is to the continued survival of Humanity, the Earth or Life itself, an unprecedented massive political-economical-financial-environmental-societal sea change must occur to the entire structure of modern human civilization that continues to cause an escalating collapse of the human world’s protective borders to: ever-increasing invasions across those borders of colossally deadly-killer microbial organisms; the devastation of sweeping planetary climate changes to all of humanity and the natural world, and; the protective barriers that once existed between them, caused by out-of-control, ever-expanding human financial-economic-commercial development. The ever-widening dissolution of all these borders caused by their unceasing, relentless destruction continues to pose Humanity with an existential question of how its very survival and self-preservation has continued to steadily mount in intensity, complexity and precariousness over the past five centuries that can be traced back to the moment of first contact between the indigenous peoples of the New World and colonizers from the Old World.
That moment in time and space was a unique, rare juncture in the evolution of the Human Race and the Earth when two diametrically different forms of human tribalism, as it were, – two remarkably unique ways of seeing Life itself – first met after thousands of years of living apart and were afforded a golden opportunity to craft – to blend – to reconcile – together from that point forward their distinctly unique and different ways of continuing the evolutionary process of Life that had taken both sides eons of accumulated wisdoms and insight to achieve. But it proved too arduous a transition – too difficult a birthing – to demanding a change – for all sides of the human and planetary equation to make in a peaceful, natural way for the betterment of all instead of one stronger side simply dominating the other.
Ever since, modern human civilization has had a nagging fearful awareness that the chosen trajectory taken into the future is a fatal one, but the more dominant human consciousness, or lack thereof, that existed in the Old World couldn’t figure out how to reconcile and meld together the dramatic differences in human wisdom that existed between them and apply those needed changes to the cultures and civilizations that had occurred in the New & Old World’s over the previous 10,000 years that needed to be adapted in new and different ways in the future.
By the early 20th century, science fiction writers like H.G. Wells, in his sci-fi phantasy War of The Worlds, already could ‘envision’ what eventually would happen once alien human or biological invaders penetrated the New World and the deadly havoc they would create in the human world.
Even the havoc created in the Old World by these invading colonizers already had exterminated, by the year 1666, almost half of the human race with the Black Plague. Yet all the then known human science of medical cures and military might of the Old World’s armies and their arsenals of weaponry couldn’t prevent the deadly bacterial invaders from doing what they did to exterminate nearly half of the then known human population, and again when the Spanish Flu Epidemic in 1918 killed anywhere from another 17 million to 50 million, and once more in 2002 when the SARS invaders poured over their invisible borders into the human world, killing and maiming, and then, in 2009, when the H1N1 Swine Flu infected and killed still a half million more humans and, then again, in 2013, when the Ebola fever, with still no known cure, killed thousands more and permanently infected countless millions of other humans.
So, now, in 2020, as if the handwriting on the wall still isn’t clear enough because the human species has failed miserably to make the colossal changes it needed to make 500 years ago when the New World was first invaded, the mighty industries of the Old World invader-colonizers, eerily, are once more are forced to attempt to convert their mighty arsenals of weaponry, guns, bombs and bullets into protective vinyl gloves, masks, breathing ventilators and skin sanitizers to meet the new invasion and try to prevent even more tens of millions of more humans from being annihilated by the new invaders. And then what will it take next time?
But the kind of radical changes that originally needed to be made to human life when the New & Old World’s first came together weren’t ever brought about. So, ever since, the many ensuing ugly realities that both Worlds have had to face together basically boils down to which World – which form of Tribalism – and whose peoples, ultimately, should have had or still must have concerning the sovereignty over the ancestral homelands of the original peoples and whose wisdoms and tribal rules of law among them deserve to be given priority for the sake of both humanity and the earth’s ultimate survival and preservation?
One can look upon the COVID-19 pandemic crisis as but the latest twist in this long evolutionary question first raised some five centuries ago between these two distinctly different, albeit opposite ways, of looking at the meaning and purpose of life that offered humanity a rare chance to rethink the whole raison d’etre for its existence and purpose in being.
But, as the past five hundred years of contact have shown, this grand opportunity has been mostly squandered and it has been ‘business as usual’, leaving humanity with the forever nagging question of what could have been or should have been but mostly instead has led to the reality of the original peoples ancient ways of life becoming extinct or woefully decimated to the point that their once vast territorial lands have been reduced to mere fractions of what they once were, the original people placed on bureaucratic systems of ‘reserves’, ‘reservations’ and ‘forced settlements’; that some liken to New World ‘concentration camps’ because of the extraordinary long-suffering arduous deprivations that the people have since had to endure.
The COVID-19 pandemic is another one of those golden evolutionary moments to come along in time and space that is calling into question another complete rethink of the whole ball of human wax, the meaning of Life and the reason for Being itself. Embedded within this complex, tangle are big, sweeping questions that ask: what are humanity’s collective nations of governments primarily supposed to be doing to care for and protect the future lives of their people and that of the planet? What is modern human civilization ever to do about the wealthy who, in 2020, are disproportionately responsible for the escalating rates of consumption emissions and unwanted changes to the earth that the wealthy continue to create through their excessively costly modes of transportation, travel and tourism? Is the current COVD-19 another wake-up call warning sign, like the Black Plague of 350 years ago, caused by the faulty tack human civilization continues to take in the 21st century; an uncontrolled, ever-escalating world population and excessive pattern of development that continues to be the pattern; with each ensuing year-decade-century creating an ever-increasing consumption pattern that continues to overshoot the earth’s capacity to regenerate and replenish itself to cope with the human world’s ecological debt that continues to require the equivalency of 2, 3, 4 or more earth’s to sustain in the future?
Though it never has yet been demonstrated in human history on the grand scale that everything now is predicated upon in the 21st century, is it conceivable or even humanly possible at this point in time and space to limit or control Humankind’s seven deadly sins to some greater extent? Or will or can the world simply hold its breath, as it did during the Black Plague and now with COVID-19, and just pray and hope that it never again will have to experience such an endless world of pandemics in the future, and the mass economic and societal upheavals and collapses that will follow until, finally, the ultimate virus, called The Big One, produced by the madness of humanity’s current modern civilization, eventually will come along and finally kill everything off?
Even if some vaccine is eventually found to magically cure COVID-19, given the accepted model of exponential growth of humans in the world, and the multitude of complexities for sheer survival, let alone healthy, self-sustaining ways of life that massive growth patterns continue to create, is it somehow possible to regain some small essence of the golden opportunity that humanity missed five hundred years ago? Is there any way humankind’s Titanic Ship of State can be redirected away from the immense floes of dangerous virus icebergs and other horrendous human-created calamities that yet lie ahead?
When it comes down to resolving the big question of the earth’s climate crisis, given humankind’s perpetual exponential population and economic growth model, that mercilessly drives the modern world onward, is it conceivably possible to continue the globalized corporate ‘business as usual’ way of life and its ability to pillage ‘at will’ the earth’s finite resources and natural world? Or is this not yet another wake-up call of the age-old male power game and domination of the masculine principle over the feminine principle of how life should or must become more respectfully changed towards the earth and non-human world? Because so long as human culture so readily accepts this kind of abuse and violation of their women, the earth and all its non-human denizens for whatever reasons there can only be the kind of mass illness and destruction that continues throughout the New and Old Worlds as it has since the beginning of time.
A major Reconciliation obviously must occur within the human world between itself and the earth and re-define for the future what it will mean to have sovereignty over all the lands of the earth, its natural resources and non-humans and whose rules of law will govern how they are to be treated, utilized and preserved.
Covid-19 now is Ground Zero. Perhaps for the first time in the modern epoch of human affairs, Humanity obviously must be prepared to accept the challenge and undertake massive, painful changes within itself in more ways than one. For a start, closer attention must be paid to the absurd hypocritical actions created in the corporate, political and economic realms with the constant extraction and mining of the earth’s finite resources.
An ironic symbol of those avaricious, ever-hungry worlds is the human world’s oil and gas industry that everywhere continues to pump from the bowels of the Earth that which makes the ever-expanding, excessive modern way of life even possible. Ironically, these oil and gas substances, collectively, represent the residue of millions of years of prehistoric life forms of tropical plant life, dinosaurs and the like, that, literally and figuratively, are the embodiment of a lower, primitive stage of the earth’s pre-human world, yet now play a crucial role in the continuing evolution of humanity’s modern civilization. A civilization that since the discovery of this black, sticky residue in the New & Old World’s has pursued a still primitive way of life that has caused untold violent, savage, heinous wars, created by some of the most ruthless humans, who have willingly killed billions of humans and non-human beings and destroyed countless cultures and nations just to gain hegemony over this slimy prehistoric residue that now also is destroying the earth’s climate and creating a crisis that, in the end, will totally destroy the existing borders between the world of humans and viruses and finally unleash the Big One that will kill off all or most of the humans …..And that will be that! End of story!
But if, indeed, the Survival & Well-Being of All of Life is what the operative directive of the future will or should be, and the bottom line and ultimate goal is a healthier, more balanced, livable earth and way of life in the 21st century and beyond, the human race must be prepared to yet suffer and endure many more personal, cultural and economic privations and unpleasantries than the COVID-19 virus has yet even begun to pose.
Someone who has the ear of the world’s political and corporate leaders must now act like a Dutch Uncle or Dutch Aunt, as it were, in the case of our Mother Earth, and talk some serious sense into all the world’s leaders and their followers to realize what we all must now begin joining together to do in the world, which we should have done 500 years ago. The Coronavirus Pandemic is Mother Nature’s own way of acting now like that Dutch Aunt with this biggest message of all.
Perhaps if Shakespeare were still alive the fate of us all, that now hangs in the balance, would simply be more ‘grist for the mill’ for him to create yet another new pithy human drama that speaks truth to power and the human condition.
Jerome Irwin is a Canadian-American activist-writer who, for decades, has sought to call world attention to problems of environmental degradation and unsustainability caused by excessive mega-development and the host of related environmental-ecological-spiritual issues that exist between the conflicting philosophies of indigenous and non-indigenous peoples. Irwin is the author of the book, “The Wild Gentle Ones; A Turtle Island Odyssey”(www.turtle-island-odyssey.com), a spiritual sojourn among the native peoples of North America, and has produced numerous articles pertaining to: Ireland’s Fenian Movement; native peoples Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance Movement; AIPAC, Israel & U.S. Congress anti-BDS Movement; the historic Battle for Palestine & Siege of Gaza, as well as; innumerable accounts of the violations constantly waged by industrial-corporate-military-propaganda interests against the World’s Collective Soul